Lake Lanier Crappie Fishing

By: Daniel Eggertsen

Located approximately 35 miles northeast of Atlanta, Lake Lanier is one of Georgia's premier lakes for catching crappie. There are some things you will need to know if you want to optimize your fishing experience, because Lake Lanier is different in many ways from other crappie fishing spots.

Lanier is a man made lake that was formed when Buford dam was built to back up the Chattahoochee. It consists of over 500 miles of shoreline and 38,000 acres. The average depth is about 60 feet, but near the dam, there are depths of nearly 200 feet as well. The upper end of the lake, fed by two mountain rivers, would be logically assumed to be cooler areas of the lake, but this is not so.

This upper end consists of river channels and flat points which stain and get muddy after heavy rains. The deep, cool areas of the lake are actually on the south end of Lake Lanier, where it is clear and deep with deep drops, rocky points, and ridge tops especially where the river channel used to be located.

Lake Lanier can be a challenge, but if you are an experienced fisherman, you should have no problem, particularly if you are armed with a little knowledge concerning the peculiarities of this lake.

The upper end of the lake is somewhat more shallow, and fishing there depends greatly on lake level and factors such as the weather.

For crappie fishing, you will generally be successful if you are using minnows, around brush and in the creek backs, particularly in the back of Six Mile, Four Mile, Toto Creek, Wahoo Creek, and Yellow Creek areas. Thompson Creek and the Little River areas are also usually very productive areas as well.

February through April are the most productive months for crappie fishing in Lake Lanier. Crappie tend to be easier to catch when there has been plenty of rain staining the lake. They tend to be concentrated in deep water docking areas, and will move into the shallows are water temperature increases. Crappie tend to be pretty easily spooked in clearer water, so if you concentrate on stained water areas, you will tend to do well.

You will increase your catch of crappie in Lake Lanier by using a 1/32 oz white and chartreuse (or red and chartreuse if the water is particularly stained) light weight jig, for a slow fall. Look for docks that shelter plenty of brush, and fish the shaded areas. If you set anchor near the brush and use a 4 to 6, extra long shank, light wire hook, cast as near the brush as possible with a minnow.

Use a weightless float, if you can get close enough to the brush. Crappie are also called paper mouths, and for a very good reason. They have extremely delicate mouths, and if you have to reel very far, or are using a very stiff rod, it is easy to tear the hook out of their mouths. For this reason, use a light test weight line, such as a 4 pound test, and use a limber rod whenever you are fishing not just Lake Lanier, but any time you are fishing for crappie.

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