Lake Lanier Fishing Report May 2011
Lanier: Level: Full pool. Temp: 68 to 72 degrees. Clarity: Extremely clear down the lake.
Spotted Bass: Good. Ryan Coleman said right now the best thing going is fishing shallow. “Most fish are up either spawning or coming off, and they’re in less than 10 feet of water. Use weightless flukes, and the jig-head fishing with green worms around grass and secondary points is good. Some fish are out eating topwater already. That will be the best way to catch a big fish. Some are already moving out on a pre-summer pattern. Throw a wake bait like a Buckeye Wake Up, which is like a mini Red Fin, or try a chugging bait like a Chug Bug.” Billy Boothe reports, “I’d say probably 30 percent of the spots haven’t spawned, so there are fish in all three stages of the spawn. The spawning fish are setting up on secondary points that have rock and pea gravel in 4 to 8 feet of water. Those fish are biting best on a sand Zoom Finesse worm on a 1/4-oz. shaky head. For big fish, there’s a really good bite going on right now on windy points with a small swimbait like a Sebile Magic Swimmer in chrome/green. Also try a 1/2-oz. War Eagle Spot Remover spinnerbait. There are a few big fish mixed in on the docks at the mouths of the coves. Use a 3/8-oz. green pumpkin Stone jig. As the month progresses, fish will really set up on mid-depth brushpiles that are 10 to 15 feet deep on the reef markers and will hit flukes and Sammys. That bite’s not as good as it’s been in the past, but the first to middle part of May it will still be an all day thing.”
Largemouths: Excellent. Billy Boothe reports, “This is the best I’ve seen in 8 or 9 years. The weekend of April 9, a wave of bed fish pulled up. I won HD Couples with 23 pounds,” Billy said. “Tournaments saw a lot of big largemouths. It took almost 19 pounds to get a check. A lot of those fish have gone through the spawning cycle and have recovered. For big fish, start early with a medium-sized Pop-R in shad color. Basically work that thing around the shallow weeds and pine trees. Pick off fish guarding fry and some of the bigger females that are still hanging in the spawning areas. A few bed fish will still be in there, not a big number, but a few will be spawning late. For those, look on main-lake areas as opposed to creeks. Use a white tube. The postspawn fish will transition to ledges in the 8- to 12-foot range by mid May. Catch them on a Mann’s 15+ crankbait in crystal threadfin. Another good bite will be as some of the bigger females pull out on flats in 6 to 8 feet of water and suspend, and you can catch them on an albino-colored Mann’s Hard Nosed Jerk Shad.”
Stripers: Good. Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “The stripers are moving out of the backs of the creeks and concentrating on points and humps in the mouths of the creeks lake-wide. Herring on flatlines and planner boards are your best bets. May is the topwater month. Keep a Red Fin and a Captain Mack’s bucktail jig with a fluke tied on for the surfacing fish. You can also pick up a couple of extra fish by having someone casting them while you are pulling baits. A big gizzard shad on a balloon 150 feet behind the boat is always a good idea for that big fish. Put out a big spread and cover as much water as possible. Another approach is to run-and-gun points and flats with topwater. Cast three to five times, and move to the next point. You can also pitch herring to points with a spinning rod with 10-lb. test fluorocarbon line and a No. 1 hook. This method is a lot of fun, and you can catch spots and catfish as well as quality stripers. Pulling umbrella rigs is also a good way to cover a lot of water and put some fish in the boat. Using a three-arm with 3/4-oz. jigs or a four-arm with 1/2-oz. jigs at 50 to 70 feet back will allow you to run a little shallower on the points without constant hangs.” Guide Shane Watson reports, “The fishing has been up and down, which is common with this ever-changing spring weather. We’ve had days when they’ve been on fire and days when you’ve had to work for them. There are stripers and spots on main-lake points, humps and reef poles both north and south. We’ve had boats out every day on morning and afternoon trips, and both have been great when the fish have been up and active. Freelined bluebacks and gizzard shad are working best as far as live bait goes. McSticks, Red Fins, Scroungers, flukes and Fish Head Spins have all produced lately. We are catching and releasing school-size stripers, nice spots and a few largemouths while beating the banks with the lures mentioned above. Keep moving, and cover as much water as possible for best success.” Wes Carlton said the nighttime bite has been very good. “The night bite has been great this year with some really big fish being caught on Long A Bombers, Spro McSticks and Yo-Zuri jerkbaits. Blue colors and natural have been working the best,” Wes said. “We have had two fish over 30 pounds and 19 over 20 pounds!”
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