Lake Lanier Fishing Report December 2016

GON Staff | November 22, 2016

Lanier: Level: 9.8 feet low. Temp: Mid to high 60s. Clarity: Lightly stained in the creeks and clear on the main lake.

Spotted Bass: Tournament angler Ryan Coleman reports, “The water temps are still higher than normal, which has changed the fishing this fall. The lake is still turning over pretty hard right now and looks like it will be for a few more weeks due to the high water temps. Fishing has been all over the place. We are catching a few shallow, a few in mid-depth ranges and some out deep. The early morning bite has been good up shallow for big spotted bass using moving baits for the most part. Our best offering has been a 3/4-oz. Mini-Me spinnerbait with single or dual silver willowleaf blades. I typically use a white blade here on Lanier, but this fall, the fish have preferred a silver blade for some reason. I have been working the spinnerbait around rock points and banks in the mid- to upper-lake area, and this bite usually lasts about two hours. If you have some wind, you can catch them on the spinnerbait all day, but the best bite has been early. During the day, I have been working worms and jigs out deep around timber edges and cuts. This bite is coming on strong as the water temps cool and should be very good in December. We always have a great deep bite during the winter on Lanier when the water levels are down. It’s looking like a great bite for us this year. I have just been using a 3/8-oz. SpotSticker jig tipped with a Yamamoto twin tail in green craw or brown living rubber. When the jig seems too much, just put a green Swamp Crawler on a 3/16-oz. jig head, and work it in the same areas. As the water cools and clears up, look for the jerkbait and crankbait bite to really heat up. I have been catching a few that way this past week, but it’s just not right for that yet. Once the water temps get in the 50s, look for that to be a big player here, as well.”

Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Fish main-lake islands, reef markers and underwater humps from dusk until 11 p.m. The lights the Lake Lanier Association have added to shoal and channel markers makes the Bomber fishing that much easier. Don’t hesitate to throw that lure tight to the bank or right next to the marker. The fish can be in 18 inches of water. There is a morning topwater bite, but it is over by 9 a.m. Think mid-lake between 369 and the two 53 bridges. Look for the stripers to move out over the main lake and creek channels during late mornings and afternoons. You might get into topwater action near dark. Deploying a combination of freelines and downrods is your best bet during the day. Set your freelines back 70 to 100 feet with herring or trout, and pull at 0.5 mile per hour. Try a small split-shot on one of your lines, and vary your trolling speed to locate your baits at various depths. If you are using planer boards, set your baits from 20 to 50 feet behind the boards. Always hang a couple of downrods over the side when you are pulling baits. In addition, put someone on the front deck throwing a Capt. Mack’s bucktail jig. You may pick up an extra fish or two. As always, fish near concentrations of baitfish, and try to match the hatch with at least a few rods having smaller bait, not crappie minnows (yet), but a medium or large shiner might be the ticket as the fish are feeding on threads running on the small side. As previously mentioned, it’s trout time. If you want to go out and have fun, you don’t need to worry about big trout or big gizzards. This is the perfect time of year for fishing artificials. Take off an afternoon from work, head out there, and start cruising around looking for the surface activity. Sebile Magic Swimmers, Spooks and Chug Bugs are working. Once you have a general area located and the sun sets, fish nearby structure with the Bomber. Guide Clay Cunningham reports, “The striper fishing on Lake Lanier is finally falling into the winter patterns after an oddly warm and very smoky November. The bait is thickening up in the creeks, and the stripers are following them. Live bait will be hard to beat in November. The baitfish are now moving into the creeks in very large schools. Some of these schools are absolutely massive. On and off throughout the day the stripers will move through this bait and feast. You want to be waiting on the stripers with the traditional downline with blueback herring and rainbow trout. You will need the same setup for both of these baits, but you will need different size weights and hooks. Spool up a Penn Squall 20 reel with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game clear line paired with a Shakespeare striper rod. You can use this setup year-round for stripers. Tie a Carolina rig on the end with a Capt. Mack’s 2-oz. swivel sinker and a 5-foot leader of 15-lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and a Gamakatsu 3/0 octopus hook. If the trout are smaller, go with the 1/0 or 2/0 Gamakatsu octopus hook. On the herring, use the smaller 1-oz. Capt. Mack’s swivel sinker. Also, on the herring, use a smaller size 1 Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap hook and 12-lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. All of these details are important. These details will make the difference between fishing and catching. If you want to catch these fish on artificials, the spoon is a great choice. Tie on a Capt. Mack’s Super Spoon, and drop the spoon to the bottom, and work it in a yo-yo-type motion. Most of the bites will be on the fall of the spoon. If you do see the fish on the surface, throw a Spro 1/4- or 3/8-oz. white Prime bucktail. Throw the Spro Prime bucktail on 10-lb. Trilene Big Game line. The most common mistake on the bucktail is throwing too heavy of a line. The heavy line is too visible, and it also cuts down on the casting distance. To find where these deep pods are located, first look for any birds. The birds always narrow your search. Now that you are in the right area, the proper electronics are crucial. On the Humminbird Onix, you can see these huge pods of bait and even see your bait swimming around on the hook. During the winter, do not be afraid to fish in the middle of the day. Many times in the winter the best fishing is during the warmest part of the day. A win all the way around.”

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