Lake Lanier Fishing Report – February 2008
Lanier: Level: 19.6 feet below full pool. Temp: 46 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Excellent, according to guide Ryan Coleman. “The cool weather has grouped up the fish. My spoon bite has been fantastic this week, and the jig-and-worm bite has been good as well,” Ryan said. “There are some very big schools of fish near the backs of the south-end creeks. Some of these schools have hundreds of fish in them.” Ryan recommends a silver 1/4-oz. Hopkins Shorty spoon. “The fish are feeding on very small threadfin shad, and that spoon fits the bill perfectly. Look for the fish on your electronics in 30 to 40 feet of water just outside of the timber. The fish are using the timber to move in and out to ambush the prey,” Ryan said.
Largemouths: On the south end of the lake, Ryan said later in February to look for some big largemouths to start to shallow up. “A big jerkbait or slow-moving crankbait will be your bait of choice. Shad-colored Pointer 100s and Rogues seem to be the best jerkbaits. Just be slow. These big fish do not want anything fast,” Ryan said. On the north end, tournament angler Billy Boothe said the largemouth fishing is currently slow, but he expects it to improve later in the month. “For the first part of the month, target points and steep rock banks with a 1/2-oz. green-pumpkin TABU jig or a Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm rigged on 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head. The best retrieve will be slow dragging with plenty of pauses. As we get into the prespawn phase and the largemouths start to move up, the points and steep rock banks will be their first stop. When you get bit, fish the area hard. The fish will be bunched up, and you should be able to catch multiple fish. As the month progresses, start fishing secondary points back in the creeks or at the mouths of pockets. This will be a great time to fish small crankbaits such as a crawfish Bandit 200 or a gold-and-black No. 5 Shad Rap. If we get any mild weather, the fish will move shallow in a hurry,” Billy said. On a warm spell, he recommends fishing a white 1/2-oz. Nichols spinnerbait or a chrome-and-blue Yo-Zuri Rattlin Vibe. Fish them shallow on flats or dead in the backs of deep v-shaped pockets that have a mixture of sand and rock. “For big fish, get out the flippin’ stick and target any cover that has at least 5 feet of water on it. Make multiple pitches with a green-pumpkin Senko or a 1/2-oz. black-and-blue TABU jig. You won’t get many bites, but the ones you get will be quality fish,” Billy said.
Stripers: Good. Guide Greg Robinson said your first choice is to decide if you want to fish north or south. For the north end of the lake, he recommends downlining medium trout over a 40- to 70-foot bottom. Drop the trout to the bottom, then pull it up three cranks. “If you are marking suspended fish in the 20- to 30-foot range, fish the heavy umbrella rig 50 to 100 feet behind the boat,” Greg said. “The bulk of these fish will be from Gainesville bridge north to Holly Park, I have heard of some fish being caught in Little River also. On the south end of the lake, fish the backs of the creeks with blueback herring on flat lines and planer boards. Umbrella rigs will work from late morning on into the afternoon, but you have to be on the fish. There are some large schools working on the lake right now. Keep looking until you find them, and you will increase your numbers,” Greg said.
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