Catching Not Fishing
Lake Lanier Fishing Report

September 2008 – Lake Lanier Fishing Report


Water Temperature: 84 degrees

Lake Level: The lake level continues to drop. Looks like the worst is yet to come for Lanier. The lake level has dropped below 1054’, which is seven feet below what it was at this time last year. The number of boat ramps open continues to dwindle. Charleston, Tidwell, Shoal Creek, and a couple more continue to be open at this time. The lake is still safer than people realize so do not hesitate to go out on the lake. With the lack of boat traffic the fishing has been excellent.

Stripers:  The striper fishing continues to be on fire. The stripers are still in very large schools all over the south end of the lake. The next few weeks will be some of the best striper fishing of the year. Start down near the dam for the larger fish. The farther north you go the smaller the average size of the fish. The big fish prefer the deeper colder water near the dam. Be sure to stay in the main channel of these creeks. Most of the fish will be 30 to 50 feet deep over 80 to 100 feet of water. Starting to catch a few fish as deep as 90 feet deep. The best tactic to catch these fish is to downline herring straight under the boat. The downline is basically a Carolina rig used in bass fishing. You need a 1/0 or 2/0 Mustad octopus hook tied to a seven or eight foot 15lb. P-line fluorocarbon leader. Tie the leader to a 1 1/2oz. swivel sinker and you are ready to go.

Trolling is another good option, if you are not equipped with a bait tank to keep the herring alive. Trolling is picking up good numbers out on the main channel. Trolling in the creek channels has been more difficult due to the standing timber being closer to the surface due to the drought. For trolling you will need a reel with lead core line. Lead core is a fabric type line with a lead center to help it get down to the appropriate depth. The lead line is color-coded and with every color you let out it will get your bucktail jig or lure down approximately four feet. This line does require a fairly large reel like a Penn 320. An Abu Garcia 6500 size reel is not sufficient. With the water temperature being in the mid-eighties be sure to get the stripers back in the water as fast as possible. The hot surface has very little oxygen. Drop the fish head first in the water. This will give the fish the best chance of survival.



Bass: The spotted bass fishing has been hit or miss. Been getting a few good reports on topwater early in the mornings with smaller Heddon Zara Spooks and larger Heddon Baby Torpedos in shad colored patterns. Most of these will be under three pounds but they put up a good fight on a light rod. All of the bass tournaments on the lake have been canceled due to the lack of available boat ramps. However, now is the best time ever to learn the lake. With the lake being down, some of the structure that has not been visible since the early fifties is now beginning to become visible. The individuals who take advantage of this will be well rewarded in the future.


National Hunting & Fishing Day.

On September 27, 2008 residents do not need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state. State fishing laws and area limits still apply. For more information, visit There will also be Kid’s Fishing Rodeo below Buford Dam on September 27, 2008 from 9:00 to 1:00. The river will be heavily stocked with trout for the youngsters. Poles and tackle will be provided. This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to fishing. See you there.

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