Lake Lanier Fishing Report – December 2009

GON Staff | November 25, 2009

Lanier: Level: 0.8 feet above full pool. Temp: 58 degrees. Clarity: Clearing.

Spotted Bass: “Improving,” guide Ryan Coleman reports. “Fish are starting to move up shallow and around the boat docks in pockets. I have been doing very well fishing a jig or Creepy Crawler around the docks in 10 to 25 feet of water during sunny days. You need to take your time right now and don’t move too fast. Work the docks with the jig. I am using a 1/4-oz. jig in brown or green. There has also been a very good spinnerbait and jerkbait bite on the main lake. The bite has been more of a morning bite but will continue to work if you have some wind out there on the main lake. Once it gets calm, move to fishing the bottom baits. Look for the fish to get out deep in the creek channels in a few weeks. I have already found some big schools of smaller fish that have moved out there in 35 to 45 feet of water. The fish will hold on the timber edges now that the lake is full. This is when the jigging spoon and Spotsticker rig will come into play. Also work a Fish Head Spin early in the backs of creeks as the water temps start to get toward 50 degrees.”

Largemouths: Decent. Guide Billy Boothe said the fish are still scattered shallow, and they have not yet started the move into their winter pattern. For numbers, he has been doing pretty well fishing a chartreuse/white Bandit 200 on secondary points and in ditches way back in the creeks. For his kicker fish, he has been waking a big, chartreuse/white spinnerbait with a single Colorado blade over isolated laydowns and docks. As temperatures fall into the low 50s, the fish will move deeper onto channel-swing banks and deeper main-river points in 10- to 15-foot depths. That’s when your jig will come into play. Billy likes a 7/16-oz. green-pumpkin/green Tabu jig with a green-pumpkin twin-tail grub. Fish it where the bottom composition transitions from chunk rock to pea gravel or red clay to sand. Billy said the shallow bite should be better this winter than in winters past because of all the shallow flooded timber.

Stripers: Very good. Guide Shane Watson reports, “We just finished filming a striper fishing show on Lake Lanier with Roland Martin. The stripers were on top very well, and we caught fish on Spro Dawgs, Sebiles and on Spro Bucktails. With the cloud cover, the stripers were busting on top yesterday during the filming from daylight till dark. There were slack times, and we had to keep moving around, but they were fairly easy to find, and they were coming up frequently. They were busting in slick water out of the wind. They were staying up for long periods of time, and the boat traffic was low. The Roland Martin fishing show is seen on The Versus Channel, and this striper-fishing episode will air in the spring. Overall, the striper fishing has been good since my last report. Keep moving until you find active fish. Put out some freelined bluebacks, and cast the lures mentioned above to the busting stripers.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The striper fishing has been hit or miss, with some days being very good and other days you’re having to work hard to get them in the boat. The rapid rise in lake levels and the lake turnover are the primary causes of this hit-or-miss fishing. The birds, both loons and gulls, are starting to show up, and they are a big help in finding the bait schools. There is still quite a bit of deep bait out in the main portion of the lake, with the annual migration to the creeks just beginning. Thoroughly check out the areas where the loons are working. The fish can come up at any time during the day, with the most surface activity in the mornings and evenings. The surfacing fish are keying on small baits, so throw something small. The fish are really scattered at the moment, and you can find them anywhere from Shoal Creek to above Clarks Bridge, though the area around Browns Bridge is the strongest. As we move into December, the bait should start moving into the creeks. Look on points halfway back in the creeks, using a combination of freelines, planer boards and downrods. When pulling flatlines or planers, put the bait 60 to 100 feet back, and be sure to put a split shot or two on one or two of your lines. Typically, trout are the best baits to use in December. Be sure to get your trout in a variety of sizes, though for the most part the smaller ones are working best. If there are a lot of birds in a general area, pulling U-rigs is a sure bet.”

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