Lake Lanier Fishing Report – May 2007
Lanier: Level: Down 2.5 feet below full pool. Temp: 60 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Great. The spotted bass are starting to move off the banks and head for off-shore structure. Guide and tournament pro Ryan Coleman said there will still be some scattered spawning bass throughout the month of May, but most of Lanier’s spotted bass were finishing up the spawn the last week in April. “Look for fish to start to group up on man-made brush in 20 to 30 feet of water as we move through May,” Ryan said. “Work these brushpiles with Heddon Super Spooks, big Chug Bugs and a Spotsticker drop-shot worms. Keep an eye on your electronics for big schools of fish down deep, and be ready with the drop shot.” Ryan suggests a watermelon-pearl colored Spotsticker Hand Pour worm on the drop-shot rig. He used this worm to win the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Southern Tour event on Lanier last September. His drop-shot rig is 6-lb. test fluorocarbon line with a 1/4-oz. drop-shot weight and No. 4 hook. “If you have windy days in May, opt for a 1/2-oz. Mini-Me spinnerbait worked over main-lake, windy points and reefs. The water is very clear now, so I would suggest the PC Special color, which has the light-green skirt and gray painted blades. This bait does not have a large profile in the super clear water. Make sure to add a trailer hook on the back of your spinnerbait anytime you fish it on Lanier. A fast retrieve works best in the warmer water.
Largemouths: Good, with fish somewhat scattered as most of the spawning activity is over. “Right now about half of the largemouth are still holding fairly shallow in the pockets guarding fry, with the other half suspending under docks and off secondary points, recuperating from the spawn,” said tournament pro Billy Boothe, who had a 5-lb. largemouth in his sack at the recent Lanier BFL tournament. “For the shallow fish, throw a shad-pattern Pop-R on the spawning flats and around any cover in 2 to 6 feet of water. If a fish is there guarding fry, he’s gonna take the rod out of your hand. For the suspended fish, I’ll be throwing a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm on a 1/8-oz. Bite Me jig head under the docks leading out of the spawning pockets.” If the bass suspended under docks don’t eat the jig, Billy said he’ll fish a weightless, pearl-colored Senko. He said the largemouth bite will get better and better through the month of May. “The fish will be super aggressive, and the more water you cover, the more fish you will catch. I’ll start the morning off throwing a 1/2-oz. white Reaction Innovations buzzbait on main-lake points and flats up the lake. Once the sun gets up, start cranking brushed-up points in 7 to 10 feet of water with a shad pattern Mann’s 10 Plus using a stop-and-go retrieve. For big fish, get out the flipping stick and head up the river and flip laydowns with a black and blue Mann’s Stone Jig or a junebug Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. You won’t get many bites flipping, but it’s your best bet at a fish over 5 pounds,” Billy said.
Stripers: Good. Lanier striper guide Shane Watson said the main-lake schooling has finally started on the south end of the lake. “They schooled real well this morning (April 23). We caught them on freelines and Red Fins. The fish are running 12 to 15 pounds, and they are a lot of fun. Shane said you can catch fish on downlines up the lake above Gainesville Marina, but the fish will run smaller, in the 4 to 10-lb. range. Fish bluebacks 25 feet deep over points 30 to 35 feet deep.
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