Fishing Lanier Photo Galleries:

Nature and Outdoor Education on Lake Lanier

Fishing The Swirleybird

Swirleybird Catches

Fishing Lanier Photo Gallery

My Photo Gallery on Photo Bucket


Films I directed which are also great places to visit.

Canadian Coastal Treasure by Bill Vanderford

Queen Charlotte Haida Indians Narrarted by Duane Foerter
Filmed/Edited/Produced Bill Vanderford

Sailing the Maine Coast

The Bear and the Eagle

My latest and greatest iMovie is now available on YouTube.
You can view it at:

Jd's Huge Chattahoochee River Brown Trout

Tons of new products in
The Tackle Shop!

New Pro Series Swirleybird

I must say, many years ago there was this freshwater fishing legend that liked me and not only did he like me he believed in me!  And every time he wrote about me not only did my credibility go up my company grew!  And it was said a long time ago, way over 30 years ago, that if you had a popular writer that liked you, you would go far!  And as you know that person that I am talking about is YOU, Bill!
So therefore thanks to you too!  Love ya too!  
Capt Judy



Letters from customers:

Dr. Thomas Stanley, from the book Marketing To The Affluent tells this story about a fishing guide who wrote a book about fishing a particular lake and dominated that market:

“The person that most people, including me, consider the best professional fisherman on Lake Lanier, one of Georgia's most popular lakes, is Bill Vanderford. When I think of fishing on Lake Lanier and catching the big fish, I think of Mr. Vanderford’s guide service. He is considered the addition, no one knows more about how to market his services than Bill. Bill is the author of ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Fishing Lake Lanier’... Prospects are likely to feel more confident about hiring a fishing guide who has written a book on fishing.”


Today I went out to the Chattahoochee below Buford Dam to try for some trout. I only had a couple of hours, so I had to make the best of my time. I started out with PowerBait and earthworms.  Caught one on the PB, and had my small earthworms nibbled to death, so I figured "fingerlings". A guy settled down on a sandy beach next to me, cast, and was almost instantly in the action. I saw he was working a rooster tail, so I thought it a perfect opportunity to try out the Swirleybirds on the trout. Tied one on (1/8 ounce with the chartreuse skirt), cast out towards a shoal that looked like it was holding, started a slow retrieve and BANG 12 inch trout. Got him off the hook, cast out again and BANG another 12" trout. Out of eight
casts, I brought back six fish. Not only did they hit, but they chased the Swirleybird and were aggressively attacking it. This will definitely be a go-to lure when I find myself on the Hooch again.



BTW ……. Based on your suggestion on a previous email last fall, I used a larger Swirleybird during a fishing trip to Port St. Joe last November.  Of course, I used somewhat heaver tackle!!  Three of us went down there together.  I don’t want to bore you with a long good news / bad news fishing trip story but I caught about 25 Jack Crevalles and Blue Fish (combined) with that lure.  That turned out to be a blast!!  We had planned to target redfish and ocean trout but we didn’t catch either species.  Part of the problem was engine trouble but mainly it was because we couldn’t get to the areas where those fish could be found because of some very high winds and rough waters.  I wish I had some photos to send you.      
Ken Ohern


084098I bought some Swirleybirds from you this fall to give for Christmas presents to my family back in Idaho.  Well, when I went back there for Christmas we took them out ice fishing on Salmon Falls reservoir on the Idaho Nevada border.  Of course we had all our traditional equipment with us as well but the moon wasn't lined up right or something because that stuff wasn't working.  But I bet you can guess what was.  When nothing else was going off, the jigging swirly birds were.  It was still a slow day but they definitely had more action that anything else did. 

I probably went a half a dozen time this last 3 weeks and they worked every time with the same results.  I even found that it was well worth my time to gig it in a hole that already had a worm or something in it and it would trigger a bit on the worm.  This is an awesome piece of fishing tackle.  

Also, I took it once to a smaller river that feeds into the Snake River where the fish are big and hard to catch.  It is a fun fly fishing spot but this time of year they predominately feed on the bottom.  My dad was chasing them with nymphs.  He didn't catch any more fish than I did with the Swirleybirds.  I landed one really nice one out of there in the hour that we had to fish there.  

I know that you know these lures work but I just thought I would share how much fun my dad and I had with them this Christmas.  Thanks for making a quality product.  

