Lanier Fishing Report 11/20/20
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a fantastic Holiday, even though this year will surely be different with our current conditions. I also hope you get some extra down time to enjoy getting out on the water! It’s looks like we will have some clouds and rain from the middle of next week through the weekend, in recent weeks that has made for some good fishing conditions! This weeks lake level as of Friday am was 1070.22, .78 feet below full pool, and .33 feet lower than last week’s level. The surface temperatures dropped as well, down to 64 degrees.
Striper fishing is overall pretty good, although it slowed some with the high blue skies and post frontal conditions we experienced during most of last week. That weather seemed to really squelch the schooling activity, as to be expected. Hopefully, now that the weather has stabilized the surface activity will increase. Watch the Gulls and Loons to help locate the fish, the birds are still few in number, however more and more arrive with each front. There are several effective baits to cast at the schoolers, I am still going to pick a small buck tail as one of the best, but small spoons, flies under a casting bubble, Flukes and Steelshads will also be likely bets. This pattern is random and can produce anywhere at any time, but the greatest activity seems to remain on the lower end of the lake, and is best in lowlight conditions.
Downlines probably remain the most reliable pattern, and that was most likely reinforced by the aforementioned weather conditions of the past week. There were a few fish taken on free lines and planers, especially early am, and keeping a pitch line/free line in the spread is still worthwhile, maybe adding a split will be a benefit on the pitch baits. The Stripers are showing up in a wide variety of places, over the creek channels, some over the river channel, especially if you in the upper reaches of either the Chattahoochee or Chestatee arms of the lake. Search for the fish around bait concentrations, bends, in the channel, pinch points, or flats near the channel. The bait is really piling up in some of the creeks and coves, anywhere form 30 to 50 feet, and setting a spread over the bait is a good technique. Key on areas where the bait is laid up on or near the bottom, the Stripers may be on the bottom or moving around above the bait up in the water column. Stagger the baits until you find the most productive depth.
Night fishing remains good with fish being taken casting Bombers and McStiks to points and saddles. Historically, this pattern is very productive with water temps in the low 60’s and high 50’s, and that cooler water should have the bigger fish should be cruising the shallows as well. If you know if any docks lights include them in your game plan, most of the lights are holding good numbers of hungry Stripers!
Points, saddles and flats around the islands are likely areas to cast the Bomber, move quickly if the fish are present they will be quick to bite. If you fish one of these areas and catch a fish or two pretty quickly and then they stop, leave and return in 45 minutes or so and you can often duplicate what you did on the first stop. Unless you are fishing a really big area, moving quickly and casting to as many places as possible may be more productive than sitting on one place. Applying the same run and gun mentality as you would use when casting topwater to points and humps is generally the best approach for this pattern.
The Bass bite is good, and there are many patterns to choose from. The bait that is piling into the creeks has not gone unnoticed by the Bass and they are showing up in the channels and coves around these bait schools. This has created a good spoon bite in areas that are holding schools of Shad and Herring. Concentrate on 25 to 50 feet, and I did catch quite a few fish in the 40 to 45 foot range Friday. The smaller spoons seem to be the favorites, the 1/2 oz dressed Super Spoon and the .60 Flex-It Spoon were both very effective. Fish the spoon on the bottom, and when you see fish up in the water column reel it up to them and you should get the bite. These deep fish have also been very responsive to take a finesse worm, the Roboworm 6” St Prizm Shad, Green Weenie, and Green Shiner are some good color patterns to try.
Crank baits on rocky points ,clay points and banks are holding fish, and this has been a solid pattern, especially early. The Spro Rock Crawlers have been very effective on the pattern, along with Strike King 3 or 5 XD. If the fish seem to be reluctant to respond to the crank baits, worms on the Weedless Wonder are also effective, Trick Worms and the Roboworm Fat Worms have been producing well on the rocks.
There also good numbers of fish moving into the ditches, as to be expected in November. The Yamamato Hula Grub on the Booger Head and Worms on the shaky, have good choices for the ditch pattern. The fish are holding over deeper water, 20 feet plus, will also respond well to the spoons.
Pounding the docks has been a solid technique, especially later in the day. A Finesse worms(see the same colors of Roboworm mentioned earlier)on the Shaky head, and jigs in crawfish patterns are solid producers. If I had to pick a depth, I think the docks from 15 to 25 feet offer the most consistent bite. That depth range can vary widely based on the time of day and weather, and typically the fish are shallower on uplake docks.