Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 2015

GON Staff | November 24, 2015

Lanier: Level: 0.5 feet above full pool. Temp.: Around 60 degrees. Clarity: The main lake is pretty clear, but the back portions are pretty stained. It lightens up the farther toward the creek mouths you get.

Bass: Tournament angler Ryan Coleman reports, “Fish are starting to show up in some of the numerous ditches in 40 to 60 feet of water on the lower end and will eat a jig pretty good. I have been catching a few on a worm, as well, but the jig has been our best bet. Best SpotSticker jig colors have been green craw, green pumpkin craw or Georgia craw. We have been putting a green pumpkin or a cinnamon pepper 5-inch Yamamoto twin tail on the back. That bite is pretty good right now. Fish this rig on 12-lb. fluorocarbon, and even dip the tails of the trailer if you’re not getting bites. It may help. We have also been getting some big fish on the SpotSticker ghost herring jerkbait (Custom Painted Jerkbait). Early, we have been working a Mini Me spinnerbait with white willowleaf blades up shallow. This has been producing some big pigs, as well. The wind helps both of these bites, but the first hour of the day is the best for the spinnerbait. Even with no wind, there are some big fish up shallow. As we roll into December, look for the spoon bite to get very strong, along with the deep timber bite. It is pretty much our staple here on Lanier for this time of year. The water level being so high will slow the deep bite but not completely kill it. You can still do very well when you find the right area.”

Stripers: Good. Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “The fish are moving into the creeks, and shallow water techniques have replaced the deep water downrod fishing. Target creeks by setting up a spread of baits using freelines and planer boards. Set your freelines 50 to 100 feet behind the boat. Deploy planer boards on each side of the boat with 30 to 50 feet of line behind the boards. Use both weighted and unweighted lines to cover the water column. You can also deploy multiple planer boards to cover a wider presentation. In addition, hang a couple of downrods over the side, and adjust the depth based on the bottom and the trees. Vary your trolling motor speed from 0.3 to 0.8 mph, and target points and flats. In addition, someone should be on the deck casting a 1/2-oz. bucktail jig. Blueback herring, trout, gizzard shad and threadfin shad will all work, with herring being the most popular. Watch for surfacing fish and seagulls. Seagulls can be an excellent tool in locating feeding stripers. As the day progresses, focus on points with deep water drop-offs and creek channel ledges. If you see suspended fish, do not hesitate to deploy downlines and fish vertically. Targeting points with an umbrella rig is a good option, and the umbrella rig can also be an effective fish locating tool. The key as always is to fish the creeks with the highest concentration of baitfish. Flat Creek, Six Mile Creek, Shoal Creek and Flowery Branch are good places to start.” Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “Winter is on its way, and the stripers know it. They are gorging on threadfin shad all over the lake. There are some big schools of fish in the bays and creeks on the south end and some big fish cruising the bays on the north end. Several patterns are working on Lake Lanier right now, and these patterns should hold all the way to the end of the year. Freelines with large trout are catching the big fish. The freeline for stripers is very simple. First you take a 4/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook and tie it to a 5-foot section of 15-lb. Trilene 100 percent flourocarbon and then tie an 80-lb. Spro Power Swivel to the other end of the piece of leader. The Spro swivel is important to prevent line twist. Then tie the other end of the swivel to the main line going to your Ugly Stick live-bait rod. Then you hook the trout and let him back 100 feet behind the boat, and slowly troll at 0.6 to 1 mph on the trolling motor. This will catch the biggest fish in the next few weeks. For numbers of fish, go to the downline with herring or small trout. The downline is basically a Carolina rig with a 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook at the end. Find the deep bait on your electronics, and drop the bait down to the top of the baitfish, and wait for the rod tip to hit the water. Electronics like the Humminbird Onix Series have gotten so good that you can see your bait swimming around on the hook and the fish come eat it. That being said, sometimes you have to persuade the fish to eat with light line and change your bait frequently. If you are having a hard time getting them to eat, be sure to change your bait very often. Not changing your bait is the most common problem for those not getting bites. Overall, December is a great month to be on Lake Lanier. The fish are feeding and putting on fat reserves. It surprises many the number of people on the lake in December during the Holidays. The day after Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year for guides, as people are off work and creating memories with friends and family.”

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