Lake Lanier Fishing Report October 27 2017 | Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr
The lake level rose slightly from the rains we received early in the week. As of Thursday, Lanier was 1065.42, 5.58 below full pool. The lake temps continue to fall as we progress into the end of October. Readings throughout most of the lake are around 69 degrees. Cooler temps reside way up in the rivers. Typical for the this date, we are very much under the inﬂuence of the turnover process. We are deep enough into fall that the fronts are stronger and are arriving more frequently. That accounts for some challenges. Versatility will be the key. Be prepared to use a variety of techniques on both the Stripers and the Bass. The crappie have been displaying a little more predictability. Timing your trips when possible to take advantage of pre-frontal conditions may also be a plus.
The Striper bite is good overall. The techniques are varied. The fish are spread out throughout the lake and throughout the water column. If you are ﬁshing the lower end, the schooling ﬁsh pattern has been good. This is basically moving until you see ﬁsh on top, then getting to them before they sound. Once you are there, the Sebile Magic Swimmer has been the go to, but a small jig is also a good choice. A buktail jig can have some advantages over multiple hook baits. They offer a high percentage of strikes to hook ups. You can also get the ﬁsh off the jig and get the jig back in the water quickly. Thirdly, they cast well in the wind. A 3/8 is hard to beat, but a 1/2 or even a 3/4 may be better choices in the wind.
If the schoolers do not show themselves, try casting swim baits, or pulling live baits over 10 to 25 foot humps. If you are in the middle or upper parts of the lake, there is a pretty good downline bite. Look over the river channel, creek channels, or adjacent drains. Live baits have been the big producer here, but umbrella rigs are accounting for some decent catches. Pulling the rig can be a very good search tool. We also have some schooling ﬁsh in this part of the lake as well. A couple of surfacing ﬁsh will often tip you off to the whereabouts of a big school cruising deep water.
The bass are also scattered. With surface temps in the high 60’s, there are plenty of ﬁsh in shallow water. There are also plenty of ﬁsh in deep water. Heck, there are some ﬁsh in-between too, so where do you start? Humps are consistently holding ﬁsh, and it is largely a matter of pinpointing the bite on a given day. Starting with the moving baits. Topwater, swim baits and progressively get deeper with a spy bait, or a Fish Head Spin. If those do not produce, follow up with the worm on the shakey or drop shot and to close the deal. Use this progression until you tweak the bite, which varies day to day and can be inﬂuenced on the weather.
The spoon bite is also ramping up, any of your favorite jigging spoons should get the bite here. The spoons may work on a variety of structures like brush, timber edges, or over creek channels. Keep one tied on and any time you see ﬁsh on the sonar drop it down to them! The ﬁsh will eat the spoon on the bottom, or if they are suspended up in the column. This technique should also get stronger as the water temps continue to drop.
If you want to try a different approach, try a little after hours light ﬁshing. There are some really nice ﬁsh largemouths showing up on the dock lights, jerk baits, small buck tails and ﬂukes will get the bite. This pattern is on all over the lake, but going into the middle and upper parts of the lake may offer a better chance to catch the bigger ﬁsh.
The Crappie bite is on, and the cooler temps that in the weather forecast may energize that bite even more! Free standing brush 15 to 25 feet, look for the brush in the backs of the lower end creeks, up in creeks in the upper parts of either river. If you venture far enough up either river, look for piles on the ﬂats adjacent to the river channel. Almost any hair jig should get the bite, and the Bobby Garland baits are always a good choice.
Live minnows on a slip cork rig, or if the ﬁsh are deep enough, on a downline will also produce. Typically the bite will be strong when you ﬁrst get on a bunch a ﬁsh, then they wise up to your tricks after you take a few of them out of the water. Try tipping the hair jig with the live minnow and that will often reignite the bite!