Lake Lanier Fishing Report April 19 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
April has been a great month for Lanier anglers with good catches being reported for all species! The surface temps have rebounded after falling slightly after last weekends cold front, and we are seeing temps around 64 degrees as of Thursday am. Another strong front rolls through North Georgia this weekend bringing a some cooler temps Sat, wind and rain, then a return to mild ,Spring-like weather into next week. The lake is currently 1071.98 .98 feet over full pool, down .87 feet from last week.
Striper ﬁshing has been very good, and the same patterns that have been prominent in recent weeks are still producing. The green/light dock light bite is full on, with many of the lights holding some big groups of ﬁsh. This bite is good from just after sunset until 30 minutes or so after sunup, and effective on any part of the lake where you can locate a light. I am still going to go with a small buck tail tipped with a Capt. Mack’s A Rig grub as the best overall beat, but the Keitech swim baits and ﬂukes are also good choices. Pitching a live Herring is also a reliable technique. I have had a couple of readers ask about the rigging on the pitching technique: it is a very simple rig. I use 8lb. Mono, and the terminal rig is simply a bead, #5 Barrel swivel, and about 18 inches of leader. Match the hook to the bait, but generally a number 4 Circle will be very effective, going up in size if you have larger Herring. If you are a ﬂy ﬁsherman, casting a ﬂy to the lights is one of the best ways to take a Striper, so you may want to take advantage of this technique in the next few days.
The open water/live bait bite is also very good, Herring are the baits of choice but a Grizzard Shad is also a good choice and is a good way to draw ﬁsh into the spread. The technique is basically the same, a mix of free lines, weighed free lines, and planer boards to get a big footprint and maximum saturation. We have few surfacing ﬁsh and or gulls to tell you where to start, so pick out a starch of river channel or creek channel and put out the spread. 15 to 20 minutes in an area should be enough, if you are not getting bites or not seeing the ﬁsh on the sonar relocate. Keep an eye on the Side Imaging as well as the Down Imaging. You may not see big schools of ﬁsh, if you do that’s a bonus, if the singles and small groups are showing up on the screen you are in the right place. Experiment with speed, weight, and the distance of the lines until you ﬁnd the right combination.
Another pattern that is really ramping up is pitching herring to points and humps. This can be a very good technique, perhaps very underutilized. I use the same terminal set up mentioned above, and just cast, lob is probably a more accurate description, to the crest of the hump or up on point and let the Herring free swim, if the ﬁsh are there it is generally not long before you’ll know. This is basically the same pattern as pulling baits on free lines and planers over shallow structures, but can be more effective, especially on physically small areas because the bait stays in the strike zone. When pulling a spread over a small area your baits may be away from the strike zone as you continuously turn the boat to pull the baits over the intended area. If you try this pattern, carry plenty of bait, the Herring are only good for 3 or 4 casts, and the Spots will eat their share of them on almost everyplace you stop.
Bass ﬁshing is good, and deciding where to ﬁsh is easy, which bait to use may be a bit more of a challenge, since there are many techniques that are really productive at present! Many of our Spotted bass are in very shallow water spreading out on the banks for the spawn. This is arguably the only time of the year when you can consistently, consistently being the key word, catch the Spots in less than 10 feet. So, ﬁnd a bank that has a good cover and start ﬁshing!
There are many baits that will catch ﬁsh now, Spinner baits, jerk baits, worm/shakey combos, swim baits and topwater are all effective. I think if the ﬁsh will respond, moving baits that allow you to cover big volumes of water are the best, but if the ﬁsh will not chase, or there is no wind, try a worm on 1/8 or 3/16 shaky head.
Topwater ﬁshing is really coming on so it is time to wipe the dust off the topwater box and put ‘em to work. To me, we get two very distinct topwater patterns, the pre-spawn/spawn topwater bite, and then the post spawn bite. The ﬁrst revolves around ﬁshing shallow cover with smaller baits. once the spawn is over, bigger baits over deeper water and offshore structures is the norm.
So for now, small baits over stump ﬁelds, grass patches, blow downs, and the backs of the pockets should keep you busy and very entertained.
The Crappie are on a strong bite, with the numbers and the average size being very good. No major changes in the patterns or technique here, shooting docks is producing well, and there are good groups of ﬁsh holding in the blown down trees. We also have ﬁsh roaming the shallow creek backs and coves, and that may continue until the surface temps warm up, but many of our avid Crappie anglers think the bulk of the spawning activity will wrap up after this full moon.
The long line trolling is still taking some nice ﬁsh, perhaps not the numbers that dock shooting will produce, but this technique often catches the larger ﬁsh! Troll jigs tipped with minnows, or soft plastics, and some of the trollers are reporting good catches on the small Roadrunner Crappie baits.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack