Lake Lanier was the site for the November Spalding County Sportsman Club tournament a few years ago. Nine of us fished for eight hours and caught 19 bass weighing 31 pounds,15 ounces. That is a good average size for any lake and it is even better if you know most of the bass we caught were spotted bass. They tend to be smaller and lighter than largemouth.
James Pilgrim, Jr. had a limit of 5 keepers that weighed 9-2 for first. He had one of the prettiest spots I have ever seen, a 4 pound, 4 ounce fish that took big fish honors. Kwong Yu also had a limit and his 7-7 weight was good for second place. David Pilgrim had 4 keepers weighing 6-0 for third.
I caught only two spots but they weighed 5-8 and that was good for fourth place. I caught one on a jig and pig at 8:00 am and the other on the same bait at 2:00 pm. Both were on rocky points. My big one weighing 3-8 was the biggest spotted bass I have ever caught, but it wasn’t quite big enough!
James, David and Kwong said they caught their fish on worms in fairly deep water. They were fishing brush piles 20 to 30 feet deep. I am always amazed how deep the fish hold at Lanier. The shad I saw on my depthfinder were all 35 to 40 feet deep and other fish were holding under them. I caught a couple of little hybrids jigging a spoon in 40 feet of water.
I never fish that deep on other lakes. I guess it is the clear water at Lanier. If you try Lanier anytime soon, plan of fishing deep water. Jigging spoons are a good way to fish that deep.
The pro fishermen found similar conditions at Lake Russell that year. They also caught fish deep. The winner jigged spoons and slow rolled a spinnerbait through standing timber in 30 feet of water. Russell also has very clear water. Remember, the clearer the water, the deeper the bass will usually hold.