Lake Lanier Fishing Report – June 2023

GON Staff | May 24, 2023

Lanier: Level: 1.3 below 1071. Temp: Low 70s. Clarity: The water has been clear on the south end and slightly stained on the north end. The lake is still almost full pool.

Bass: Jimbo from Jimbo’s Lake Lanier Spotted Bass Guide Service reports, “It is hard to beat the topwater bite in June on Lake Lanier. Spotted bass chasing a topwater bait in wolfpacks from brushpiles is unmatched excitement and fun. In this month’s installment, we will review the different options to take advantage of the incredible offshore topwater fishing on Lake Lanier in June. In June, most of the spotted bass have completed the spawn and have transitioned into replenish mode. This June may be a little different in terms of timing based on the cold April and dispersed spawn we have experienced. Keep that in mind in terms of the timing of your pursuit of this bite. It’s postspawn, so many fish will be relating to key features at the mouths of the major creeks, as well as main-lake areas and can be found on key structure, such as long, running points and humps. Locating these areas and the man-made cover that is often found on them (Example: brushpiles, which will often concentrate the fish and can be found in 20 to 25 feet of water) will be important to your success. Now that we have explored the location that the spots can be found in June, as well as how to find them, let’s examine some of the techniques and lures that can be used to catch these fish. There are many bait choices in the topwater category—poppers, walkers, wakers, etc. The preference of the fish will change day to day, so make sure to experiment daily to identify the mood of the fish, as well as their preference in presentation. Excellent topwater baits for Lake Lanier from Berkley include J-Walker, Cane Walker, Hi Jacker, Surge Shad, Choppo and the Bullet Pop. These lures, as well as all the rods and reels you will need to present them, can be purchased at local tackle shops, such as Hammond’s Fishing in Cumming. The friendly staff at Hammond’s Fishing will be happy to help you make the proper selection and match the rod and reel to the presentation you are seeking. Make sure to check out those G. Loomis rods and Shimano reels—truly world-class tackle. Swimbaits offer great versatility as they can be fished at any depth you wish. Popular hard and soft swimbaits are made by several different tackle vendors, which includes many local options. As far as the mechanical type swimbaits, one of my favorites is the Lanier Baits Magic Swimmer. Vary your retrieve speed and depth with this bait until you find the retrieve for which the fish are searching. Look for these baits to be a big producer of monster spotted bass in June. When the topwater/swimbait bite is tough, pick up your underspin and go to work. Fish the bait over and around brush for your best success, especially when the sun is out. The sun will concentrate the fish in this type of cover, and the Georgia Blade Underspin offers the perfect solution for the finicky fish that won’t come up. You can tip your underspin with either a straight-tail or boot-tail-style trailer. Another option when the topwater/swimbait action slows, and you see fish in the brush on your Humminbird, is to try the worm and jig. I like the Georgia Blade Jig head and worm combinations. As far as jigs go, I prefer Georgia Jigs. Explore different worm and jig sizes, shapes, textures and colors when you are fishing. Something different presented appropriately can make a big difference on certain days. Keep trying until you find the presentation for which the fish are searching that day. For topwater action, you should utilize either a medium to medium-heavy baitcasting or spincasting outfit, rigged with 12- to 17-lb. monofilament. Also, an option is spooling with Seaguar Smackdown braid/mono leader combination. Monofilament (and braided) fishing line floats, whereas fluorocarbon line sinks, which makes either monofilament or braided line the best option for presenting topwater baits correctly. As far as choosing a rig for fishing these topwater baits, consider the weight of the bait as your deciding factor. Lighter poppers and smaller walking baits are often better presented on spinning gear, which allows for easier casting of smaller baits. For swimbaits, I like to present the larger, heavier, mechanical-type swimbaits on a heavy-action rod that is at least 7 feet long, and I will utilize 20-lb. test monofilament or Seaguar Fluorocarbon line. My big swimbait rod is a G. Loomis IMX Pro Swimbait Rod, which is perfectly matched for these baits. I appreciate the extra rod strength to cast these big baits and manage the big fish you will catch on them. As far as the many other soft and hard swimbait options, you can scale back to a medium-heavy rod if you prefer, but I recommend keeping the length at 7 feet or more. G. Loomis also offers some outstanding topwater rods from which to choose. I really like the IMX Pro options. Check out the options at G. Loomis. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing on Lake Lanier during the month of June.”

Lake Lanier Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

Stripers: Capt. Clay Cunningham, of Catching Not Fishing Lake Lanier Fishing Guides, report, “Now that June is here, look for the stripers to progressively move deeper as the water temperature rises. Start your search in 10 to 20 feet of water, but with the heat, they are rapidly moving to 20 to 30 feet of water. You will still see some topwater action as the stripers push herring to the surface some days, so be sure to have a Berkley Magic Swimmer ready to cast. Several trips this past month our biggest fish has come on the Magic Swimmer over live bait. Day in and day out it is hard to beat the Magic Swimmer. All the colors in the Magic Swimmer work. On sunny days, try the chrome Magic Swimmer. The chrome is the hot new color. Cast these lures on 10- or 12-lb. Trilene Big Game on a spinning rod. A good setup is a 7-foot medium-action Abu Garcia Veritas spinning rod paired with a Penn Conflict 3000 spinning reel. As the fish move deeper, look for the downline to take over. Spool up a Penn Fathom Linecounter reel with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game on a Shakespeare medium-light action striper rod. Tie on a Captain Mack’s 2-oz. Swivel Sinker, a 4-foot leader of 15-lb. 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Herring from the local tackle shops will be the key bait. Look for the stripers on your electronics before you drop baits. Key on points to start your search. You can use traditional 2D sonar or Down Imaging to see these fish. Great electronics like the Humminbird units are a must. You can see your bait swim around the sinker. Overall, June is a great month on Lanier for stripers. The spawn will be over, and the stripers metabolism will be wide open. As mentioned last month, the fish are getting bigger, so use heavier tackle than past years, or they will make you pay. See you on the water.”


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