Lake Lanier Fishing Report – February 2007

GON Staff | January 30, 2007

Lanier: Level: Down 5.2 feet below full pool. Temps: 44-48 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Good, and some impressive catches of magnum spotted bass have been reported. In the December Boating Atlanta tournament, Kevin Dearth and David Witkus weighed in five spotted bass that almost topped 25 pounds. In January, Karl Pingrey and Rob Rice weighed in 21 pounds. “It has been fantastic as usual for big fish,” said guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman. “Fish are holding in creek channels. Look for fish in 35 to 45 feet of water for the first part of the month, but keep an eye out shallow. As February rolls through, these big fish will get very shallow. Once the water makes a turn and starts to warm, big fish will pull up on shallow, rocky points and shallow docks. Look for the shallowest dock in each pocket and start there. A Smithwick Rogue will be your best bet for those shallow fish. Use a jerk-jerk-pause presentation with the big Rogue, and hold on. There will be some fish stay out deep, but look for a lot of the big fish to get on shallow points,” Ryan said.

Largemouths: Tough right now, but it will improve as the month progresses. Tournament angler Billy Boothe said that fishing river and creek channels is your best bet for the early part of the month. “Throw a shad-pattern Mann’s 15 Plus on the ledges in 10 to 15 feet of water using a stop-and-go retrieve. When you get bit, throw out a marker buoy and dissect the area with a Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin finesse worm. On warmer days the bass will move up on the lip of the ledge. On cold days they will be in the channel itself. About the second week of February, I’ll start throwing a crawfish Mann’s Baby 4 Minus and a red Rat-L-Trap on flats with channels adjacent to them midway back in the creeks. For big fish I’ll be flipping docks up the lake in five to 10 feet of water with a 3/8-oz. black-and-blue Mann’s Stone Jig with a twin-tail trailer. Focus less on the presence of brush and more on the floats themselves. The black plastic floats hold twice as much heat as the white foam ones, so I’ll hit as many docks with black floats as I can. If we get any warming trends where the temperature stays mild at night, the fish will move up quick. Look for laydowns on rock and sand banks in the backs of pockets and throw a watermelon seed Senko on a 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head,” Billy said.

Stripers: Good for numbers, said guide Shane Watson. “Umbrella rigs are producing the best numbers lately. Most of the fish are five to 15 pounds, with occasionally a bigger fish,” Shane said. “Downlines with bluebacks and trout are still producing, but expect a lot of spotted-bass bites. Freelines have been kind of slow.” Shane recommends concentrating from the middle to the backs of the creeks. “Look for the seagulls, the birds are a dead giveaway right now. The south end is as good as the north end, right now, and there are a lot less boats.” Shane is expecting a shad kill in the next few weeks, and if there is one, anglers should go farther back in the creeks and pockets and use a jigging spoon or freeline smaller baits.

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