Lake Lanier Fishing Report November 1 2019
Remember all those above average temps we had in October, I think we are getting some payback at this writing. Thursday evening saw a pretty strong front pass through the Southeast bringing a nice rain dump, wind, and a big drop in temperature. High temps were 75 degrees at 1 pm, down to 51 by 5 pm. I am sure this drastic change will effect ﬁshing into the weekend, but the cooling water will help us move past the turnover and in the long term should create some more consistency in the patterns. Water temps will surely drop from this weeks readings of high 60’s to 70 degrees, while the lake level has moved the other way rising to 1067.23, 3.77 feet below full pool. That is .51 feet higher than at this time last week. Also, don’t forget to set the clock back this weekend, the time change occurs this Sunday, Nov. 3rd.
This is the time of year where the big fronts start rolling in fairly regularly, and ﬁshing is often very different after the front as opposed to before the front. We have been witnessing this in the last few weeks. So in the days after the front, the bite may be a little more ﬁnicky. I really do not expect a huge shift in patterns, and we will probably start seeing the Gulls arrive with each of these arriving fronts. We have ﬁsh being caught all over the lake still, and the bite up into either river arm has been good. The live bait bite is good, on down lines, free lines and planers, so be prepared to use all of them based on the situation. If you are in the upper part of the lake down lining baits over main lake points or points adjacent to the river channel or creek channels has been a solid pattern.
Look for ﬁsh over a 20 to 35 foot bottom. As you approach the points watch the sonar for groups of ﬁsh out over the channel as that is occurring as well. The same pattern has some application on the lower end, with the ﬁsh being a little deeper on average. The schooling ﬁsh patterns are still consistently showing up, although the whereabouts and timing of the schoolers is big variable. Make it a habit to constantly scan the lake while you are ﬁshing or moving from one place to another. Once you see ﬁsh, if you can get a bait to them they have been quick to take Bucktails, Steel shads, Flukes on a leadhead, Mini Mack’s and Sebile Magic Swimmers. The after dark bite has been good, and I am guessing it will improve with cooling water temps.
Two techniques here: either casting to points and humps on or near the main lake, or casting to dock lights. Both are viable patterns so it is an anglers choice. As a general rule I think the bait selection is very different on these two techniques. Bigger baits on the points and saddles, (Bomber Long a’s, McStiks, Big Rapalas) smaller, lighter baits on the lights(small Super Jigs are always good, Jerk baits, Fluke/Leadhead, a Keitech/lead head, or pitching live Herring). You will also probably ﬁnd a mixed bag on the lights, Bass, Stripers, White Bass, Channel Cats, the occasional Flathead, and Crappie are prone to be on the lights. On the points and saddles you’ll ﬁnd mostly Stripers with a few Spotted Bass.
Bass ﬁshing has been pretty good, with the patterns unchanged this week, at least until now. Expect the ﬁsh to be a little deeper, tighter to structure, and less prone to respond to moving baits as opposed to worms and jigs. That trend should relax as soon as the weather moderates going into next week. The drop shot bite has been very good, and expect that to continue to be strong with the post front blue bird skies and high pressure. Finesse worms and Roboworm Alive Shads ﬁshed on the drop shot and a Shakey head have been consistent. The humps have been holding ﬁsh very well, look for the high spots that top out from 10 to 30 feet, brush is a plus, but not a necessity. Points with a long taper will also be holding good numbers of ﬁsh.
The Spotted Bass are also responding well to topwaters and swim baits, and casting your favorite over one of the above mentioned humps has been producing some nice ﬁsh. This pattern is better if the wind is blowing, and more productive on those pre frontal days I mentioned earlier. If the ﬁsh will not feed up to the top, try a spy bait or a Steelshad. The Mini Mack has largely been labeled a Striper bait, but no one told the Spots that. I had some pretty good success casting the minis to the tops of the humps and then using a steady retrieve with an occasional pause. Mixing it up with a topwater and the Mini is a good approach, then follow up with the subsurface baits or a worm to get that ﬁnicky ﬁsh to respond.
The Shallow pattern that I mentioned last week are still very viable, and after the weather stabilizes they may improve. Spinnerbaits and jerk baits on shallow main lake structures can be very strong, and as always wind helps this bite a great deal. You may also want to try these baits in the creek backs, cast at any shallow structure or ﬁsh around bait concentrations, high saturation is generally the key to making this pattern work. Don’r forget about ﬁshing the docks! This can be very strong at this time of year in terms of numbers and consistently. Now ﬁshing docks sound easy, we only have about 7500, so they are not hard to ﬁnd but the key is to get a pattern established and then you can do some damage.
This bite also is heavily inﬂuenced by weather, but you can almost always catch a nice bag of ﬁsh off the docks in November. Worms on a shaky are always a favorite, and skipping a jig can also be very good and may yield some bigger ﬁsh. This pattern works all over the lake, and because there are so many docks you can almost always ﬁnd docks that are out of the winds if they become strong enough to force you to ﬁnd a sheltered area.
Good Fishing! Capt. Mack