Lake Lanier Fishing Report – January 2008
Lanier: Level: 18.9 feet below full pool. Temp: 60 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Boating advisory: With the lake level still falling, boat-ramp access is all but gone. On Dec. 21 with a lake level 1050.9, 20.1 feet below full pool, there were only two public ramps still open, and both of those were already at levels below the corps’ minimum operational levels. The ramps at Shoal Creek and Tidwell were open on a day-to-day basis, and the corps was standing by ready to close them once they were no longer safe to use. See page 110 for info on efforts being made by local businesses, guides and anglers to fund the extension of some boat ramps on Lanier.
Spotted Bass: Good, with spots being caught unusually shallow, and it’s been particularly good for big spotted bass. “There are a lot of big fish right up on the bank,” said guide Ryan Coleman. “I am doing pretty well on jerkbaits, worms and jigs up very shallow, less than 5 feet deep,” Ryan said. “There are also some fish starting to move out and getting on the deep timber. I am not finding fish in the normal areas, you have to keep looking. As January goes along and the water cools, the fish should start to stack up deep. With the timber being very close to the water line, the fish will suspend in the trees. A jerkbait or big swimbait worked over the trees will draw these fish up out of the trees. Don’t worry about the bottom depth, just concentrate on the tops of the trees. Do not look for a normal spotted bass bite on Lanier this winter. It will be very different as we have already seen.” For more on how Ryan expects to catch Lanier bass this winter, see the Map-of-the-Month article on page 34 which includes specific locations.
Stripers: Excellent. “The fishing is incredible right now,” said guide Greg Robinson. He’s been concentrating on a consistent bite on the north end of the lake in the Gainesville area. “We’re catching them on both flatlines and downlines right now,” Greg said. “On the downlines, look for a 40-foot bottom and fish a medium-sized trout about two or three cranks of the reel off the bottom,” Greg said. There are fish up and down in the water column, and all of the bites have been outstanding. Trolling with heavy umbrella rigs 50 feet behind the boat has been excellent for numbers. Also, very small bucktails are producing when you see a fish roll on top. “Some big fish are in there,” Greg said. “A lot of 20s are being caught.” Greg has his boat in a slip near Browns Bridge, so he won’t have a problem with access as ramps close.
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