Lake Lanier Summer

Lake Lanier's Rush Hour Bass
by Bill Vanderford, Georgia Fishing Editor

Tired of traffic? Here's a chance to ignore the crowds and catch big bass in Atlanta's favorite lake.

A newcomer's first look across the open expanse of Lake Lanier during the late summer must be unnerving. This 38,000 acre impoundment near Atlanta, Georgia, averages 15 to 20 million visitors each year, and is the most-visited U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake in the country. With all that churning water, most fishermen just turn their backs and search for a quieter place.

A summer spotted bass from Lake Lanier.

The bass in such busy lakes, however, have become accustomed to the commotion. In some cases, they actually relish the extra wave action and resulting stain from the clay or mud washed off the banks.

Expert bass fishermen on heavily frequented lakes aren't unnerved by all the people and boats. They know that explosive bassin' action is waiting for the angler who understands these.....Rush Hour Bass!

Concentrating most of one's efforts during the warmer months on the larger expanses of open water below Browns Bridge is a good suggestion. The bass on the south end of Lanier seem to be more predictable, and have heartier appetites during the summer months than those up in the rivers.

Before the boat traffic gets heavy, a 1/8th ounce lead head jig or Texas rig dressed with a 4-inch Ranger plastic worm can be the ticket to success. Favorite colors are green-shrimp and gold-dust.

With this rig, try to position the boat directly over a structure, and drop the jig and worm combo straight down into it. This gives a more direct shot at feeling and sticking the fish before he can spit it out.

With more than 6,000 houseboats, 10,000 sailboats and many thousands of other boaters using Lanier's waters during the summer, conditions are not always ideal for producing consistent catches of bass. The heavy boat traffic, however, can work in an angler's favor.

Fishing the heavy boat traffic's shore break works at Lake Lanier.

The wave action washes mud and clay from the banks and forms a stain line near shallow areas. This gives the bass a hiding place from which to attack the threadfin shad schools.

Again, go to the jig and grub combination, but because of the stain in the water and the slower movement that's needed, a lighter weight head is necessary. A 1/16th ounce lead head with a chartreuse, 3-inch, Ranger grub is just right.

Cast the jig parallel along where the mud line ends and the clear water begins and wind slowly. The feeding bass will run out from the cover of the stain and devour the jig. 

High water temperatures, direct sunlight and record-setting boat traffic are no reason to suppress the bassin' urge during the hectic days of summer at Lake Lanier. Just use some common sense and these suggestions, and you can have fun with Rush Hour Bass!