Lake Lanier Fishing Report – January 2010
Lanier: Level: 0.5 feet above full pool. Temp: High 40s to low 50s. Clarity: Clear on the main lake; stained in the backs of the creeks.
Largemouths: Fair. Billy Boothe reports, “The largemouth bite is pretty slow. The big fish bite is there, but the numbers aren’t. There are only two baits you need for January, a jig and a crankbait. For big fish, flip a 5/16-oz. green-pumpkin TABU jig with a black chunk around deeper brushed-up docks. Look for docks in 10 to 15 feet of water that have a major depth change near them. On windy days, there is a decent bite on rocky, main-river points on a grey-ghost Mann’s 15-plus in the 5- to 10-foot range. If we have a couple of mild, sunny days in a row, fish rocky pockets on the northwest side of the lake with a black-and-gold No. 5 Shad Rap.”
Spotted bass: Good. Ryan Coleman reports, “There are fish in the backs of all the creeks around the shallow structure. They are holding in 5 to 15 feet of water around the grass and the backs of the docks when the sun is out. I have been doing well in the mornings on a Fish Head Spin or jerkbait around the grass coming up from the old shore line and shallow wood cover. There are also some good fish out deep. I am finding good schools of fish in 40 to 55 feet of water on the old timber edges. I am casting 3/8-oz., brown jigs and finesse worms rigged on a 3/16-oz. Spotsticker jig heads on this deep timber to catch some nice fish. Once you find these areas and catch a fish, stay put. You may not see them on your electronics, but they are there. The fish tend to get very tight to the structure once they go that deep. Look for more of the shallow fish to move out deep as we move into January, but if we get some good sunny days in January, look out. Things could be great up shallow.”
Stripers: Good. Shane Watson reports, “Before the passing of a cold front, look for the stripers on the surface in the middle to the backs of most creeks. Cast lead-head flukes, 3/8-oz. bucktails or small jerkbaits to rolling fish. Freelined bluebacks and trout are also working well on these fish. After a front comes through, or if the fish are not on top, downlined bluebacks, downlined trout and Capt. Mack’s four-arm U-rigs are working best. I’ve had boats out on guide trips in the creeks down south, the popular mid-lake winter creeks and farther on up north above Gainesville. The farther north you go, you will find fish in the creeks as mentioned above, and you will also find fish in the pockets just off the main lake. Keep moving until you find some active fish, either on the surface or on your graph. Also, look for active seagulls and loons, as the stripers will be in the area.” Mike Maddalena reports, “Striper fishing remains good; however, high winds, colds fronts and rain have made for some interesting challenges. One day the fish and bait are in the backs of the creeks; the next day they are in the mouths of the creeks over a 50- to 70-foot bottom. Trout, herring and shiners on flatlines, downrods at 25 to 50 feet, U-rigs and casting bucktails are all working but not consistently. As the water temperature continues to drop into the mid 40s and colder, the stripers will be rolling on small threadfin shad. Do not hesitate to downsize your bait, jigs and spoons. Tiny 2- or 3-inch trout or small/medium shiners will be your best live-bait choices. Planers, flatlines and downrods are all viable methods; be sure to put a split-shot on some of your planers and flatlines. The floating downrod (place a float on a release 10 feet or so above your downrod swivel) is also a good choice. U-rigs and casting small bucktails will also continue to work. On the northern portion of the Chattahoochee, the river channel from the Highway 53 bridge to Clarks Bridge is traditionally a place to look, as well. Remember birds and bait.”
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