Now is the peak time to catch the biggest fish in Lake Lanier as the fish prepare for the Spring spawn. The big females have to eat and they are moving shallow for the warmer water from the sun greatly increasing your odds. Plus with the fish shallow, you are less likely to lose the fish to the deep timber. Live bait will be the best bet for the big females. Do not be afraid to pull a one pound gizzard shad up in the shallows. You need to use a little heavier line with the big baits. Sometimes they will crush the bait like a torpedo coming out of the water putting tons of stress on our Driftmaster rod holders. Most of the time with the big gizzards we spool up with twenty pound Trilene Big Game and a twenty pound Trilene 100% Flourocarbon leader. At other times free lining blueback herring will be the best bait. We typically use a little lighter line fifteen pound test on the herring to give them a little more action. Also, be sure to use as small a hook as possible on the herring. Most of the time use a 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Using too large of a hook is the most common mistake due to it slowing the bait down and not look natural. Small bucktails cast into stained water will also catch some fish in the coming weeks. The stained water will warm faster and the bait will follow along with the stripers.
Lastly, do not forget about the night bite. Casting artificials like the Bomber Long A into the shallows can be exciting when a big fish crushes your lure five feet off the bank. Now that the nights are warming up, the night fishing is a little more pleasurable.