Water Temperature: 47 degrees
Lake Level: Approx. 1051
Stripers: With the lack of boaters on the lake, the striper fishing has been better than normal. The fish are more relaxed than normal. During the week, there are absolutely no boats on the lake. I feel like I am on a different lake. The lake level has come up a little but not as much as expected. We need rain desperately. A few ramps are open so be sure to ask your local tackle shop on the way. Overall, the lake is safer to travel than people believe. Primarily stay in the channel and do not take any shortcuts between islands. Back to the fishing, the baitfish have pulled up into the back of the creeks and the stripers are right with them. Same as last month, downlines 25 to 30 ft deep with small trout have been the best tactic. Use a shorter leader this time of year compared to the summer months. A four or five foot leader is sufficient this time of year. Use a 3/0 or 4/0 Mustad Octopus hook with the trout. If the seagulls are working the surface, switch to a free line with a larger eight to ten inch trout. On the larger trout switch the hook to a 5/0 Kahle hook and use a heavier leader. This is a good time to catch a big fish. February and March are the best months to catch a trophy striped bass. If you want to catch a trophy do not hesitate to pull a 12 to 14 inch bait. You will not catch many fish due to the smaller fish not being to swallow the big baits but it is worth it this time of year. If February continues to be ice cold, look for a good shad kill. Spoons will come back into play. Fish the bait vertically along the bottom in the creek channels.
Bass: The bass reports have been few in number, but most have said the fishing is better than normal for this time of year. First of all, remember the water is cold so fish slowly. Same as the stripers, the better fishing is up in the creeks. The shad are all up in the creeks. As mentioned in the striper report, it looks like we may get a shad kill. If this develops, spoons will be the bait of choice. Start out with a ½ oz. Flex-it spoon or Georgia Blade spoon. Start in the back of the creeks and work your way out. Work the bait along the bottom near the large pods of baitfish. Be sure to check any point thoroughly. Look for a twenty to thirty foot bottom for the most part. Do not be afraid to try out deeper if the bait is located out in deeper water. If the bass do not want to hit the spoon, try a Texas rig. Use the same shades of green for the worms as any other time of the year. Natural colored worms are also a good choice this time of year like the Zoom natural blue finesse worm. Work the Texas rig slowly along the bottom and go slow. Do not get the wrong idea; the Texas rig is a vertical presentation this time of year. Lastly, if the water starts to warm with some nice spring weather go to the jerkbaits or crankbaits. Look for lightly stained water but not muddy. Stained water warms faster than clear water.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is already on the upswing. The fish are concentrated under the deep-water docks. The better fishing for the most part will be on the north end of the lake due to the stained water. The stained water is very important to the crappie fishing on Lanier. The crappie are too spooky in the clear water. The lure of choice is any 1/32 ounce chartreuse and white jig. You really need the very lightweight jig for the slow fall. If the water is more stained, go to a red and chartreuse jig. The fish will almost always be in the shade of the docks. The best docks will be the ones that hold brush. Look for rod holders and minnow buckets on the docks to help narrow your search and save you time. One last thing, be sure to use 4 pound test line for the crappie. The crappie are very line sensitive.