Lake Lanier Fishing Report – February 2009

GON Staff | January 27, 2009

Lanier: Level: 14.5 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 40s. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good. Ryan Coleman reports: “With the water coming up, the fish have come with it. I have been doing very well up shallow the past week on sunny rock banks in 8 to 15 feet of water. Big spotted bass are roaming the shoreline looking for food and warmth. A jerkbait or small crankbait worked around these rocky banks will work at times, but the slow-moving jigs and worms will be your best bet. A brown 1/4- or 3/8-oz. living-rubber jig with twin-tail trailer is killer right now. Look for the jerkbait bite on big largemouths to come into play by the end of the month. It’s the best time of the year for the big largemouths on Lanier.” Billy Boothe reports: “The largemouth bite is still pretty slow but will improve later in the month. I’m having the best success right now on a 5/16-oz. peanut butter and jelly TABU jig and a crawdad No. 5 Shad Rap. I’m fishing chunk-rock banks where drains and ditches swing into the bank in 6 to 10 feet of water. Once the water temps move above 53 there will be a great bite for numbers of fish throwing a gold-and-black Yo-Zuri Rattlin Vibe on secondary points and at the mouth of pockets. If we get a couple of days in a row of high sunshine and mild temps, the big females will pull up. Look for docks with black floats on the northwest side of the lake in pockets and coves. The two best baits for these fish are a green-pumpkin Mann’s Freefall Worm and a ghost-minnow Pointer 100 jerkbait. Let the worm fall on a slack line all the way to the bottom, and fish the jerkbait extremely slow, allowing the bait to suspend motionless under each float.”

Good. Guide Shane Watson reports: “They have been rolling on top most mornings, and our guide boats have caught many stripers from 8 to 25 pounds this week on white lead-head flukes, freelined bluebacks and on freelined trout. Look for the birds diving and the fish rolling on the surface. If you can’t find any rolling fish, pull freelines and cast a lead-head fluke or a white bucktail with a fluke trailer to as many banks and docks as possible in the middle to the rear of the creeks. The south end and the north end of the lake have been equal as of late. There are stripers in Flat, Balus, 6 Mile, 4 Mile, Bald Ridge, Wahoo, Little River and in Gainesville Creek.” Guide Clay Cunningham reports: “If a big fish is what you seek, late February into March is one of the best times of the year to catch a trophy striper on Lanier. Big gizzard shad from 10 to 14 inches will be the ticket. No gizzard is too big. Large trout are also a good choice. Pull the big baits on freelines under balloons and behind planer boards across shallow points up in the creeks. If the bait is there, the fish will be there. The bites will be few and far between if you are using the right size bait, but the bites you get will be well worth it.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports: “Winter fishing will be hit or miss, depending on recent weather systems. Continue to search for the bait schools and the birds, as the fish will not be far. You need to be looking in the creeks from halfway in on toward the back. Downrods at 18 to 22 feet have been best, with flatlines 70 to 100 feet back being a close second. Add a slight amount of weight to your flatlines. Small baits — medium and large minnows, as well as threadfin shad — are your best bets. Scale down your tackle to a 12-lb. leader with No. 4 hooks for these small baits. Gizzard shad and medium trout pulled on planer boards and freelines in less than 10 feet of water early and late in the day give you a shot at good fish. Casting a plain 1/2-oz. bucktail is starting to catch fish, as are jigging spoons. Pulling U-rigs while graphing will get you some additional bites. The main areas to look continue to be the backs of any creek, lake wide, and the river channel from Gainesville Creek up to Laurel Park.”

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