March 11, 2022 Lake Lanier Striper Fishing Report
Finally, besides the cold front this weekend the days are getting longer, warmer, and the Dogwoods are blooming! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the the Legend of the Dogwood trees blooming and fishing, here is the skinny.. Conditions such as weather, photoperiod (day length), and moon phase play a big role in fish and plants reproducing. Fish instinctively respond to triggers in their environment, and even though I know much less about plants, I’m pretty certain that’s the case with them as well. Flowers bloom to reproduce, and it makes good sense that their best chance for success is when conditions are close to perfect. Certain species of fish start to move shallow out of their winter haunts, stage for the spawn, and feed VERY aggressively. So now you know when you hear “The Dogwoods are blooming” you know it’s time to go fishing!
Lake Lanier is currently at 1071.79’ MLS, 0.79’ above full pool. Depending on the area of the lake the surface temp has been been in the mid 50’s to low 60’s in the afternoon. The front this weekend might knock it down a notch or two but I expect it to jump back up quickly.
Striper fishing has been good! Much better than the previous couple months in my opinion. A part of that reason is we are seeing a good pattern now. Besides those late sunny afternoons I’ve pretty much abandoned the downlines and flipped to fishing a higher zone in the water column. Anywhere from the surface to about 20’ deep max. The primary tactic has been slow trolling live baits on flat lines, freelines, and planners. Vary the depths with different weight split shots or no weight at all. If one out produces enough you know what weight to go to. I have also had success trolling the 4 arm Mini Mack with both the big motor and slow trolling on the Capt. Mack’s 10” perfect planner. Early morning the bait and Stripers have been pushing to some of the creek backs and working their way out as the day progresses. That’s a good place to start your search in the morning. Recently the gulls and loons have been a very viable pattern to run and gun. I have been chasing the diving gulls this week and it has been producing good numbers. If you’re a fly fisherman now is the time to dust off the long sticks. A freelined live pitch bait, Sabile Magic Swimmer, or a bucktail jig has been my go to. The artificials have been out producing the live baits some days. Fire your baits right in the middle of the birds and hold on! Even a piece of white shoe lace looks good to those feeding fish. Try it!
I have a few open dates the last 2 weeks in March and April is booking up quick. The lake is coming alive and the fish are feeding strong. Now is time to get in the books, enjoy our beautiful spring weather, and a trip you won’t forget! Hope to see you on the water soon.
Capt. Andrew Hammond