Spring Striped Bass

February 20th, 2015

Now is the peak time to catch the biggest fish in Lake Lanier as the fish prepare for the Spring spawn. The big females have to eat and they are moving shallow for the warmer water from the sun greatly increasing your odds. Plus with the fish shallow, you are less likely to lose the fish to the deep timber. Live bait will be the best bet for the big females. Do not be afraid to pull a one pound gizzard shad up in the shallows. You need to use a little heavier line with the big baits. Sometimes they will crush the bait like a torpedo coming out of the water putting tons of stress on our Driftmaster rod holders. Most of the time with the big gizzards we spool up with twenty pound Trilene Big Game and a twenty pound Trilene 100% Flourocarbon leader. At other times free lining blueback herring will be the best bait. We typically use a little lighter line fifteen pound test on the herring to give them a little more action. Also, be sure to use as small a hook as possible on the herring. Most of the time use a 2/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Using too large of a hook is the most common mistake due to it slowing the bait down and not look natural. Small bucktails cast into stained water will also catch some fish in the coming weeks. The stained water will warm faster and the bait will follow along with the stripers.
Lastly, do not forget about the night bite. Casting artificials like the Bomber Long A into the shallows can be exciting when a big fish crushes your lure five feet off the bank. Now that the nights are warming up, the night fishing is a little more pleasurable.

February 2, 2015 Striper Bounty

February 2nd, 2015

The Striper Bounty is back! A 50 pd striper is worth $10,000 right now on Lake Lanier. Thanks to John Megal Chevrolet and The Angler Magazine for sponsoring the bounty. The best chance to catch a trophy striper on Lake Lanier is from February 1 to April 1 on Lake Lanier. Depending on the weather, large gizzard shad or blueback herring will be the best baits pulling them on freelines and planer boards. It is not uncommon for us to pull gizzard shad that are in excess of a pound during the Spring. Big fish many times want a big bait.

On another note, there has also been some good fish already caught at night on Long A bombers and Daiwa SP Minnows casting them tight to the banks up in the creeks. This pattern can be incredible during the Spring months as the shallow banks warm from the sun. The bites with this pattern can be arm wrenching. Striper Bounty

Lake Lanier Crappie Fishing Report January 28, 2015

January 29th, 2015

Finally getting out to do some crappie fishing. Still chasing the stripers as well but the crappie are a good option now as well. The crappie have moved under the deep docks and the schools are large making it easier to run up better numbers of crappie. Most people do not realize this is the best time of the year for numbers of crappie. With the big schools you spend more time catching instead of fishing and checking more locations. You still have to move around sometimes but not as much as later in the  Spring when the crappie move to the banks. Today we did well on popeye jigs in pink chartreuse and pink white depending on water clarity in the area we were fishing. A common question I have this time of year is how many people should we bring crappie fishing. Right now the best answer is two people because most of these locations there is only room for two people to cast. However, today we had six people in the boat counting myself so feel free to bring more people. You just need to swap out people every few fish. Main thing is to have a good time. Hope to see you on the water soon. The crappie fishing is just heating up so plenty of time to get in on the action. One more thing. I am often asked when the best time to take kids crappie fishing. The best time to take kids crappie fishing is late March into April when the fish are up shallow. Kids enjoy fishing up shallow with bobbers and a great way for them to learn the basics of fishing and catching. See you on the water, Lake Lanier Crappie

Lake Lanier Fishing Report January 3, 2015

January 3rd, 2015

Over the past month, the larger stripers have been shallow and they are eating trout on freelines behind the boat with nothing but a hook and a trout. The smaller stripers have been deep and being caught on downlines with herring and small trout. Some of these stripers have been 70 feet deep.
Sar far it looks like this pattern of big fish shallow and small fish deep will continue through January. Be sure to keep an eye out for any bird life including sea gulls and loons. The birds will let you know where the concentrations of baitfish are located. Be sure to keep an eye out for any surfacing fish. The surfacing fish have been few and far between but that can change any day. Be sure to keep a small white bucktail tied on a spinning rod like a Fenwick 7′ Medium spinning rod spooled with ten pound Trilene Big Game line. You need the light line for the casting distance of the small bucktails. Some of these fish will be in two feet of water so be sure to look hard in the backs of the coves for any activity. Even one fish busting can give away a honey hole.
If the weather turns extremely cold in the coming weeks don’t count out the umbrella rig either. Many times in January the umbrella rig tipped with 4 inch chartreuse hypertails can out catch live bait due to the rig being a reaction bite. This pattern will most likely come into play if the water temperature drops below 46 degrees. If you have never pulled the umbrella rig, be sure to talk to the guys at the local bait shops for some pointers. The rigs are expensive and an umbrella rig retriever is very important. Be sure to purchase one. Use the retriever one time and it will pay for itself.


Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier Striper Report Dec. 8, 2014

December 8th, 2014

Thought I would go ahead and make another report. Came off the water early today due to the wind. It was ugly out there today. The main lake was white capping and even in the creeks it was hard to find shelter.  We saw a good deal of birds working bait in the creeks. Did not see any stripers chasing bait on the surface but they were cruising just underneath the surface. We had some good action on trout on freelines and planer boards. This pattern will continue for several more weeks. Hope to see some of you over the Holiday. Happy Holidays,12714

Lake Lanier Fishing Report Dec. 6, 2014

December 7th, 2014

Been some good times out on the lake the past few weeks. Been catching big numbers of smaller stripers each trip. It has been a great time to take kids the past few weeks and looks like the next few weeks will be the same. The smaller stripers have been deep and we have been catching them on herring and small spoons. This bite has been strong all day long.  The big stripers have been shallow and the best bite has been early and late. We are catching them on medium trout on freelines and on large gizzard shad. The bites have been very aggressive. This bite should continue for the next several weeks. The holidays are usually a great time to be out on the water. You can fish for large numbers of smaller fish or fish larger baits for lower numbers of big fish or even a combination of both. Hope to see you on the water. lake lanier fishing report

Lake Lanier Fishing Report Nov. 18, 2014

November 18th, 2014

Due to the nasty weather the last couple days, we have not been out on the water giving us time to catch up on fishing reports. With this  strong cold front look for the winter patterns to be rock solid. The bulk of the fish will continue to be deep on downlines and at certain times a few fish will be shallow increasing your chance at a big fish. Right now, we have a huge number of smaller fish deep which has kept things really interesting on the lake. Great time to take kids. It is cold early some days which is making some people hesitant to go but the best fishing is midday. No need to get out super early in the cold. Most days we have been starting our trips at 9am or later. We will continue to catch a good number of fish on herring but we will now start catching some fish on trout as well. The next few weeks should be some good fishing. Hope to see you out there. Thanks Capt. Clay Striped Bass

Lake Lanier Report August 18, 2014

August 18th, 2014

The striper fishing on Lake Lanier the past month has been off the charts and September looks to be more of the same. The weather has been a little cooler than normal which has helped the fish as well as the angler. The lake level has been more consistent than in years past. People are out enjoying the lake. It has just been incredible out on the lake from all angles.
The stripers are in the deep water on the south end of the lake chasing large schools of herring out over deep water. Downlines have been the best tactic. The downline is more or less a carolina rig with a 2/0 Gamakatsu Nautilus Light Circle hook and. Spool up a 6500 C3 Abu Garcia reel with 15 pound Trilene Big Game on a 7 foot Shakespeare Striper rod and you are ready for action. Good electronics are crucial this time of year. On the Lowrance HDS units, you can see your bait swimming around the hook and the fish come up to eat it.
If you want to troll, the best tactic is leadcore. Leadcore is a fabric coated line that has lead in the center of it. The lead makes it possible to sink the line to the desired depth. The line is also color coded so you can be very precise with the depth. It is a very effective way to fish. The leadcore line is larger than monofilament so certain reels are required. A Penn 330 reel is one of the few reels with the required line capacity. Match the Penn 330 with a 7 foot Shakespeare Medium Light Tiger Rod and you have the correct combination. This setup has a few specific requirements so be sure to get all the tips you can from your local bait shop. I would suggest having them spool up the set up the first time to get the correct amount of backing and correct swivels. On the end of the setup, tie on a 2 ounce Capt. Mack bucktail and tip it with a 6 inch chartreuse trailer. This pattern should hold up until late September. This is the peak of the year here on Lake Lanier, get out and go catching, 1473066_10152626496231683_1729330941348634590_n

July 1, 2014

July 1st, 2014

Lake Lanier Stripers: The Striper fishing on Lake Lanier has been getting better with each passing week. The fish have already made the move to open water. July is always one of the best months of the year. The fishing on the weekends can be tough due to the boat traffic but during the week it is a different world. What people find the most surprising is the best fishing can be in the middle of the day. Many days we get a strong bite early then after lunch another strong bite due to generation at the dam. The key pattern in July is downlines over deep water with blue back herring. The downline is a type of Carolina rig similar to bass fishing. You use a 2 ounce swivel sinker 6 feet or more above a fifteen pound flourocarbon leader and a 2/0 Gamakatsu Nautilus Light Circle hook. If the herring are small go to a 1/0 for more action out of the bait. The rod and reel consists of a Shakespeare 7’6″ Striper Rod and a Penn Squall line counter reel spooled with fifteen pound Trilene Big Game.
The best fishing will be from Vanns Tavern down to the dam due to the better water quality. With each passing week the fish are moving further and further south. The stripers will be over open water so good electronics are important. Short simple report can be summed up with this is the best time to go. Do not miss it. It is time to go catching. See you on the water.

Lake Lanier Fishing Report August 28, 2013

August 29th, 2013

Business slowing down a little with school starting back so hope to get back in the groove of making better posts. Water temp still in the low 80s and the fish are staying deep as expected. Still catching all our fish on downlines at all types of depths. The fish are not in their usual large groups. They are in smaller packs of 4 to 8 fish most of the time. The hardest part this week has been keeping the baits bait alive. The water quality where they are catching the herring is not as good as it should be for this time of year. I am ready for the Fall topwater bite. The topwater bite should be here the first week of October if not sooner The stripers have appeared to be a little more lively this week which is good. Take as much bait as you can and keep them on oxygen or cool them down good. See you guys out there.