Lake Lanier Fishing Report April 2011

GON Staff | March 30, 2011

Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: 59 degrees. Clarity: Light stain in the creeks; Clear on the main lake.

Spotted Bass: Fair. Ryan Coleman reports, “Surprisingly, the spotted bass fishing is not on fire yet on Lanier. The cooler temperatures and abundance of rain has kept the fish back just a little later than normal here. There are some big fish up shallow and even a few on the beds, but the big waves of fish have not moved up yet. I look for April to be a fantastic month for us here with lots of big and smaller fish up shallow at the same time. Right now, jerkbaits such as the Lucky Craft Pointer and Megabass Vision 110 have been working very well as well as a white spinnerbait worked on secondary and main creek points. I have also had clients who have done well the past few weeks swimming a white jig around very shallow docks for some of the big largemouths that are up shallow looking to spawn. Every pocket right now has clouds of small herring looking for warmer water, so the fish are very fat and a little harder to trick with an artificial lure. Try a hollow-belly swimbait fished slowly through shallow grass as well as a Zoom Fluke rigged on a Scrounger head. Both these baits will work when fish are up shallow and feeding on small herring. As the month goes on, look for big waves of spawning fish in and out of the pockets. As these fish are moving up, a swimbait is a very good weapon for big fish about to spawn. As the fish move out in late April, a worm rigged on a Spotsticker jig head or a topwater bait fished on secondary points should be the trick.”

Largemouth Bass:
Good. Billy Boothe reports, “The water temperature is starting to get right, and the largemouths are pulling up shallow. Most of the fish are prespawn, but we do have a few fish spawning already. One of the best baits working right now is a weightless bright-pink Mann’s Wonder Worm worked fast back in the pockets. I’m getting some good fish on it and some that just flash at it. The fish that flash at it tell me there is a bed there or that the fish will be bedding in that pocket soon. Another pattern for numbers with a few big fish mixed in is skipping docks. Look for docks in the back third of the pockets that have a ditch near them. For numbers, skip a Mann’s baby bass finesse worm under the floats and walkways on a light jig head. For big fish, a soft swimbait is your best option. I like to work a chartreuse-shad Mann’s Hardnose Swim Shad under the floats at several different angles. You won’t get many bites on the swimbait, but the ones you get will be grown. When the moon gets full around April 19, expect a big wave of spawners. Look for beds in 1 to 4 feet of water in shallow sandy pockets and around stumps. Once you find a bed, try to stay off it and make long pitches with pearl-silver Mann’s Hardnose tube. If you have a really spooky fish, back off and dead stick a watermelon Mann’s Hardnose Freefall worm in the middle of the bed using 10-lb. Spiderwire fluorocarbon. If the water is too stained to see, slow crawl a 7/16-oz. black-and-blue TABU jig around any cover or slow roll a white-and-gold War Eagle spinnerbait.”

Very good. Shane Watson reports two 40-pounders, a 35-pounder and a 30-pounder on his boats recently. The 40-pounder was caught March 19 on a freelined blueback fished 30 feet behind the boat in clear water. Shane said, “The bigger stripers are up shallow, and freelined bluebacks, white bucktails and Spro McSticks are all working. There are a few stripers in the backs of all the stained creeks, and we are seeing surfacing fish out over deep water most mornings. These surfacing stripers have been in the middle to the mouths of creeks. North and south have been about the same on the stripers.”

Very good. Shane reports, “The crappie fishing is really good right now back in stained creeks.” The fish are spawning and can be caught shallow on minnows or jigs.

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