Lake Lanier Fishing Report – June 2020

GON Staff | May 30, 2020

Lanier: Level: 0.6 feet above full. Temp: High 60s to low 70s. Clarity: Most areas the water is clear, but it clouds up a little on the weekends and on Mondays due to the massive amount of boat pressure on the weekends.

Bass: Tournament angler and Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “Most of the spots and largemouth have spawned and are postspawn. There are still a few that have not spawned, but they will in late May and early June, on the main lake mostly. There are some herring trying to spawn in the mid to lower lake areas up on shallow flats and reef poles, and some spotted bass are hanging around there feeding on them. Fishing around those herring-spawn areas has been one of the best things going the past week. I have been working those areas early in the morning with topwater and spinnerbaits as they blow up on the spawning baitfish. Just a Chug Bug or walking-style bait has been best for me, but I also have been getting reports from people who are catching them on flukes in those same areas. During the day when the sun is high, I have been working brush in 20 to 25 feet of water with a 3/8-oz. jig mostly. I’ve been using a twin-tail trailer on the back of a Georgia Craw or herring-colored SpotSticker Casting jig and just working it around and through the brush slowly. Take your time. The fish are tired and trying to recover right now and are not really in a mood to chase anything. As we get into June, look for a big portion of the fish to recover from the spawn and get on a heavy feed out on the main water on those same 20- to 25-foot-deep brushpiles. Topwater thrown over the brush along with swimbaits worked in 10 feet of water will bring those guys up to feed. When all else fails, grab your drop-shot rig and vertically work these guys into submission.” 

Stripers: Capt. Ron Mullins reports, “June is a big transition month. The topwater bite will be over, and the fish will be moving deeper with the increasing water temps.  Most of our fish will be caught in pockets from Brown’s Bridge down to the dam and in drainages coming into the main creeks on the south end. These areas give the stripers multiple environments to feed in. They can chase shallow bait early and late in the day

in 10 to 20 feet of water, while having 40 to 50 feet of water to go to when the sun comes up. Downlines pulled slowly (0.4 to 0.6 mph) through these areas with herring at 20 to 30 feet down will be very effective. When you find a few fish, Spot Lock on these fish with your Minn Kota I-Pilot, and let the fun begin. If the stripers move out from under your boat, try tapping on the boat floor with a pool cue or broom handle with an old butt cap off an old fishing rod. The rubber bottoms on these sticks will make a low-pitched tone and often attract stripers to your baits. However, some days they can be skittish, so try putting a couple of your downlines away from the boat using your Capt. Mack’s 10-inch Perfect Planer Boards. Just put your weights down the same 20 to 30 feet, clip on your boards and send them 20 to 30 feet away from the boat. This setup will give you a shot at those fish that move out from under the boat. June will also be the start of our lead core trolling season. Troll 1-oz. white/silver or white/chartreuse Capt. Mack’s Chipmunk jigs with white or chartreuse u-tails or shad body trailers. Pulled at 2.5-3 mph will be a great way to cover more water while you are looking in these pockets. A Capt. Mack’s Mini Mack u-rig on lead core will also catch a lot of fish this month in the larger pockets where you have more room to turn as you reach the end of the pocket. Keep a 3/8-oz. Chipmunk or SpotSticker 3.3-inch swim body on a 1/4-oz. ball-head jig close by to cast to the last of the topwater action.”

Crappie: Guide Capt. John McCalpin reports, “For the past few months, crappie have been schooling underneath docks in 16 to 28 feet of water. As the water has warmed, some of the crappie have begun to migrate to open-water brushpiles. Use your electronic chart plotter to locate areas in the desired depths and scan for brushpiles, noting which ones are holding crappie. You might notice that some brushpiles are located near docks that have been—and may still be—holding crappie. Downlining minnows (small minnows with BB-sized sinker weights attached) and jigs are both producing very well. In recent days, hair jigs have been very reliable producers. Jiffy Jigs JJ-20 (bubblegum/chartreuse) and JJSB (red/chartreuse) in the 1/24-oz. size have been producing consistently. These jigs can be used for short casting, vertical jigging or dock shooting presentations. When fishing in and around brushpiles, you will lose some jigs. I recommend 2- or 4-lb. high-visibility yellow monofilament line. I use Stren and Vicious monofilament on all my crappie reels. Moving into June, I expect the crappie to continue the transition to open water brushpiles, and by July they will start to disappear into the deeper timber, making them more challenging to find and catch. Rising water temperatures combined with COVID-19 effects have resulted in massively increased boat traffic on Lake Lanier. Life jackets should always be worn while boating; stay alert and be prepared to avoid swimmers in the water and other boaters.”

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