Lake Lanier Fishing Report – April 2007

GON Staff | March 26, 2007

Lanier: Level: Down 2.6 feet below full pool. Temps: 58-63 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: “Unreal! Fishing has been off the hook,” is how tournament pro and guide Ryan Coleman describes Lanier’s spotted-bass bite. “The big spots are coming up from the timber and are headed to the banks. Look for a huge spawn early this month. As the month goes along, largemouth and spotted bass will fill the heated pockets in 4 to 10 feet of water. The water temps are there, the weather is there and the fish are on the way. We have been seeing some huge catches of spotted bass on prespawn areas. Points, brush and docks are producing the best. Look for large numbers of fish to flood the boat docks close to the spawning pockets. Pitch a worm or lizard around these docks, and be ready. You will not know if it is a 10-incher or a 10-pounder.” If there’s no wind, Ryan recommends worms or jigs, but on windy days get aggressive with a jerkbait or spinnerbait. “Concentrate on water depths of 3 to 15 feet. We should also have a good topwater bite by the middle of the month. Work Zara Spooks or Pop-Rs in spawning pockets early and late in the day. Big females that are moving in or out will eat up a topwater bait during April on Lanier,” Ryan said.

Largemouths: Good, with most of the largemouths staging on shallow docks and ditches in the backs of pockets gearing up for the spawn. “By the time GON hits the newsstands, the first wave of spawners should be hard on the bed,” said tournament angler Billy Boothe. “Look for shallow pockets in the creeks that have a mixture of pea gravel and sand in the backs of the pockets,” he said, recommending a white Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver or a pearl Trick Worm. “If sight fishing isn’t your style, there are loads of fish staging on the shallow docks. I’m running a pearl Manns 1 Minus by the floats, and the fish are darting out and crushing it. Most of these fish are running about 2 pounds. If you’re after a big fish, throw a 7-inch Senko or a 1/2-oz. green-pumpkin Manns Stone Jig around the newly flooded grass and brush in the creeks. As the month progresses and the fish pull off the beds, it will be time to cover water and be aggressive. I’ll be fishing the ditches and docks leading out of the spawning pockets with a shad-pattern Manns 4 Minus and a white War Eagle spinnerbait looking for a reaction bite,” Billy said. Toward the end of April, Billy said to fish the bare flats in 4 to 8 feet of water midway back in the creeks. “A lot of times the big females that are beat up from the spawn will pull out on the flats and suspend to recuperate from the spawn. Throw a chartreuse/white Bandit 200 Series using a stop-and-go retrieve or a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm rigged on a 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head,” Billy said.

Very good, and stripers are being caught both up the rivers and down the lake. On the south end, a nighttime Long A Bomber bite has been excellent, with stripers busting the big plug on long points, around islands and over shallow points. There are also a lot of fish up north above Browns Bridge — up to Yellow Creek in the Chestatee River and all the way up the Chattahoochee River to Lula — and the best bite has been early on flatlines.

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