Lake Lanier Fishing Report – October 2022

GON Staff | September 28, 2022

Lanier: Level: 3 feet below 1071. Temp: Upper 70s. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Jimbo from Jimbo’s Lake Lanier Spotted Bass Guide Service reports, “October on Lake Lanier means transition. Often you can find fish shallow and in the mid-depth ranges. As well, some fish start to move deep into winter patterns by the end of the month. The lake traditionally begins its turnover process this month, which provides an additional challenge. This year the lake has been around full pool and has been trending below full pool moving into fall. This traditional weather pattern and lake level should bring us some more predictable fall fishing this year on Lanier. Let’s dig in and examine how to approach catching spotted bass in this highly transitional month. As the water temperature cools, the bait, and therefore many of the fish, begin to move shallower in search of the warmer water that remains. As always, staying up with the location of the bait is key to consistently catching fish. To complicate matters, the lake traditionally begins its turnover process in September/October, which provides an unstable environment for the bait and the fish. The stratified layers of the lake re-mix at different times in different places. During this time, for more consistent results, focus your efforts on the areas of the lake that have not yet, or already have, turned over. Look for the clearer water, and avoid water that has a dark, cloudy or coffee look to it. Often, you can find fish shallower in the creeks during this period. However, some fish may also be deeper relating to the brush that had been holding fish through September. Some of the fish may go even deeper and begin relating to the timber edges in preparation for winter. Obviously, there are numerous factors to consider when searching for the catchable fish in October. Examine your options, understand the status of the lake and the effect of recent weather changes, stay flexible in your search, and stay on the move until you find a viable, repeatable pattern during your fishing day. Now let’s examine some potential lure choices. The topwater and swimbait bite in October can be outstanding. Large schools of fish can be found around humps and points near the mouths of creeks and/or the river channel. Experiment with different baits and presentations to match the conditions. A Berkley Cane Walker and Drift Walker, along with a Chug Bug, are some of my favorite fall topwater baits. On the swimbait side, make sure to try the Sweet Bait Company swimbait offerings. Awesome baits! A Georgia Jig can be a great bait throughout the fall on Lake Lanier. Tip the jig with a twin-tail trailer, and fish the bait around rocky/clay points, on ledges and timber edges. Take your time and work it slowly. A Georgia Ball Head Jig Head with a Berkley Power Worm can be an awesome bait in October. Fish shallow around docks and secondary points with this bait for some hammers. The General from Berkley is a great bait to fish shallow around docks as it can be skipped under and around objects with ease. Dead stick the bait and wait for the tick! To mix it up when fishing shallow in later October, tie on a Spro Little John DD and target shallower rock points toward the end of the month. This can be a particularly good approach at daylight for some big fish. A Georgia Blade spinnerbait can really get cracking for you in October once the water temperatures fall into the 60s. I like the double-white, willow-blade combination and the No. 9 skirt choice. Check out Georgia Blade online or pick up some of their super creations at Hammond’s Fishing and other tackle stores around north Georgia. The Georgia Blade Shad Spin can be an excellent producer on Lanier for suspended fish. Fish the bait at the depth you see the fish suspending near bait balls. Understand the fall-rate for your rig and count the bait down to the depth of the fish and maintain that depth. A jerkbait is another great tool for targeting suspending fish. Chose a bait that suspends at the depth the fish are holding and experiment with your retrieve cadence until you find what the fish are looking for on any given day. I really like the new Berkley offerings in the jerkbait—check out the Berkley Stunna.”