Best wishes,
Troy Jaques


Thanks for a great day on the water. Both Patrick and I enjoyed the fishing and the company.

I am writing from my daughter's computer so hopefully you will get this and be able to send the pictures by return e-mail to this computer.

I hope we will be able to do it again.

Ray Cabano

lmbI have been a great fan of yours for many years and just want to thank you for all the great hours I have had on Lanier since I studied your "Secrets of Fishing Lanier".  Back in '96 I bought bass boat and living only 3 miles from East Bank I fished every chance I got, mostly on the weekends.  Now I actually live on the lake, cove off of 6-SC, and try to fish daily.  I do real well with the spots fishing almost exclusively with the Texas rig with the green (day) or red (night) bead with the fine wire Eagle Claw offset hook that you describe in your book.  The color of the worm depends on the season where I try to match the vegetation growth, except at night where I always use a dark worm (junebug or redbug my fav).  Just like you describe.  I was a largemouth guy before and boy are those spots a different creature.  I was not catching them until you showed me the light.  Anyway I want to buy some of your SwirleyBirds.  It sounds like red/white is hot now.  I read your reports on  Where can I pick some up today (or tomorrow)?  Does the Dam Store carry them or should buy them direct from you?  I want to catch 40 bass a day!
(Reply from Bill:  Neil, thank you very much and you can buy Swirleybirds at the Dam Store or right here on my website.  Here's the link...

lmbMr Vanderford, my name is Greg and I live in the Chestatee bay area of Lanier. I ordered a set of the pro series Swirleybirds last week and I have to tell you that, after reading your recent reports, I am very excited about getting them. I have some family coming in the first week of May so it sounds like the spots should really be tearing it up then. If you don't mind, I have a couple quick questions for you. You have mentioned in your reports that you are letting the lure fall to the bottom before retrieving. Do you recommend fishing in clearer water with the Swirleybird? Also what is the normal turnaround time on shipping the orders? Finally, is the video " how to catch 40 fish per day" now available? I have purchased your "secrets to fishing lake Lanier" book and found it to be very helpful. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

lmbI just received the latest (e)mailing, and I appreciate the helpful info, especially concerning the Swirlybird.

I ordered your book on Lake Lanier back when I moved to this area in 1999.  I really appreciated the info then and I was just wondering if you might have anything more to share on a certain species: Walleye.

I had never eaten walleye, until I went on a trip to Blueridge Lake with a peer in the I.T. industry, who happened to be from up north (Detroit), and due to myself mentioning the fact that there is supposed to be a fairly good concentration of walleye in BR Lake, and also since we hadn't actually seen each other in person, we scheduled a trip.  That was a few years ago -  I learned how to do deep jigging and actually ate some walleye for shore lunch!

Anyway, I tried to get my little johnboat up the Chestatee and never made it past Belton Bridge, due to a boat fire...(long story)  Anyway, I also have an old bass boat and I now just want to spend what little spare time fishing learning to concentrate on finding walleye in Lake Lanier during the summer, since that is the main time of year I have time to go fishing.  I usually only go about 4 times a year and we mainly try to catch crappie.  We do a good job on that fish species ( the ole fishin bud and myself).

So, since you wrote that we subscribers can request something:

I'd like to request a topic on certain species that might be found with certain procedures during the summer school break - perhaps with just statistics your guides or others you know of might have noticed during the year.  I'd like to start off with the elusive walleye on Lake Lanier.

On second thought, I guess it would be best to not make it a topic of your newsletter, because it might not be what fits your business model.  And I might not want the company of other people while just trying to enjoy some time by myself, going places and hanging out, where quiet time turns out to be not what it seems....

Well, thanks for the work you do towards helping the anglers who read your articles 🙂
(Reply from Bill:  Thank you very much, DC.  You may find more walleye information here on an article in my archives.  Here's the link . . .

lmbMany thanks for the great day on the lake yesterday.  David did filet and freeze the fish when we got home.  I am back in LA with my memories.  Thanks also for taking the photos and looking forward to receiving some from you.  I will forward them to David at home.

Had a wonderful day.  Who would believe 40 FISH!!!!!!!!  See you next spring and/or summer.

(Reply from Bill:  Thank you very much Sharron, I enjoyed the day too!  Let's do it again!)