Lake Lanier Top 5 Patterns - Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Lake Lanier Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

A smattering of largemouths are in the top five
Image for Lake Lanier Top 5 Patterns – Day 2
Zack Birge Photo by Kyle Wood. Angler: Zack Birge.
March 9, 2018 • Sean Ostruszka • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Lake Lanier’s fishing is changing constantly. Yet one thing remains unchanged – Bradley Hallman still holds a healthy lead on the field at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Lanier.

But with the conditions set to change again on Saturday with clouds and rain coming in, there’s a chance a number of guys in the top five could make a move based on what they’re doing and what they did in practice under similar rainy conditions.

Hallman’s leading pattern

Complete results  


2. David Williams – Maiden, N.C. – 34-13

Lanier’s spotted bass have been the focus for most, but make no mistake about it – Williams is targeting largemouths.

He sacked up 18-7 on day one with a pair of giant largemouth kickers, and he caught another 16-6 on day two thanks to a late 5-pound largemouth. Problem is, those big bites haven’t come easy with the conditions.

“I knew with no wind and these post-front conditions I knew it’d be tough,” says Williams, who is fishing above Brown’s Bridge in the moderately stained water. “I started out trying for largemouth and they just wouldn’t bite.”

At 10 a.m. he didn’t have a fish, prompting him to go to an area where he and his co-angler were able to catch quick limits of spotted bass within 45 minutes. After that, it was back to trying for largemouths.

“I ran around a lot fishing shallow and actually culled up a few times catching some spots,” says Williams, “but it wasn’t until the afternoon when the water had warmed up 5 degrees that I caught that big one.”

As for Saturday?

“Oh, [the largemouths] going to bite,” says Williams. “In practice, it seemed I could only catch one species or the other. One always bit better on a given day. The one cloudy, rainy day we had in practice the largemouths were really going. So I’m excited for tomorrow.”


3. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 34-9

Birge has six points between Brown’s Bridge and where the rivers split, and he’s milking them for all they’re worth.

The pro caught 16-6 on day one, and followed that up with 18-3 on day two. As for why the increase, he says he’s not really sure.

“I did the same exact thing I did yesterday,” Birge says. “Same bait. Same rotation. I just got more and bigger bites today. My first cast was a 4-pounder, and I had most of my weight by 11:30 a.m.”

Birge figures he hit a few hundred points in practice all over the lake, but these six points seemed to always produce, as they’re a little different than others he’s sampled.

“I’m just happy,” says Birge. “I’ve fished for spots a little back home, but nothing like these. I’ve beat my personal best three times since coming here.”


4. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 34-6

There are no spotted bass in Minnesota, but there are plenty of smallmouth. That’s coming in quite handy for Felix.

“Spotted bass act like smallmouth in a lot of ways,” says Felix, who caught 15-1 on day one and 19-5 on day two. “They’re visual feeders. They roam. They’re aggressive. It’s perfect for how I like to fish.”

Of course, it also helps when you catch a fluke 5-pound largemouth as Felix did Friday. He was fishing a spotted bass spot out deep when his co-angler caught a 4 ½-pound spot. After netting it, Felix made a cast back to the same spot and hooked the big largemouth.

“It was a weird fish, but I’ll take it,” Felix says. “That’s the first largemouth I’ve caught all week.”

Despite his smallmouth knowledge, Felix admits the spots had him a little perplexed, as the cold nights seemed to have really affected his fish.

“I had an area yesterday that was choked with bait, and my co and I both caught limits quick,” says Felix, who caught the majority of his day two fish off four main-lake rock points. “Today I go in there and there’s nothing. I don’t get it.”


5. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 33-5

Of course, what is a top five without Thrift?

Per his usual routine, Thrift “flailed around” on Friday, running 25-30 spots in both shallow and deep water to catch 17-8. He had 15-13 on day one.

“I’m just winging it,” says Thrift. “Today started a bit better on my first place above Brown’s Bridge, but after that I just kept running around like normal.”

Thrift says he caught 20 fish today, but most were small.

As for Saturday, he figures the weather can’t really hurt because he doesn’t really have much of a pattern to begin with. He’ll just keep rotating shallow and deep and see what happens.