Weekly report from Captain Mack Farr | Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 21 2016 –
As of today, the lake level is 1072.64, 1.64 above full pool.
Striper fishing is good, and the patterns are relatively the same as the last report with the addition of a stronger umbrella rig bite. I think overall fishing is best, or maybe most consistent, in the upper parts of the lake from Gainesville marina and up, or roughly the same over on the Chestatee side. However, there have been some very nice catches recorded in the major creeks on the lower end if that is your preference!
Live bait is very effective. Either free lined or on the planers, but keep the down-rods handy too as the bite may be shallow or deep, depending on the day/situation. There are some nice groups of fish pushing back into the creeks and adjacent pockets on the lower end, so don’t be hesitant to look into these areas as shallow as 20 to 25 feet.
Umbrella rigs have been very effective on these fish and trolling the rig into these areas is a quick and efficient way to search for fish. I would keep a spoon tied on as well. If the fish get bunched up, the spoon will get the bite. The .60 flex –it is always a good choice, but the ½ oz. Super spoon or Jigging Shad are also good choices.
The deep bite is also still producing. Primarily look for deep bait schools over creek channels or over the river. If you see just a few fish try the downlines, often on this pattern the fish will be sparse until you drop the baits and pull them up underneath the boat. Let the bait/fish determine how deep to fish. 50 to 75 feet has been a good depth range for this pattern. You will probably be surprised how many bass are that deep, and factor that into the equation as you watch your sonar.
We have more Gulls now, so keep an eye on them, the numbers are still below normal, but that seems to be changing as we finally experience some winter weather. Once the birds show you the right area, I think a free lined Trout is the quickest way to get a rod bent, but Shad and herring are also producing well. As always, show them a variety to enhance your odds.
Bass fishing is also very good and deciding how and where to fish is the big variable, as we have fish all over the water column! I would probably give the deep bite the nod for the best pattern, simply because the deep water patterns are more stable and less likely to be negatively influenced by weather and fluctuating water levels. Deep Ditches, Roadbeds, Rock Bluffs and Creek Channels are all likely structures to try. Jigs are good choices. Worms and craw imitations on a jig head will also get the bite.
On the shallow bite, almost any shallow structure may work, drains running into a pocket, brush, docks, and blowdowns are all good choices. This pattern seems to be strongest in prefrontal conditions and fishing some stained water may be an asset as well. Jigs and Craws are hard to beat right now, but moving baits such as spinnerbaits and jerkbaits may also get the bite.
Crappie fishing is also good, docks and free standing brush are both producing well, with an added trolling bite as a bonus. If you are a caster, target the above mentioned structures in 12 to 20 feet, perhaps shallower in lowlight conditions, or in stained water. The Bobby Garland Baits, Crappie country chenille Jigs, and live minnows on a slip cork/downline are all producing well. There is plenty of stained water, so use that to your advantage. The upper reaches of the lake are always good, but lower end creek backs have also produced well in the past few days!