Lake Lanier Fishing Reports – December 2020

GON Staff | November 28, 2020

Lanier: Level: 0.9 feet low. Temp: 63 degrees but an overdue cold front will drop it like a rock. Clarity: The turnover is coming to an end, so the water clarity is improving slowly. There is very little stained water.

Bass: Guide Ryan Coleman reports, “Fishing has been sketchy but good.  There has been a good morning bite up shallow, and then things toughen up a bit. There is a range of ways to catch them right now, but the best bets are spinnerbaits and crankbaits up shallow early, and then work worms and jigs out on brush and docks during the day. There are also a few fish moving out deep, and that should improve as the month rolls through and the colder weather hits us. Look for a good portion of the fish to move out to 30 to 50 feet of water and be in timber edges, ditches and creek channels on the lower end. I’m seeing a few fish holding around the edges of the timber in 45 feet right now, and I have been catching them on a 3/8-oz. brown or green jig and a straight worm rigged on a jig head. This bite will continue all winter and is our primary bite on Lanier until spring.”

Striper: Capt. Ron Mullins reports, “Our help, the birds, are showing up in numbers every day, and with the full moon on Nov. 30, we should have even more help in the coming weeks. The fall topwater bite has been the best in years so far, and the gulls and terns are what to look for on the main lake for the first couple hours in the morning. These fish are keying on small bait, so downsize your lure. Casting a 3/8-oz. Captain Mack’s Super Spoon in glitter or white/silver flash will be my go-to artificial. A 7-foot Okuma Reflections medium-action rod paired with a 30-class Okuma Helios loaded with 15-lb. braid and a 4-foot, 10-lb. fluorocarbon leader is a great setup to cast this little lure a long way, which is key to getting to these fast-moving schools. Most of your bites will come while you are moving the spoon as fast as you can through fish that are blowing up on the surface. If the fish go down before you get to them, yo-yo the spoon on your retrieve. This setup will also work vertically on the stripers and spots you find in and around the big clouds of bait in the 40- to 60-foot range you will be targeting in the back half of any major creeks, like Latham, Taylor, Johnson, Sardis, Ada, Gainesville and Little River after the topwater action dies down. Downlined herring or small trout on an Okuma Striper rod with an Okuma Coldwater 203 fished about 2 feet off the bottom up to 5 feet above the bait schools you will mark with your Humminbird Solix will be your best live-bait option in December. A Captain Mack’s 1.5- to 2-oz. swivel sinker, 3 to 4 feet of 10-lb. fluorocarbon leader and a No. 4 or No. 2 Gamakatsu circle hook will be your best setup for downlining this month. As the water finally cools into the 50s, smaller baits will be the answer to more bites. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Capt. Clay Cunningham reports, “The water temperature is steadily dropping, and the bait is starting to condense in the creeks. Find the bait, and you will find the Lake Lanier striped bass. The baitfish are now moving into the creeks in very large schools. Some of these schools are absolutely massive. On and off throughout the day the stripers will move through this bait and feast. You want to be waiting on the stripers with the traditional downline with blueback herring and rainbow trout. It’s still too early to say if herring or trout will be the bait of choice. You will need the same setup for both of these baits, but you will need different-sized weights and hooks. Spool up a Penn Fathom II 20 reel with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game clear line paired with a Shakespeare striper rod. You can use this setup year-round for stripers. Tie a Carolina rig on the end with a Captain Mack 2-oz. swivel sinker and a 5-foot leader of 15-lb. Trilene 100% Flourocarbon and a Gamakatsu 3/0 octopus hook. If the trout are smaller, go with the 1/0 or 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. On the herring, use the smaller 1-oz. Captain Mack swivel sinker. Also on the herring use a smaller size 1 Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap hook and 12-lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. All of these little details are important. These details will make the difference between fishing and catching. If you want to catch these fish on artificials, the spoon is a great choice. Tie on a Captain Mack’s Super Spoon on a 6-6 Fenwick medium-action rod paired with an Abu Garcia Revo X with 10-lb. line and drop the spoon to the bottom and work it in a yo-yo type motion. Most of the bites will be on the fall of the spoon. If you do see some surface action, keep a Berkley Spy tied on a spinning rod or a small 3/8-oz. Berkley Fusion bucktail or a 3/8-oz. Captain Mack’s Super Jig white bucktail. To find where these deep pods are located, the birds always narrow your search. Now that you are in the right area, the proper electronics are crucial. On the Humminbird Solix, you can see these huge pods of bait and even see your bait swimming around on the hook around the schools of bait. During the winter, do not be afraid to fish in the middle of the day. Many times in the winter the best fishing is during the warmest part of the day. December is one of my favorite months of the year.”

Crappie: Capt. Josh Thornton reports, “The crappie are moving back to deep-water docks and deep standing timber. Look for docks with structure in 30 to 40 feet of water and look for standing treetops with the tops being in the 30- to 40-foot depth. Be flexible in your technique. Figure out what depth the crappie are biting and whether they want to eat jigs or minnows. Then concentrate on what they want. There is no need in throwing all jigs if they only want minnows that day. This week has been heavily minnows, but we are still getting crappie on jigs. The open-water shallow brush in 15 to 20 feet of water have not been producing as much as the water temperatures are dropping. When you find docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water and have brush, try downlining a crappie minnow with a sinker and cast jigs toward the structure. Jigs have been producing a few big guys this week. My jig recommendation is an ATX Baby Shad green over chartreuse or a chartreuse hair jig. Jigs can be used for short casting, vertical jigging or dock shooting. Use scanning-type sonar to locate schooling fish, and complement this with the latest in live-scanning sonar technology. Set waypoints on your electronic charts so that you can quickly return to productive locations. I do this on a smartphone using the Navionics Boating app. I’m using 5-lb. test, high-visibility yellow K9 braid for my line on a Piscifun reel. I use ATX Lure Company for my plastics and Garmin live scope to pinpoint the fish.”

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.