Lake Lanier Fishing Report – June 2024

GON Staff | May 30, 2024

Lanier: Level: 0.6 feet above 1071. Temp: Low to mid 70s. Clarity: Clear on the south end and slightly stained on the north end. 

Bass: Guide Jimbo Mathley, with 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 report, 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. Many postspawn 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 bass 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, HighJacker, Surge Shad, Choppo and a 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. As far as the mechanical-type swimbaits, one 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 line. Also an option is spooling with a 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. I really like the IMX-Pro options. Check out the options at 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, reports, “Now that June is here, look for the stripers to progressively move deeper as the water temperature rises. As of now, they are already making the move to the downline in 20 to 30 feet. You will still see some topwater action as the stripers push herring to the surface, so be sure to have a Berkley Magic Swimmer or a Berkley Cane Walker ready to cast. All the colors in the Magic Swimmer and Cane Walker work. Early in the morning, the Magic Swimmer in white liner is hard to beat. On sunny days, try the chrome Magic Swimmer. Cast these lures on 10- or 12-lb. Trilene Big Game on a spinning rod. A good setup is a 7-foot, medium-action Fenwick spinning rod paired with a Penn Clash 3000 spinning reel. As the fish group up at the 20- to 30-foot mark, 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. Trilene 100% 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. You can use traditional 2D sonar or down imaging to see these fish. Great electronics, like the Humminbird units, are a must. You should see your bait swim around on the sinker. Many of these fish will be tight to the bottom on the points. You will see them come off the bottom and intersect with your bait and down will go your rod. These schools will get larger and larger as summer progresses. Great time to be on the water.”

Capt. Ron Mullins with The Striper Experience reports, “June is a big transition month. The striper 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 Browns 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 floor of your boat with a pool cue or broom handle with a butt cap off an old fishing rod. The rubber bottoms on these sticks will make a low-pitched tone through the hull of your boat and often attract stripers to the boat and to your baits. Some days, however, they can be skittish, so try putting a couple of your downlines away from the boat using your Captain Mack’s 10-inch Perfect Planer Boards. It is really easy; 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 as it passes over. June will also be the start of our lead-core trolling season. Troll 1-oz. white/white tail or silver holographic/black pearl tail Super Spin Shad jigs from pulled 2.5 to 3 mph will be a great way to cover more water while you are looking in these pockets. A Captain Mack’s Mini Mack 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. Captain Mack’s Chipmunk Jig or a 3-inch Keitech swim body on a 1/4-oz. Pro Swimbait jig head close-by to cast to the last of the topwater action and be ready for anything this month. Day-to-day life is going to happen, and we will have fires in our lives that we must endure. If we have a firm foundation in Christ, then we will have a foundation that is fireproof and He will lead us through those crises. Build your faith on the supplies that He gives us that are fireproof. Grow your life with grace, love, peace, kindness, goodness and gentleness, and He will always lead you through those tough times because your foundation is on him, the Rock.”

Crappie: Capt. Josh Thornton reports, “Crappie are suspended 10 feet deep under docks. I have been having a lot of success on brushpiles in about 15 feet or less of water. Try bright jig color combinations. The gear I recommend for crappie fishing is an ACC Crappie Stix one-piece rod and reel with 6-lb. test K9 line, along with Garmin Livescope and Power-Pole. For more information and tips, please visit my websites and”

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