Lake Lanier Fishing Report March 2017

GON Staff | March 1, 2017

Lanier: Level: 10.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 50s. Clarity: Clear on the main lake and slightly stained in the backs of the creeks.

Spotted Bass: Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “Our unseasonably warm winter has kept a lot of the bass on Lake Lanier very shallow, but don’t forget the deep fish that are always there in the winter. With the lake being down 10 feet, a lot of our shallow structure on Lanier is dry, so fish are searching for shallow cover. Docks have been the best bet overall, but don’t overlook shallow pieces of wood cover and creek channels running all the way back in pockets. A lot of the shallow fish are just holding out in the middle of the pockets on any kind of drop they can find. I have been finding them in 10 to 15 feet of water in the center of pockets. Just fishing a jerkbait or crankbait down the center of the pockets or a worm dragged around on a jig head has been producing very well. The same worm/jig-head combo has also been producing well around the docks, but our best weapon has been a Yamamoto 5-inch Hula Grub rigged on a SpotSticker 1/4-oz. Crawler head. Skip this bait around and under the docks for the next two months on Lanier. As we go into March, look for the spinnerbait bite to really explode. Anytime the water has been down on Lanier, the Mini-Me spinnerbait has been king. A 1/2- to 3/4-oz. Mini-Me in any of the shad colors with double white or nickel willows has produced some massive catches. Make sure to keep the bait moving, and use a 2/0 trailer hook on the back of your spinnerbait anytime on Lanier. Run pockets and points all day covering plenty of water, as the Lanier bass tend to spread out when the water is down. Make sure to keep some kind of wake bait tied on in March, as well. This technique is often overlooked in early spring on Lanier, but if the water is over 55 degrees, they will come up for a slow-moving wake bait.”

Stripers: Big Fish On Guide Service reports, “Striper fishing is good. We are having spring weather in February. The bait and the stripers continue to be scattered lake wide and have not concentrated in the backs of the creeks as in previous years. Consequently, you can find fish from the north end to the south end of the lake and at any depth. Your Lowrance HDS is a critical tool in finding these fast-moving fish. Because the stripers are feeding on small threadfins, the medium-sized minnows have been working better than herring. Deploy both unweighted and weighted freelines with a medium minnow on a No. 4 or a No. 2 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. We tried both 10-lb. and 12-lb. test leaders this week, and the 12-lb. test leaders seemed to work as well as the 10-lb. We also caught a few fish with blueback herring this week, which could indicate a switch to larger baits. We used the umbrella rig this week, and it also worked, which may also indicate a switch to larger baits. The key is to stay flexible in terms of where you look for fish and the techniques used. I think this is going to be a March when the open-water herring bite is good. It hasn’t gotten cold enough to push baitfish into the backs of the creeks yet, so it’s unlikely to happen at all, leaving the fish scattered around the mouths of the creeks and in open water. Be sure to come to weigh-in for the Team Maggie 2nd Annual Striper Tournament fundraiser. It’s at Little Hall Park at 2 p.m. on Saturday March 11. You’ll be able to get some get some fresh info while you’re there! There will be a couple raffles being held, as well.”

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