Lake Lanier Fishing Report – November 2019

GON Staff | October 26, 2019

Lanier: Level: 4.3 feet down. Temp: 68-72 degrees. Clarity: Turnover is still happening on the lake, so water clarity is clear where it is finished to weak coffee colored where it is still going on.

Bass: Guide and tournament angler Ryan Coleman reports, “I have been doing my best while working rock early in the morning with a painted blade, 3/4-oz. Mini-Me spinnerbait or a crankbait for the first 90 minutes of daylight. After that, I am working points and humps with man-made brush for most of the day with a jerkbait, Sebile Magic Swimmer or a 3.3-inch soft swimbait rigged on a 3/8-oz. head. Just slowly reel the swimbait out over the brush and humps in 20 to 30 feet of water. As we roll into November, look for some of the fish to move out deep. Timber lines and ditches should turn on. This is the best time of the year to fish Lanier as the fish group up, and we don’t have to chase them so much. With the water levels dropping, look for them to group up better as the shoreline cover gets dry. Jigs, worms and spoons in 40 to 50 feet of water will be the trick then.”

Stripers: Capt. Ron Mullins reports, “As turnover finishes, fish will be caught all over the lake in November, and the kitchen sink fishing will continue. Topwater plugs, Capt. Mack’s Super Spoons and Mini Mack’s will all be effective artificials this month. First thing in the morning—and cloudy days throughout the day—the topwater bite will be great for stripers. Large schools will be coming up in the main creek channels and the river channel from Brown’s Bridge to the dam. These schools will not stay up long, so be prepared to run-and-gun the main lake looking for them to pop up. When you get close, make a long cast with plugs like Spooks, Pencil Poppers, Chug Bugs or Magic Swimmers. Chrome, bone and ghost are all go-to colors for these plugs. Another great lure that has been catching on is the Steel Shad. This 1/2-oz. lure can be cast a long way and reeled back steady to the boat, yo-yo’d back or can be dropped vertically to the school and worked like a jigging spoon. The Capt. Mack’s u-rig bite will also improve this month. Pull these over 25- to 35-foot deep points and humps with brush on them at 2.5 to 3 mph, 100 to 135 feet behind the boat. The u-rig bite typically gets better late morning or early afternoon until late afternoon. Most of these fish will be really close to the brushpiles. The shallow bait bite will get better as the month progresses. Pull planer boards and freelines with your herring or shad back 50 to 125 feet behind the boat/board over 15- to 30-foot-deep points or humps or in the areas you are seeing the surfacing schools. The birds are already showing up, so don’t feel overwhelmed with the amount of water the fish are covering because our feathered friends will help you locate fish and areas to put out your kitchen sink.”

Crappie: Capt. John McCalpin reports, “Overall, I’d say the bite is good to very good. So far, the fish we’re catching are a bit smaller than this time last year. Not surprisingly, the best bite is in the early morning hours, but the bite now extends into the early afternoon. Fish relatively deep in 18-28 feet with a slow retrieve around open-water brushpiles and covered docks near creek channels. Don’t be surprised if the fish bite at a much shallower depth, as little as 4 to 5 feet deep. Use Downscan and Sidescan to locate schooling fish on brushpile cover, and drop a marker buoy nearby as a reference to accurately present your live bait or lure. The Jiffy Jigs and Bobby Garland lures are still productive. I’ve recently tried the ATX Wicked Shad in baby shad and milk/chartreuse colors with notable success. I’m still using mostly 1/24-oz. jig heads with sickle hooks and 2-lb. test, high-visibility line. These jigs can be used equally well for short casting, vertical jigging or dock shooting presentations. As we move into middle and late November, I expect lake water levels to continue dropping and colder weather will continue to reduce surface water temperatures. This will improve the bite dramatically.”

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