Lake Lanier Fishing Report – March 2008

GON Staff | February 27, 2008

Lanier: Level: 17.7 feet below full pool. Ramps at Tidwell, Shoal Creek, Charleston and Clarks Bridge are open. A rise of 1 foot will open East Bank, Van Pugh, Little Hall and Big Creek. Temp: 48-51 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Spotted Bass: Fair, and getting better, according to guide Ryan Coleman. “The spotted bass have started to make the move to the banks. There have been a good many resident fish up shallow all winter, but the rest of the fish are starting to make the move. I have been fishing out deep when it’s cloudy, and up shallow when it’s sunny. The fish are starting to get on the boat docks with the sun, and they’re still holding on the bottom when it’s overcast. Jerkbaits and jigs around the docks along with a finesse worm rigged on a 3/16-oz. Spotsticker jig head are working best on docks that are still in the water. Early in the morning, look for some good schools of fish holding in the ditches. Work these fish from 10 to 25 feet or water with a 1/2-oz. Sworming Hornet Fish Head Spin in white or albino. Rig the Fish Head with a Zoom Super Fluke Jr. or small plastic swimbait on 12-lb. fluorocarbon line. As the month rolls on, look for the water temps to get in the mid 50s, and the fish to get on the big swimbait bite. Try a 6- or 7-inch Triple Trout swimbait in the middle of the warm pockets and secondary points. The staging fish will eat the big swimbait this time of year,” Ryan said.

Largemouths: Good on the south end. Ryan said to fish a Pointer Minnow jerkbait or small crankbait in the backs of the stained-water pockets in 3 to 8 feet of water. “Be persistent, and make repeated casts to get these fish to eat. If the water temps get close to 60 later in the month, the spinnerbait bite should start to pick up strong. The largemouth bite is good on the north end, too, according to tournament angler Billy Boothe. “We’re about two weeks away from the largemouth bite busting wide open. The bigger females are staging up on secondary points and brush waiting to move shallow. For the first part of the month, start out with a 7/16-oz. green-pumpkin/orange TABU jig with a twin-tail trailer worked along secondary points and brush in 6 to 10 feet of water up the rivers and creeks. If the jig doesn’t produce, work the same areas with a crayfish Mann’s 15 Plus. In the afternoon burn a gold-and-black Yozuri Rattlin Vibe over flats and in the back of pockets. Be sure to use a rod with a soft tip. A lot of these fish will just slap at the bait and won’t hook up well. On warm sunny days, work docks with a watermelon Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm rigged on a light 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head or a Pointer 100 (jerkbait) fished with a lot of pauses under the floats. Most of these fish will be suspended, but they will be good ones. Toward the middle of the month there will be a major push shallow gearing up for the spawn. Target isolated cover in the backs of pockets with a pearl Mann’s 1 Minus or a green-pumpkin Senko. Look for a mixture of sand and rock in the 2- to 5-foot depth range.”

Good. Guide Greg Robinson said, “As we move into March and the surface temps increase to the low to mid 50s, look for the umbrella rig to come back into play. But for now the best bite is coming on small bucktails or lead-head jigs with a fluke. Cast to the points where the birds are working or where you see the fish rolling. Most of this action is happening on the south end of the lake. Trout, shad and herring are working on flatlines and planers at daybreak and dusk, but the downline bite is the most consistent. The stripers have been shallow early, and then look for them over a 20- to 50-foot bottom in the backs of the creeks. Fish your downlines close to the bottom. Reports of a 40-pounder and also a SBCC tournament winning 34-lb. striper were caught in the Flat Creek and Balus Creek areas last week,” Greg said. Mike Maddalena from Big Fish On Striper Guide Service reports quality fish being caught in the backs of the lower-end creeks. “Pull live trout, gizzard shad or herring on planer boards and flat lines in 1 to 15 feet of water. Also, casting a 1/2-oz. bucktail or lead-head jig with a fluke trailer will get you some quality fish. With the recent rains, expect the backs of the creeks to be blown out, and you should concentrate on the mud line and move to mid-creek points and flats with the same pattern. As we move into March, expect the shallow patterns to firm up even more, and expect the northern end of the lake to pick up steam,” Mike said.

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