Water Temperature: 58 degrees
Lake Level: Approx. 1052 & Falling
Stripers: As everyone knows the lake levels are at record lows on Lake Lanier right now. Looking back to last years records we are around ten feet lower than last year. Almost all of the boat ramps are closed. At this time, Tidwell and Shoal Creek ramps continue to be open. Overall, the lake is safe to travel just be sure to stay in the channel. The low lake levels are really hurting all the local boat dealers, tackle shops, and other businesses connected to the lake. As expected, the cooling water temperatures have the stripers feeding for the winter. The fish are making a move to the north end of the lake but not as strong as last year. On the south end, the fish are in the mouth of the creeks. As it continues to get colder the fish will move farther back into the creeks. A variety of techniques will be required to catch the fish on a consistent basis this time of year. Be sure to keep a 1/4oz. or 3/8oz. white bucktail tied on for any fish on the surface. On the bucktail use a 4 inch white pearl Zoom fluke jr. Early and late in the evening, do not hesitate to cast to the bank and slowly retrieve the bait with a short hop action on 12 lb. test clear Sufix line. A few fish continue to be caught on Redfins but this will taper off as the water temperature drops. Concerning live bait, trout and blue back herring will need to be pulled on free lines with a 5 foot 15 pound fluorocarbon leader. So far this winter, the trout have been catching a few more fish than the herring. The fish caught on trout have been better size as well. Use a Mustad 5/0 kahle hook on the trout or a Mustad 5/0 octopus hook. On the herring use a Mustad 2/0 octopus hook. Free lines consist of nothing more than a hook. Drop the bait 100 to 150 feet behind the boat and slowly move along with the trolling motor. Planer boards are catching fish as well. Yellow Bird continues to make some of the best planer boards on the market. Clip the board twenty to thirty feet in front of the hook and drift the board out from the boat another 70 feet. Be sure to keep the down lines in the boat you used in the summer months. Sometimes the fish may move deeper depending on the weather. Look for the large pods of baitfish and drop right above them. As I mentioned last year, there is a growing population of anglers on the lake who strictly fly fish for stripers and they do very well this time of year. Also, there is a growing population of fishermen fishing from kayaks on the lake and they do very well.
Bass: December is a fun month to fish for bass on Lake Lanier. The weather is usually not that bad. Some mornings will be cold but the peace and quiet make up for it. Very very few people are out on the lake right now. Spoons and jigs will be the two key baits you have to have on the boat. Just like the stripers, the better bass fishing will be up in the creeks due to the location of all the baitfish. The spoon bite is already falling into place and will be best as the water temperature gets around fifty-five degrees. A .6 white foil flex-it spoon is the number one spoon on Lanier. Another good spoon is the Georgia Blade spoon. At times you will need a ½ oz. white foil flex-it spoon as well. A good rule of thumb is that the deeper you are fishing the heavier spoon you will need. Look for the fish on the electronics, but do not be limited to fishing only when you see fish. Fish any point that makes a narrow spot in the creek channels. Sometimes the fish are tight to the bottom. Drop the spoon right on top of the fish’s head or right off the bottom. . Work the spoon by raising your rod tip and lowering it slowly so the spoon flutters back to the bottom. Most of your bites will be on the fall. Where there is one, there will be many more. Variations of brown and green jigs will also be important to keep in the boat. The jig also is known to produce more quality fish. A ¼ oz. or 3/8 oz. brown jig tipped with a cinnamon pepper twin tail grub is the number one bass jig. Local companies like Georgia Blade and Hornet Lures, make an excellent jig for this type of fishing. Yamamoto and Zoom bait companies make the most popular twin tail grubs.