Lake Lanier Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

Stripers: Capt. Clay Cunningham, of Catching Not Fishing Lake Lanier Fishing Guides, reports, “Overall, this month’s report is pretty much a copy of last month’s. After a cool August, it looked like we would possibly have a cool September and some early schooling on topwater. We were totally wrong. September was a heat wave that slowed the bite. We are just now getting the cooler weather we hoped for last month. The topwater bite is hopefully finally here. As the water temperature drops, look for the topwater bite to become solid. Concerning live bait, herring will continue to be the primary bait in October. Rig the herring on a spinning rod  with  basically  a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook on a small section of 10-lb. Trilene Big Game 100% Fluorocarbon and a Spro 120-lb. Power Swivel. We are using a light-action Shakespeare Striper Spinning Rod paired with a Penn Clash 3000. The light action is important to keep the herring from flying off. We are casting the herring to schoolers on points and open water and letting the herring just free swim. Be prepared for the surface action this month, as well, with a wide selection of topwater baits. Spool up a Abu Garcia Veritas PLX medium-action rod with 10-lb. Trilene Big Game and a Berkley Magic Swimmer as the lure. The Magic Swimmer has caught tons of stripers over the past decade. The Magic Swimmer comes in several sizes and they all work, but the 125 is most popular on Lanier. Be prepared with several colors like the halo greenie, chrome and white liner. Other key topwater baits include the Berkley J-Walker 120, Berkley Surge Shad and the Berkley Hijacker.  Each one has a different action. Also keep the trebles in tip-top shape. If they are bent, replace them with Gamakatsu Magic Eye trebles. So far this fall the Berkley Canewalker in chrome has been the best bait. The key bait can change daily based on weather conditions. Look for schooling fish and cast right in the middle of them. Some of these schools can be massive. This is usually the most exciting month of the year on Lanier. Do not miss it!”

Capt. Ron Mullins, of The Striper Experience, reports,  “The lake is mostly clear, but the turnover is in full swing, so there are lots of areas on the lake with the milky look that comes along with it. The striped bass have already begun their breakout of the south end of the lake and can be found all the way up into the middle part of the lake up to the Highway 53 bridges on both arms. The topwater bite has yet to really get cranked up, but by the first of couple weeks of the month, it will be the change that we are all looking for. Your best bets for topwater action will be the first couple of hours of the morning or the last couple of hours of daylight in the afternoon on the mostly sunny days that we tend to have in October. Those days when there is some cloud cover, it is likely that you can see these explosive schools of fish anytime during the day. There will be schools coming up from Big Creek up to Orr Creek along the river channel, in the Two Mile and Six Mile junctions and the mouths of Flat and Mud creeks, as well. Look for big, multiple splashes that can be seen from a long way off. A good pair of binoculars will also help scan the lake for these blow-ups. This activity is typically very quick, so be ready to run hard to the schools while they are up. Approach the feeding school from upwind if possible so that you can make an even longer cast with the wind assisting your lure. All kinds of topwater lures will work this month, like a Chug Bug, Zara Spook or Magic Swimmer. The Captain Mack’s Jr Hawg spoon is also an excellent choice for these schoolers. Fish nickel or nickel/silver scale on sunny days and pearl or pearl/blue scale on cloudy days. This casting spoon is a great bait because it can be fished near the surface like you would a Magic Swimmer, but it can also be fished deep by allowing it to fall and then yo-yoing it back to the boat after the school has gone back down. It can also be fished vertically when these schools of fish get under the boat. Drop it straight down about 20 feet below the fish you are marking on your Humminbird Helix or Solix and power reel it back up through the fish like you did during the summer with the Boss Hawg. This has been a tough summer bite, but the topwater schools are starting to form, and it’s a great time to be on the lake with the awesome fall weather. ‘Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame. There is no difference in anyone—the same Lord is Lord of all and blesses all who call on him, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,’ Romans 10:11-13. Notice how many times in this statement that it says everyone or all. All are called to believe in Jesus, and we are called to love all as Jesus did.”

Crappie: Capt. Josh Thornton reports, “As the water temperature continues to drop, the fish will become more active. We are catching a lot of fish and starting to see some bigger ones. Crappie are suspended 10 to 15 feet over a 30- to 40-foot bottom at most of the docks we are fishing. Docks with structure or shade are producing well. If you are using jigs, I would try bright colors in clear water and dark colors after the rain. I have had success in the past in the fall with the ATX bluegrass pattern, so that color combination will be my starting point for the next few weeks. I am setting minnows 10 to 12 feet deep most of the time. Crappie love the shade, so cast into the shadows or shaded areas of a dock. When dock shooting, the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. I use ATX Lure Company plastic jigs on Lip Thrashin Lures jig heads. I use 5-lb. test, high-visibility yellow K9 braid for my line unless I am using a bobber, then it’s the K9 6-lb. high-visibility line. I use Garmin LiveScope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages @crappieonlanier and @fishingwitheverydayheroes.”

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.