The striper fishing on Lake Lanier this December has been better than normal. Due to the warm weather earlier in the month, the water temperature has stayed a little warmer than average and the fish have been feeding to prepare for the rest of the winter. Two patterns have been working for weeks on Lake Lanier and it looks like these two patterns will continue to be strong for at least the next several weeks. The bulk of the fish are deeper than normal. It has not been uncommon for us to catch the stripers 75 feet deep this week. We are catching all of these stripers on a downline very much like we do in the middle of Summer. The only difference is we are using live rainbow trout with a 3/0 octopus hook instead of a herring with a 1/0 octopus hook. Concerning the tackle, we are still using a 7 foot medium action Shakespeare Striper rod paired up with a Penn 310LC Linecounter Reel. We are using mostly 15 pound Trilene Big Game main line, a 1 1/2 ounce egg sinker above a swivel and five foot leader of 100% Trilene Flourocarbon Leader. We are still using some of the herring for the smaller stripers but most of the respectable fish are coming on the trout. You can pick up the rainbow trout at any of the local bait shops around the lake. The key to catching the fish on the downline right now is the baitfish. Find the baitfish deep and park on it. Put out your baits and let the fish come to you. They will not be far from the baitfish.
The second pattern that is catching less but bigger fish is to pull large trout and large gizzard shad on free lines and planer boards up in the creeks. All of the creeks are good targets and the dpeth of water has varied. As of right now, you will not catch big numbers doing this but if you are looking for a fish over 30 pounds this is the pattern for you. Over the past several weeks, there have been way more fish than normal caught over 30 pounds on Lanier. This is more of a patience game so take your time and fish for that one big bite so be prepared with heavier tackle.
Overall, the fishing has been great on Lake Lanier. The problem is not many people are getting out on the lake and enjoying it with the lake being lower than normal. There are still more boat ramps open than during the last drought a few years ago. The good news is there are not any jet skis, cruisers, or cigarette boats out on the lake. If you enjoy peace and solitude, now is the time to get out on the water. See you out there,