Lake Lanier Fishing Report November 15 2019
As we enter into mid November it looks like the bulk of the turnover process is over and we are seeing better water conditions. Fishing overall has been good, and often late November through December offers some excellent opportunities to catch all species. The lake level is 1067.31 and we are currently 3.69 below full pool. The surface temps dropped a bit after the cold front that rumbled though the state on Tuesday, and as of Thursday afternoon the water was 61 degrees.
The Striper bite is pretty good, with several applicable patterns and ﬁsh being taken all over the lake. Down lining Herring is a strong pattern, and perhaps our best overall bite. The Stripers are taking advantage of some good water conditions and are using the whole lake which makes your search area a little bigger. Keep moving and hunting, much like in the summer, until you locate ﬁsh. Once you ﬁnd them drumming will pull the ﬁsh under the boat and help keep them there. The ﬁsh are showing up in a variety of places, over channels, ﬂats adjacent to the creek channels, in drains and on or around humps and points, so be versatile in your search.
The bomber ﬁshing has been good, I think water temps in the low 60’s is where this pattern reaches it peak as that is the temperature range where the greatest numbers of ﬁsh are on the saddles and ﬂats. This technique actually works all throughout the winter, typically, the colder it gets the bigger the ﬁsh get, but the bites decrease in number. Nothing special on this pattern, start as soon as the sun set, keep moving until you ﬁnd ‘em.
Trolling the Captain Mack Mini Mack Umbrella Rig has been a very good technique, both stealth trolling on the electric motor or pulling them with the outboard. The ﬁrst option, stealth trolling, consists of pulling the Mini’s using the trolling motor. Last winter, this was an extremely proliﬁc technique and it appears to be gearing up for more of the same this winter. Just drop the rig to the depth where you are seeing ﬁsh, then set your trolling motor to a speed of .5 to 1 mph. You can ﬁsh the Mini with or without a planer board, it is very effective when ﬁshed straight down, if the ﬁsh are less than 15 feet you will probably ﬁnd that pulling them on the board is a plus. I caught ﬁsh using this technique as deep as 50 feet last year, I think the only depth limitation is the tops of the timber.
The question that keeps popping up is which rig is better, bladed or unbladed? Last winter we did not have the bladed model available so we do not have a good comparison, but in cold water I am not sure the rig without blades, particularly for the stealth trolling, is the better option.
Of course we still have to mention the schooling ﬁsh, they are showing very well, especially on the days prior to the frequent fronts that are rolling in. The good news is we have our airborne visitors on the lake as spotters, making this pattern much easier! I think the lower end is best to look for the schoolers, and afternoons may offer more chances. Sebiles are still a good choice for these ﬁsh, small buck tails and the Mini Mack’s have been extremely effective as well.
The Bass ﬁshing is good, they are still scattered out all over the lake and also using several different patterns. Fishing the humps both on the main lake or in the creek arms has been a very good strategy, however the depths on this pattern varies quite a bit. Now that the effects of the turnover have lessened, the ﬁsh can ﬁnd god water in a variety of depths, so humps from 10 to 35 may hold ﬁsh. use t he weather as a guideline, and on the days before the fronts and the associated clouds and rain will have ﬁsh pulling up on the shallower humps, post frontal they will tend to be on the deeper humps and more oriented to the brush.
Worms have probably been the most effective bait for these ﬁsh, but jigs are also a good choice. You can always start out with a moving bait, I am still getting some of the more aggressive ﬁsh to take the Mini Mack or a swim bait, then follow it up with a worm or jig. The dock bite is really ramping up, and this bite is effective all over the lake. Weedless Wonder Shakey Heads and worms are the baits of choice here, and skipping a Ned head to the docks has been a very good technique.
Moving baits may also be effective, especially on docks located towards the backs of the creeks, and there are quite a few ﬁsh roaming into the creeks. This pattern can be hard to pin down since there are ﬁsh on main lake docks as deep as 30, and ﬁsh on some docks as shallow as 5 to 8. As a general rule the shallower docks will be best when we have weather moving in, the deeper docks may offer a better bite on the post frontal, blue bird sky days that have been common lately.
With more ﬁsh moving into the backs of the creek, bank beating, or “junk ﬁshing” is pretty productive. Targeting shallow structures or bait schools have produced some nice ﬁsh, and there are a variety of baits that will be effective for these shallow patterns. Jigs, around the previously mentioned docks, wood, or rock is a viable pattern and is accounting for some of the bigger ﬁsh.
If you have a little wind, a jerk bait or spinnerbait may also get the bite. To be successful on this pattern means is covering lots of water so put the trolling motor on high and keep moving! If you catch enough ﬁsh you can often reﬁne this bite to certain baits, retrieves, structures, etc… to catch some nice numbers.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack