Bass fishing Lake Lanier is on my bucket list of fishing trips. This Georgia reservoir has some of the finest spotted bass fishing in the United States. Largemouth bass are also available in Lake Lanier. We talk about bass fishing Lake Lanier with local Ben Brisbois who has had a lot of success on this lake including a recent FLW BFL win. Keep reading to get a preview of bass fishing Lake Lanier.
How long have you been bass fishing Lake Lanier?
I have been fishing Lake Lanier for about 15 years now. My Dad and I fished off and on all through middle school and high school, but man were we awful! It wasn’t until the last couple years that I really began to take fishing seriously. Lanier is an incredible lake that offers up some giant spotted bass! These giant spots are my favorite thing about the lake. There is no fish like a spotted bass and that is why I spend so much time chasing them. I usually get to fish 1 to 3 times per week depending on my schedule.
What was the best day you ever had bass fishing Lake Lanier?
As a tournament fisherman my best day, on “Big Sid” as some of us locals call her, was February 24th of this year when I won the FLW BFL here. This was my first BFL as a boater, and I had only had my new Triton Boats 19 TRX since Christmas.
I had been on a good pattern the week before and was able to continue it to take home the win with 20 pounds, 11 ounces, of spots! It was an incredible day, I had a 5 plus pound spot and a 6-3 pound spot to anchor my bag. Both of these fish beat my previous Personal Best for a spotted bass. This win really helped me to gain some visibility in the fishing community and the check isn’t bad either!
Describe for anyone that hasn’t been there the quality of the spotted bass and largemouth bass fishing on Lanier.
The shear quantity of quality spots in Lake Lanier is hard to beat anywhere in the country. 20 pound bags of spots are no surprise in tournaments throughout the year and the average recreational angler can go out and catch them too! Spotted bass in general are a mean fish and don’t hesitate to gorge themselves when the opportunity presents.
Largemouth bass can be found from the South end to the North end as well, but are not as prevalent. Spring time is a great time to go out and catch a 5 to 8 pound largie if you can find them. Plenty of smaller largie’s can be found roaming the shallows also.
What do you consider the best times of year to fish on Lanier?
Late Spring and early Summer are by far my favorite time of year on Lanier. The bass will be coming off of the spawn and will start to eat and eat and eat. Bass can be caught a variety of ways which makes it a good time for any angler to go fishing. The shad/herring spawn will start also.
What are the key methods during these times?
During these times fish can be caught on just about anything in your tackle box. Fish are also at just about any depth in the water column and are easy to locate. If you want to go out and catch a lot of fish, the shakey head is your go to bait. It is a Lanier staple and will catch fish of all sizes.
Getting into May is the start of some of the most intense and fun fishing that can be had…topwater! Throwing a big, six inch walking style bait over brush and points will lead to some incredible fish catches. Its hard to beat a couple of four plus pound spots fighting over your bait as they thrash about the surface. The occasional striper will get mixed in, and you’ll know it quickly when you hook into one.
What do you consider the toughest times of year for bass fishing Lake Lanier?
For me the middle of winter is the most difficult. The fish go deep and group up; if you don’t know exactly where they are you won’t catch them.
When the bite is tough on Lanier I go with finesse approaches. Dragging a shakey head around is common. The ditches are key in winter and the fish will move up and down in them throughout the day during these cold months. Finding the sweet spot is what its all about.
How bad is the boat and recreational traffic on Lanier?
Lanier is one of the busiest Core of Engineers lakes in the country. We are just outside of Atlanta so a lot of people have easy access to it. Summer can be miserable on the South end of the lake and there are often times when I am off the water before noon. Some days there are just boats everywhere.
Fish will be offshore during Summer so you may have to fight hard to stay on top of fish to drop shot. The traffic will at times stir the bait and bass up to start feeding though. Its all about being in the right place at the right time.
What else should boaters know when bass fishing Lake Lanier?
The lake is well marked as long as the water is close to full pool. The lake has been twenty plus feet below full pool many times and hazards become prevalent at those times. You’ll want a map of some sort because she’s a big lake and its easy to get turned around.
How critical are good electronics on the lake?
Having good electronics are vital on Lanier. Being able to look down at your Lowrance and know where brush piles are and when a fish is underneath you is key.
What are three must have baits for any trip for bass fishing Lake Lanier?
Three must haves for year round fishing on Lanier would be a Shakey Head, Drop Shot, and a Fish Head Spin. If you’re around spots they will eat these baits.
Overall, what are five pieces of advice that you have for anyone visiting and bass fishing Lake Lanier for the first time?
#1: Pick a section of the lake and plan your approach to fishing it.
#2: Always wear your life jacket and know Lake Lanier is a busy lake.
#3: Good electronics aren’t a must, but it sure does make it easier.
#4: Check the local fishing reports. We have several good guides that post reports often.
#5: Spots aren’t a largemouth and as a whole they act totally different. Stay versatile.
Who are your current sponsor and pro staff companies?
I am currently a part of six Pro Staff teams. All of which play an important role in catching fish.
ALX Rods makes the highest quality rods for any technique in bass fishing. They are US built and owned.
Ardent Reels makes all the baitcasters and spinning reels you will need.
Woo! Tungsten makes the best tungsten drop shot weights, flipping weights, and nail weights you can find.
Nichols Lures can make any jig or spinnerbait you can dream up in their custom shop.
Gill Fishing has the best foul weather gear you can find in the fishing and sailing industries.
TH Marine has everything you need from transom to trolling motor on your boat.
All of these companies help me to be the best fisherman I can be. Check them out and you wont be disappointed.