Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 2011

GON Staff | January 3, 2011

Lanier: Level: 2.1 feet below full pool. Temp: 49-52 degrees. Clarity: Clear to slight stain.

Spotted Bass: Good. Ryan Coleman reports, “Most of the fish are out in 30 to 50 feet of water in the creek channels. There are some good schools out there using the timber in the channels right now. Many of the big fish are still up shallow and can be caught early in the backs of creeks on Fish Head Spins, Chatterbaits, jigs and even spinnerbaits. As the day goes along, they are moving out over structure in 30 feet of water. There is a lot of bait in the mouths of the creeks right now, and as the water stabilizes, they will move back in the creeks and the fish will follow. As January rolls along, look for sunny pockets with no wind, and fish will begin to suspend in these pockets to soak up the sun. A very slow-moving, suspending jerkbait can be very good during this time of the year. The most important thing is to be very patient, and to slow your presentation. Also, keep a white or silver jigging spoon rigged from now until late February. On your electronics, you may see big schools of spots in the creek channels.”

Fair. Billy Boothe said they are starting to bunch up near the creek channels and ditches and can be caught on Carolina rigs and jigs. “The crankbait bite has been off since the fish are holding tight to the bottom and are lethargic,” Billy said. “I’m getting numbers Carolina rigging a green-pumpkin Mann’s Hardnose Wonder Worm, but my better fish are coming on a peanut-butter-and-jelly TABU jig fished slowly down the drops. The best depth seems to be around 12 feet where chunk rock transitions to pea gravel. There are still some fish up shallow that are pulling tight to wood cover on sunny days. I’m targeting the laydown fish with a black-and-blue Mann’s Flipping Craw with a light sinker. Make multiple pitches, and try to hit as many different angles as you can. If we get a couple of mild days in a row, look for a big-fish bite around the mouths of pockets and main-river flats. Slow-roll a 3/8-oz. chartreuse-shad Revenge spinnerbait or a black-and-gold Yo-Zuri Rattlin Vibe.”

Good. Shane Watson reports, “Look for the seagulls and loons diving, and cast 1/2-oz. white Spro bucktails to the rolling stripers. Freelined trout and bluebacks are also working well when the fish are up shallow. Watch your electronics, as we’ve also done well on downlined trout and spoons when the fish have been deeper and bunched up on the screen. Capt. Mack’s 4-arm, shad-body U-rigs fished 80 feet out at 3 mph are also working well. If you can see them on the graph, they will bite the U-rig almost every time in the winter. The north end and south end have been about equal the past couple of weeks, but we’ve also caught fish in the usual wintertime mid-lake creeks. There are stripers in Sardis, Ada, Gainesville, Wahoo, Little River, Flat, Balus, 6 Mile, 4 Mile, Bald Ridge and Shoal creeks.” Mike Maddalena reports, “Some good numbers are being caught; however, with the weather changes, the fishing can be unpredictable. The fish are scattered lake wide, and the birds are a big help in locating feeding fish. When you find rolling fish, approach slowly with a couple of freelines 50 feet back, one or two downrods at 20 feet and cast a Captain Mack’s 1/2-oz. bucktail jig with a fluke trailer the entire time. Trout, herring and gizzard shad will all work most of the time, but taking some small shiners or better yet netting some threadfin shad is always a good idea as the stripers can get locked in on small baits this time of year. If you find birds sitting or on a search pattern with bait nearby, look for suspended stripers in deeper water. You can search the area by graphing the area with your Lowrance, pulling baits or umbrella rigs. The fish are currently holding toward the mouths of creeks on the lower end and mid creek on the upper end. Success this time of the year depends on flexibility, so don’t spend a lot of time in any one area, keep your eyes on the water and use different techniques as the conditions change. If the cold weather continues, expect the fish to continue migrating to the main lake, where the temps are more stable. With any warming trends the fish will move farther back into the creeks.”

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