Lake Lanier Fishing Report – December 2010

GON Staff | November 23, 2010

Lanier: Level: 3.1 feet below full pool. Temp: 60 degrees. Clarity: Clear to slight stain.

Spotted Bass: Very good. Ryan Coleman reports, “The fishing is getting very good right now with three or four different patterns working. Fish are starting to move back in the creeks and can be caught in less than 10 feet of water early on Fish Head Spins, worms and spinnerbaits. I am also doing very well around the timber edges in 30 to 45 feet of water once the sun comes out on jigging spoons and worms rigged on Spotsticker jigheads. There are still some very big fish out on the main lake, and they can be caught over brush once the sun is out on Fish Head Spins, jerkbaits and drop shots in 20 to 30 feet of water. Main-lake rocky points are also very good right now on windy days with a white Mini Me spinnerbait or Lucky Craft Pointer in 5 to 10 feet of water. Just keep moving, and you will eventually run into them. Look for the deep bite to pick up as December moves through. It is our best month for the spoon and worm out in the timber edges.” Eric Aldrich reports, “December is one of the best months to catch big spotted bass on Lake Lanier. The spotted bass are feeding on a variety of shad, bluebacks and crawfish as they fatten up for colder days. You can often catch spotted bass shallow in December if the weather is warmer, but they will usually move out to the deeper banks, creek and river channels as the water temperatures drop into the low 50s. My No. 1 producer during December is working a SPRO McStick Jerk Bait for both shallow and deeper fish. If the spotted bass are active, I often just work this lure with a slow- to medium-steady retrieve. Cast it out and reel it back — very simple and effective. A pause-and-jerk retrieve is the most common way to work these lures and is very effective on both active and inactive fish. Vary your retrieves, and let the bass dictate your presentation. I can’t stress how many times I have caught a fish with a jerkbait while I stopped to scratch my nose or take a sip of cola. Sometimes a spot will about jerk the rod out of your hand when you pause these lures. When that happens, you may try to incorporate longer pauses. I cast the McStick on 10- to 12-lb. Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon for two reasons. The first is that fluorocarbon sinks, which allows the baits to get a little deeper, and the second is because this line is so sensitive I can actually feel the fish hit when the lure is paused. I also use a 7-foot, 6-inch Denali Custom Cranking Rod because it has enough give so that the Gamakatsu Hooks can really stick the fish. The second choice is slow moving soft plastics like drop-shot, jig-head and finesse worms or a good old reliable jig ’n pig. Fish these around docks and steep banks or around the ditches and creek channels. I like a Big Bites finesse or Squirrel Tail worm on a Spot Remover jig head. The bites can be light, so stick with 5- to 7-lb. test fluoro for the finesse jig head and drop shot on a spinning outfit or move up to 12- to 17-lb. fluorocarbon on a baitcaster for the jigs. Other lures like spoons, Fish Head Spins, crankbaits or even a buck tails will all work in the right conditions. I have caught bass on a Redfin v-waked on the surface in the middle of winter, so keep an open mind and you may catch a magnum Lake Lanier spotted bass.”

Largemouth Bass:
Good. Billy Boothe reports, “Most of the largemouth are still up shallow and should remain there for the next couple of weeks. I’ve had the best success cranking short, pea-gravel points with a pearl Bandit 200 and a No. 7 black-and-silver Shad Rap. I’m fishing the crankbaits fast and deflecting them off of anything on the bottom. The big-fish bite has been hit or miss lately, and it seems the bigger fish are keying on the larger crawfish that are hanging around the rocks. I’ve been getting a few fish over 4 pounds by pitching a big Mann’s Franken Toad creature bait with the legs dyed orange around any rip-rap or chunk rock. As the month progresses, some of the largemouths will start to move deeper. Look for fish to suspend at the mouths of the deeper pockets and hang around sharp breaks near the river channel. For the deeper fish, work a blue-and-silver Rapala Husky Jerk and a 7/16-oz. green-pumpkin-orange TABU jig.”

Good. Shane Watson reports, “The stripers continue to feed on the surface most days. Yesterday morning (Nov.18) they were on top very well, and this morning in the rain they were up for 3 1/2 hours. Our best producers this week on the surfacing stripers have been the 1/2-oz. white Spro bucktail and a McStick. These fish have ranged in size from 5 to 20 pounds in these schools. It continues to amaze me how many stripers we have seen up on the surface lately. Some days they have stayed a little deeper, and we have done well on downlined bluebacks fished 25 feet deep over a 30- to 40-foot bottom. We are also catching some really nice spotted bass that are mixed in with our stripers.” Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The fish are feeding on trout much better this winter than the last couple of years. Our biggest fish are coming on medium and large trout on freelines under balloons and behind planer boards around schooling fish on the south end of the lake. The gulls have been the dead giveaway. On the north end, the bait has moved into the creeks, and all species are right with them. Most days we will be fishing downlines 30 to 40 feet deep depending on the depth of the fish and bait. You may pick up a striper on one rod, a largemouth on another, a spotted bass on the next one and a walleye on the next one. This pattern is just developing and will be the primary pattern throughout December. This pattern will develop over the next couple weeks on the south end as well. Be sure to take plenty of trout and find the bait.” Mike Maddelena reports, “We have spent most of of our time on the north end of the lake. The fish are in the backs of the creeks from Ada to Wahoo and in the river just past Clarks Bridge. Check out the creeks for bait, and fish the creeks with a highest bait concentrations. Freeline trout and herring while casting a Captain Mack’s 1/2-oz. bucktail jig with a fluke. Vary your freelines from 50 to 100 feet back, and weight the shorter lines with one or two split shots. Planner boards can also be used with baits 20 feet behind the board. Try to keep your boat in 15 to 20 feet of water, and concentrate on sloping points and flats. Always keep a down rod or two over the side, and fish it as close to the bottom as possible. The birds have started to arrive, so keep your eyes open. If you see working birds, use the same freeline and casting setup as mentioned above. Umbrella rigs will work, but with all the leaves on the lake it’s a real hassle trying to keep them clean. The lower end has good numbers of surfacing fish early and late. The majority of the fish will continue to migrate up lake and to Flat Creek as we move into December. The same methods will continue to work, with U-rigs getting better and better. It’s getting to be bait-and-birds time. Find the “double B,” and start catching!”

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