December 1, 2021 Lake Lanier Striper Fishing Report
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and got to spend it with your family, friends, and loved ones. The leftover turkey is gone, the bucks are almost done doing their thing in the deer woods, and the lake turnover is behind us. It’s time to go catchin’ again! The water temp is dropping and we are starting to get back into a good pattern. The surface temp is around 57 degrees and lake level continues to drop at 1069.61’ MSL, that’s 1.39’ below full pool.
Finding the bait schools have been the go to pattern this time of year. The predator fish are hammering massive schools of herring and shad getting ready for the winter. These fish can be found lake wide from the dam all the way up into the rivers right now. Start your search for bait school in the mouths to the backs of the creeks lake wide. The bait has been all over from creek channels, drains, and flats. A number of tactics are producing. From pulling planners and flat lines, pulling points, fishing creek channels, and downlines. If there is a major weather change such as a front, I will start my day with a combination spread pulling flat lines and downlines. Or if you are spot-locked try staggered downlines with freelined pitch baits. Whichever pattern dominates make your adjustments accordingly. I would say herring and trout on downlines have been the main pattern right now, especially on the clear sunny days. These schools are moving quick pushing the bait balls around. I have been finding pinch points, channel swings, or ledges with bait present to spot-lock on and wait for the fish to come to you. Also, covering water and moving to the fish has been working well when the bait is really on the move. If you are pulling a spread on flat lines and planners, try pulling 1 large gizzard in the middle of your spread. I like to use them to grab the fishes attention almost like a flasher. If it gets blasted hold on, it’s usually a biggun!
I often get asked from fellow anglers who are either new to the sport, new to the lake, or just can’t seem to have any luck, for some advise or help to get them pointed in the right direction. The best advise I can give anyone is (TOW) time on the water. The more time you spend on the water and the more you fail, the better you will become as an angler. Practice failing. Practice doesn’t make perfect but it makes improvement. Conditions and patterns are always changing. Training your mind to constantly troubleshoot and make your adjustments from tactics that you have failed from to something different or new. It could be locations, depths, bait types, presentation, colors, action, temps, times.. There is so many factors that come into play. For many who have put in the time but just need to get over that hump I noticed it’s an accumulation of smaller details that add up. For example, how to know exactly what you are seeing on your sonar, having your electronics dialed in correctly, using the correct equipment and tackle, type of line, size of line, type of hooks, size of hooks, speeds to troll , types of trolling, how to hook baits differently, how to keep and maintain live bait.. All these little details add up and can easily make or break your day. My best advise for this is to book a trip with a professional guide. Tell them your situation and what you want to learn out of your trip. Ask to explain our setups and what we do different through the season changes. Most of us are more than willing to help you out in any way we can.
I have a few dates still open in December, then I’m back in the full swing of things for the New Year. I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe Christmas and New Years! I’ll see y’all out on the water soon.
-Capt. Andrew Hammond