Lake Lanier Fishing Report March 8 2019 | Sponsored by Hayes Automotive
Last week saw a return to winter with cold temps and even colder wind chills! It looks like the air temps will moderate. With warmer air the rain chances ramp up as well. Lake levels remain high. As of Friday morning we were 1075.44 , 4.44 feet over full pool, .66 down from this point last week.
Striper Fishing stayed stable regardless of the weather water factors we had to deal with last week. The lake level rose dramatically, then the lake temp experienced a rapid drop. It will come as no surprise that the deep patterns held up well. Many of the shallow fish temporarily ran from the cold and mud. I think the bite that was emerging in the creek backs will rebound quickly. The stained water should heat nicely with some warmer temps and sun. Checking some of backs of the creeks and big coves is worthwhile. Watch for color changes and temp temps to find where the fish are staging.
The deepwater bite is still pretty good. Plenty of fish and bait are over deep water. A mix of down lines, weighted free lines, and free lines will produce fish. The fish may be a little sluggish compared to a few days ago. Hopefully that changes as the weather stabilizes. The best bait remains up the air:
Herring are certainly a good choice. The availability of Herring has improved as the commercial catchers have been able to supply our retailers with greater consistency. Shiners remain a good bait and a medium shiner may be the best option overall. A small Trout or Gizzard may get the bite so a smorgasbord will be a good choice until you tweak the bite. Hang the baits where the graph says. 35 feet down has been a good number to start with.
Night fishing has been pretty good as well. Fish are taking Bombers and comparable plugs in the creek backs. Casting buck tails and jerk baits, or pitching live baits to the lights has been producing ok. Both of these patterns should improve as we go further into March and get the surface temps up a little more. It looks like next weeks weather is also more conducive to some after hours, or pre sun up fishing.
Bass fishing is good. They are all over the place with the water conditions changing as they have. You have a choice of off shore deep structure, ditches and rock bluffs, or pounding shallow visible structures and pockets if you choose. If you want something in the middle, docks are steady producers and may offer the most consistent bite. In the ditches and drains, worms on the drop shot, or A Keitech on a swim head or your favorite jig should get the bite. Finesse baits such as the Roboworm Alive Shads are also good choices. On the rocks, jigs are good producers. You can’t go wrong with something in a Crawfish pattern. Crank baits, Rapala DT’s and Spro Rock Crawlers, on the rocks are also still producing, red and crawfish patterns are the favorites.
Dock fishing has remained a very good pattern for most of the last three weeks. There is no reason to think that it will do anything but improve. Docks are a great pre-spawn pattern. They typically get better as the fish move closer to spreading out on the spawning banks. Even then, shallow docks are still a very viable structure and will hold fish all the way through most of May. Worms are really hard to beat for numbers and consistency, and will catch some big fish as well. Jigs may not get quite the numbers but may get the attention of the bigger fish.
With the water dropping back into the low 50’s, target deep water docks in 15 to 30 feet. As I mentioned last week, this is really two separate patterns. Shallow docks in the creek backs really come into to play as water temps move into the mid to upper 50’s. The stained water may enhance the bite so take advantage of that in the next few days!
Crappie fishing is OK. The reason we are giving it an OK rating is because they are scattered. More so than what is normally the case this year. There are some shallow fish in the creek backs and on shallow visible structures. Some fish are on 10 to 15 foot docks. They have also been on the move with the fluctuations in lake levels and surface temps. Jigs and minnows, hair jig, or soft plastic under a float are the ticket for shallow fish. With all of the flooded cover you may find that the fish have been scattered out and it is hard to find groups. Keep moving and cover lots of water, the fish are quick to bite once you find them.
Docks are still producing well, but like the shallow fish, you may need to search awhile before you find them. Keep moving and scan lots of docks until you see the fish, and keep an eye on any of the blown down trees as well, those are also likely to hold fish. Shooting the Bobby Garlands to either structure should fill the cooler once you locate fish!
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack