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On May 4th, four of the clubs in Georgia came together for an event on Lake Lanier in north Georgia. Despite a KBF SE Regional event happening on Nickajack a couple, three hours away, 83 anglers from across Georgia (and South Carolina and Alabama) turned out for what ended up being the second largest kayak tournament in state history. I fished this event and while I didn’t finish with the result I wanted, I’m gonna share with you my experience fishing one of the great spotted bass fisheries in the southeast.

I pre-fished Lanier the two weekends before the event and both outings produced different patterns for some good fish. Two weeks out, I found my fish on points. They were sitting in 5-9 feet of water and were keying in on 6” worms on shaky heads. I caught quite a few fish, but not the size I’d need to win. I knew I needed to find a better pattern if I wanted to be in the money.

The next weekend I tried a new launch on Lanier and fish had moved shallower, sitting in 3-5 feet of water. They were hitting squarebill crankbaits aggressively and I caught well over 30 fish, with my best five pushing 90”. I felt like I was in a good spot for the tournament but see the thing about the pattern on Lanier is that it’s like the weather here in Georgia – it can change in a minute.

On tournament day, I launched at the same place I had the previous weekend and quickly worked the same areas that produced the previous weekend. The fish were still there, giving me a limit within the first hour, but they weren’t the same size fish as the previous weekend. What had moved up were smaller fish.

I slowed down my fishing and switched from the crankbait to a shakyhead, which actually culled four of the first five fish I caught. But even those fish weren’t the same big fish I’d caught the week before. Compounding the fact that the big fish weren’t in the area anymore, those mid-sized fish shut down as soon as the sun came over the treeline making for a long day of covering water looking for a bite.

While I turned in a 79.25” stringer that landed me in 24th of the 83 anglers, it took 91.75” to take home the win, over $1200 in prize money, and a brand new Bite kayak from Jackson Kayak. I can tell you I’m already looking forward to this event next year.