I’m glad to finally get around to posting an update on the fishing. Between the Arctic Blast and the Fall drought a lot has been going on since my last report. We have recovered from about a 10’ drop in our lake level to just shy of full pool. Not to mention some warmer weather. How did everyone’s hunting season go? We still have some small game opportunities open here in Georgia but our hunting season has finally come to a close. You know what that means..time to go fishing!
Lake Lanier is currently at 1070.40’ MSL. That is 0.60’ below full pool. Surface temps are averaging 48 degrees and the upper reaches of the lake are stained while mid to lower lake is fairly clear.
I’m going to start off with a different report than normal. January through March is my favorite time of year to target Specks. Have you heard of those? Excuse my ex-Floridian language.. I’m talking about Crappie. Or if you are from the Midwest “Croppie” or Sac-a-Lait if you’re from Louisiana. I honestly don’t know what I enjoy better, eating them or catching them? In these late winter and early spring months I target them in large schools primarily under deep water covered docks. The crappie will find the darkest shadows to hide under. This means under boats that are also under covered docks. There are 2 ways I like to get to these hard to reach fish. The primary technique is dock shooting. This is when you don’t cast or pitch a jig..you shoot it like a bow and arrow. Load up your spin rod by pulling the jig back to you while bending the rod tip, then letting it go. This will fire the line out low and parallel to the water to get under the docks. All of Lanier docks are floating docks. So if you’re familiar with them, you are shooting under the floats which could give you only a half a foot of clearance or less. On the Blazer Bay 2420 GTS I have low gunwales. Making it perfect to get nice and low to the water line to make perfect shots. This does take practice. If you’re a beginner I start the morning shooting easy boat slips. Once you get a handle of that I will shrink your targets as the morning goes. Another way to get down to the specks is to play the angle of the sun and shadows. On sunny days you will notice this time of year the sun is always at an angle, not directly above us like in the summer time. This will cast the darkest shadows out away from the docks if you know what to look for. This will give you an easy vertical presentation to reach them. Now until the end of March is prime time to load the ice box up before they move shallow to spawn. If you’re interested in learning these techniques and craving a fish fry for taco Tuesday, book at trip and let’s go catch em’.
The Striper fishing has been good. The weather that people want to go fishing in hasn’t been the best. Thanks to the folks that have booked recently that aren’t made of sugar, we had some good trips catching. On the last week of duck season we also attempted my only and first successful Lanier Cast n’ Blast. That is a waterfowl hunt at first light, then Striper fishing after the hunt. Wow, that was a lot of fun. Maybe next season I might try to arrange a few trips if the birds are around. The month of February may not produce great numbers on some days, but will make up for it in size. In a local club tournament today there was a Striper boated just shy of 30 lbs. They’re out there! We have had a very consistent winter pattern for the most part. It seems to be changing just a little. Downlines on deep fish where you see the threadfin in the creeks. I would say mid lake has been better for numbers but they can be found lake wide. Recently there has been numerous catches shallow, now and accounting for some massive Striper. This is the time of year you want to be prepared with everything. These fish are moving a lot and fast. Have your planer boards, freelines, downlines, Captain Mack’s umbrella rigs, and bucktails ready. Not to mention a variety of live baits. Some days they may prefer one over the other. Kind of like a woman trying to decide what she wants to eat right? Haha Trout, herring, gizzards, and shiners have all been catching. Lastly, don’t forget to keep an eye on the gulls. They are the best fish finders on the lake.
Overall as the days get longer, warmer, and we are getting closer to spawning season. We have some great fishing just around the corner! The Spring months March through May are hot months to catch both Bass and Stripers. The weekends are already filling up but weekdays are the best if you can make the time. Give me a call or text anytime to book your Spring fishing trip. Hope to see you on the water soon!
Capt. Andrew Hammond