Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 13, 2016
Winter has finally arrived here on Lanier. Water temperature is finally getting down to where it suppose to be for this time of year. Water temperature is in the low fifties for now but with another cold week approaching look for it to dip a little more to the upper forties. Upper forties in water temperature sounds cold but as long as the water temperature stays above 45 degrees look for fishing to be pretty good. The past few weeks have been better than average for this time of year. Some big fish continue to show up shallow and the volume of fish being as deep as eighty feet.
In February several things can happen and it is all dependent on weather. With Winter being late this year, you can expect February to continue to be on the cold side. For the next couple weeks look for the downline bite to continue to be strong using blueback herring. All you need is a simple carolina rig with a 3/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook on the end and seven foot Shakespeare striper rod paired with a Penn Squall reel spooled with fifteen pound Trilene Big Game line. This set up is use year round on Lanier. Drop the herring on the large schools of herring in the back of the creeks. Start halfway back in the creeks and work your way back looking for the bait. This time of year the schools of bait are massive. Use the downline the bulk of the time but if you see any surface activity do not be afraid to try a freeline with a balloon as a bobber. A freeline is simply a line out behind the boat with no weight and just a 3/0 Gamakatsu hook tipped with a herring or trout. The live trout have accounted for some of the biggest fish this Winter.
If it gets really cold the later part of the month, look for the Captain Mack umbrella rigs to come into action. You will need heavier tackle for the umbrella rig so be sure to get some recommendations for the local tackle shops like Hammond’s Fishing and Oakwood Bait and Tackle. Do not forget an umbrella rig retriever. It is as important as the umbrella rig. The fish will be laying up on humps and points and easy to catch with the umbrella rig with some practice. You can run up some big numbers with the umbrella rig this time of year.
Lastly, looking forward to the first signs of Spring in early March as well. People always ask me the best time to catch a trophy striper on Lanier and the answer is simple. It is definitely the month of March and early April as the fish prepare for their annual spawning run. The metabolism of the big females speeds up and they are hungry. I feel confident saying the next lake record will be caught between late February into early April with March being the prime time. See you on the water,