Insane Hybrid Fishing on Lake Chatuge

By Darren Hughes

For us, the most exciting trips of the year begin in June. Summer fishing on Lake Chatuge, which borders Western North Carolina and North Georgia, really gets fired up. With warmer water temps, the hybrids and bass really school up, which means we are able to load the boat with 30 to 50 hybrids a morning. It’s also not uncommon to do that in less than a couple hours. These hybrids are Lake Chatuge’s hardest fighting fish and we can definitely put you on some. You’ll have the fishing trip of a lifetime!

Currently, Lake Chatuge is at full pool. Water temps are in the mid 70s, and water clarity is clear throughout the lake.

Hybrid fishing is great as the fish are schooling in large numbers, and we are catching some big, big quantities. Most of our hybrids are averaging 6-10 pounds. The early morning bite has been prime. Look for schools of fish off shallow humps along the main channel, clay banks, and off points. Downlining live blueback herring has been the best technique. Search out your areas and watch your electronics. When you mark fish, drop your lines. Fish will be slightly shallower in the early morning hours and will move to deeper water by mid-morning. Top-water bite remains very good as well. When these fish start busting on bait, it’s always a good idea to have a plug, spook, or red fin at the ready.

Spotted bass fishing remains excellent, too. We are still catching some huge spots throughout the day, and it’s not uncommon to put 30-40 of these feisty fish in the boat in one trip. Early morning top-water bite has been strong. Top-water plugs, spooks, and jerk baits have worked well. Our downline bite has also been very productive, especially in the mid-morning hours. Look for fish to be schooled up on shallow clay banks, humps, and off points. In terms of location, the upper end of the lake has been producing slightly better numbers than the lower end.

May is a fantastic month for catching a lot of trophy hybrids on this North Georgia lake. Give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and let the area’s #1-rated guide service put you on some of Lake Chatuge’s best trophy hybrids during the fishing trip of a lifetime. We are Murphy, NC’s and Blairsville Georgia’s premier full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lakes Hiwassee and Nottely, and Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA. So, come fish with the pros for the opportunity to be featured in Angler Magazine, and let us help you get your fish on!

Darren Hughes is the owner of Hughes General Store & Bait Shop, a member of The Angler Magazine Fishing Team and a guide for Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. Look him up at or give him a call at (706) 745-6569 or (828) 361-2021.