Lake Lanier Fishing Report May 2012

GON Staff | April 26, 2012

Lanier: Level: 5.4 feet below full pool. Temp: 68 degrees. Clarity: Mostly clear except shoreline stain from waves.

Spotted Bass: Good. Ryan Coleman reports, “Most of the spotted bass have spawned now and are out recovering. There are a few male bass up shallow, but most of the spotted bass have hit the offshore structure where they will remain throughout the summer. The fish are starting to attach to the summer brush and get on summer patterns. We have had good success lately on topwater baits such as a Lucky Craft Sammy or Gunfish, as well as Chug Bugs and wake baits. Work your topwater baits over point and humps with brush in 20 to 25 feet of water. Schools of fish should be present throughout May and into June. A swimbait, such as a Triple Trout or Bull Shad, worked over the brush will catch you a magnum spot in May. If the fish seem unwilling to chase anything, take a 1/2- or 3/4-oz. brown football jig with a craw or twin-tail trailer, and slowly drag it on humps and points in 25 feet of water. As you mark fish on your electronics, send your drop shot down on them with a 6-inch handpoured Spotsticker worm in cinnamon pepper, watermelon pearl or melon murder colors. This will be your most productive pattern throughout the month of May.”

Fair. “Most of the largemouths are done spawning and are in the early postspawn stage,” said guide and tournament angler Billy Boothe. “I’m catching a few fish early on a 5/16-oz. shimmer-green War Eagle finesse spinnerbait fished around any chunk rock banks that have spawning shad. After that bite dies, it’s a real grind. If you just want some bites and are looking for numbers, the best bait has been a green-pumpkin Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm rigged on a 3/16-oz. War Eagle jig head. Throw the worm at any cover and down any drops you come across. Most of the females are suspended right now recovering from the spawn. The best way to catch one is by triggering a reaction strike. I’ve had a few bigger fish lately by burning a shad-pattern Rapala DT 10 fast down mid-depth breaks and points. The key depth has been 10 to 15 feet with deep water nearby. After a couple of weeks the largemouth bite should go back to normal, and there will be fish pulling out to long points and ledges. Then it will be time for deep cranks and War Eagle football jigs.”

Stripers: Good. Guide Shane Watson reports, “The stripers have been up shallow early most mornings, and we have caught them on freelined bluebacks, Spro McSticks and white bucktails. Once the sun gets overhead, downlined bluebacks fished 20 to 25 feet deep have worked best. Our boats have caught stripers up the lake, mid-lake and on farther south. Main-lake points and the mouths of creeks have been best this week. Some mornings, the stripers have been on top, and the freeline and topwater action has been great. At times, they’ve been deeper and the downline has been best. It really all depends on if they are active and up feeding at daylight. Look for some big ones over the next few weeks on freelines up on points and humps. We have also caught and released many 6-lb.-plus spots that are out swimming over open water with the stripers.” Guide Mike Maddalena reports, “Striper fishing continues to be very good. The fish have moved into the mouths of the creeks and main-lake points. Start early on long sloping points. After the first couple of hours, focus on deep-water points over a 30- to 50-foot bottom with downrods and freelines. While freelines and downrods are both working, the bite will favor downrods as we get into the middle of May. Start with both downrods and freelines until you find which technique is working, and then focus on that technique. May is traditionally a great topwater month. Keep your eyes open for surfacing fish especially early. These surfacing fish will hit any traditional topwater bait like a Redfin or Spook. A Capt. Mack’s bucktail jig with a fluke trailer fished fast just under the surface will also trigger a powerful bite. The umbrella-rig bite will continue to improve and is great way to cover a lot of water. Pull the umbrella rig over a 30- to 50-foot bottom at a depth of 15 to 20 feet. Blueback herring have been the most productive bait, and if you want to have some fun, try pitching them on points with light tackle. Hold on, and don’t be surprised at an occasional spot or catfish.”

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