Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 12, 2018
What does this February hold for the stripers on Lake Lanier is a good question. It all comes down to the weather. After a very cold December and early January, the weather has now bounced around all over the place. So far the stripers and even a good number of bass have been exceptionally deep with the deep bait. Some of the bait has been 80 to 110 feet deep. There have been a few fish shallow that can be easy to catch but not big numbers. We need a little warm weather to pull this bait out of the depths. Hopefully February will begin to show signs of warming up and the bait making a rush to the back of the creeks.
Live bait has continued to be the best pattern over the deep bait. As the bait condenses in the creeks this pattern will not change much except that they will progressively move shallower as Spring gets closer and closer. Be prepared with as many rods as possible. Keep as many Shakespeare striper rods rigged as possible with Penn Squall Linecounter reels spooled with 15 pound Trilene Big Game. Rig several of these striper rods with a freeline which consists of Spro Power Swivel, a five foot leader of 100% Trilene Flourocarbon, and a Gamaktsu size 2 Octopus hook for the herring. If medium shiners are working, be sure to use a size 6 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Just as important is to rig several rods with downlines. The downline is more less a carolina rig for live bait. Tie on a 2 ounce Capt. Mack swivel sinker, a five foot leader of the same Trilene 100% ten pound Flourocarbon and the same Gamakatsu Octopus hooks. These hooks are tiny but incredibly strong. Great electronics like the Humminbird Solix will greatly increase your success. You should be able to see your bait almost hit the fish on the head with the electronics. With todays units you can even see the bait swimming around on the hook.
If you want to use artificials, the Capt. Mack 3/8 ounce and 1/4 ounce bucktails will come into play in February. In clear water go witht he white bucktail and the chartreuse in stained water. Rig up a Penn Conflict 3000 or Peen Battle 3000 with 10 pound Trilene Big Game on a 7 foot Medium Penn rod and you are ready for battle. This pattern will be best once the bait moves to the back of the creeks. The first hour of daylight can be worth the effort to get out early.
Also of note, February can be the big fish month of the year as the females begin to feel the urge of the Spring spawn. The metabolism of the big females will increase and they will be looking for a meal. Be sure to check all your lines for minor frays and knots in the line. Fishing line is just like a chain and only as strong as the weakest link. Some big fish may show up this February if the weather falls into place. Be prepared and don’t say the big one got away.