Lanier is at 1070.27 (-.73 feet below full pool), with water temps at 48-51 degrees. The main lake is clear and gets a slight stain as you get above Brown’s Bridge and up into the south lake creeks. Once you are above the Hwy 53 bridges, or half way back in the south creeks, then you will encounter an increasing amount of muddy water due to all of the rain the past few weeks. There is lots of debris all over the lake as the lake has risen over 6 feet in the last six weeks. The winter schools of stripers are getting pushed in and out of the creeks with all of the storms which have made our winter fishing a little tougher. The creeks on the north end of the lake like Ada, Gainesville, and Little River have more fish than the southern creeks like Bald Ridge, Four Mile, and Flowery Branch, but don’t count those southern creeks out because there is nowhere near the amount of pressure on them. First thing in the morning look for huge schools of bait in 60-80 feet of water about one third of the way back in the creek channels. Most of this bait will be within 10-20 feet from the bottom. You will see fish on your Humminbird SOLIX or HELIX either mixed in with the fish or even slightly higher. Start your day searching for feeding fish by stealth trolling a spread of Capt Mack’s Mini Macks. We will start with 2 rigs out 30-35 feet and then attach them to Perfect Planer Boards and then run them 25-30 feet away from the boat. Then run 2 more on either side of the boat, as you would a down line, 25-35 feet down. Pull around the areas you are seeing the biggest concentrations of bait at .9-1.1 mph with your Minn Kota Ulterra or Terrova. Mix up the colors in your rigs as well. The white with white/red head from Capt Mack’s is the go to, but in the more stained water go with a Striper Tackle Ultra Pro Spin or Ultra Pro Swimbait head in blue or chartreuse. Pair the 3/8 or ½ oz sizes of these heads to your Mini Mack and you will get a bit heavier rig that will stay down closer to the strike area you are targeting without it riding up while trolling at 1 mph. This stealth trolling technique will allow you cover a lot of water and get your baits in front of a lot more scattered fish. Once you start seeing the fish group up, go ahead and pull the boards in (if they are not responding to the faster presentation) and put out your down lines with herring and small trout as your bait. Slow down your trolling speed to .3-.5 mph and continue to pull in and around the bait you are marking. Keep the bait in the 35 foot range as this will clear most of the trees. When you have a clean bottom (no trees) then Spot Lock on these fish and get the bait down to within 5 feet of the bottom. Striper Tackle Fat Hawg and Jr Hawg Spoons will be the other artificials to use in February when you get around big groups of fish. They can be fished vertically like their big brother Boss Hawg, but they can also be cast out away from the boat and slow rolled back after letting them sink down 20-30 feet. If you are not a fan of the cold, get out in the afternoons and look for fish in shallower water as the bait moves towards the back of the creeks as the water warms slightly. We will spend some afternoons in February pulling big baits (10-15 inch shad) on Perfect Planer Boards up on the bank in 5-10 feet of water looking for just one big fish. You will not catch a lot of fish, but you have a shot at a big one this month.
Earthly riches cannot get us into the Kingdom of Heaven; actually they can be a hindrance. Jesus tells us, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. We can only be saved thru Christ and not thru possessions. Chasing riches on earth will cost us all riches in heaven, so instead of pursuing riches, pursue the one who left riches behind to pursue you.