Lake Lanier Fishing Report February 2014
Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: Mid 40s. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Slow. Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman reports, “The high water levels and the cooling surface temperatures are slowing down the spotted bass bite. Water levels are dipping down toward the 45 mark now, which is kind of like the ‘dead zone’ here on Lanier. We can catch fish pretty consistently in the upper 40s, but once it gets in the mid to lower 40s, it’s very inconsistent. I have been catching a few fish early on Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spins in the backs of creeks and ditches from 10 to 25 feet of water, and they are good ones, but they are just not schooled up. There are a few back there, and when one eats your bait, you are going to like the result, but don’t expect to pound on them for long. During the day, a jigging spoon or finesse-type worm rigged on a Spotsticker jig head has been most effective, but slow your pace. Take more time than normal, and fish a little deeper. Most of my fish are coming from the 40-foot range right now, and the fish are starting to associate to the timber. Feel each limb, and pay attention to your bait when its falling. Most of the bites are very soft and timid. As we move into February and start to get some warm, sunny days, some fish should move up in the pockets and position themselves around the boat docks. Use a Megabass 110 jerkbait around the docks. Once again, slow being the key here.”
Stripers: Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “Striper fishing is fair with both an early morning and a late-afternoon bite. The problem is the freezing temperatures makes fishing very uncomfortable. Keep in mind that fish are cold blooded and will seek out the warmest water. They will also slow down and in general are in no mood to chase fast-moving baits. Slow down your presentation, downsize your baits and fish areas with the greatest concentration of bait. It’s a good practice to keep someone on the deck casting a 3/8- to 1/2-oz. bucktail jig with a small fluke trailer all day when you are pulling baits. You can also rig a Super Fluke on a hook and cast it to feeding fish. If there are birds searching an area, put out a spread of bait, and search the area with the birds. Vary the distance from your boards and freelines from 25 to 125 feet behind the board/boat. Hang a couple of downrods over the side just above the bait. Both trout and herring will work, but don’t overlook downsizing your baits with some medium shiners. Focus on the sunny sides of the creeks in the late morning and afternoons, as they will warm and attract the bait to shallow flats. Weight your lines with two to three split shots, and adjust your downrod depth to the bait. The umbrella rig should work with a lighter setup and shallower presentation. The back of Flat Creek and Four Mile Creek are always good places to start when the water cools to the low 40s. Things should remain the same through February. If it remains very cold, we will most likely have a threadfin die-off, which can make fishing tough—downsizing those bait will be even more important.”
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