Lake Blue Ridge

Forecast By: Shane Goebel, 

Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service & The Angler Magazine Fishing Team

Lakes Nottely, Chatuge, Blue Ridge and Hiwassee  828-361-2021, 1-844-4-ANGLER


Lake Blue Ridge is not just one of the most idyllic settings in the North Georgia Mountains; it is also the source of some of the best smallmouth and bass fishing in the area, and July is a great month to hit the water as we move into the prime of the summer season.

Currently, Lake Blue Ridge is at full pool. Water temperatures are in the mid 80’s. Water clarity is clear in the main lake and in the creeks and rivers.

Not a lot has changed out here. We are still catching substantial amounts of smallmouth and spotted bass all over the lake, with the majority of our smallmouth being caught in the Toccoa River area. Target these fish off rocky points, ledges and shallow humps around the lake, though it is not uncommon to find them under docks as well. We are still pulling planer boards with live blueback herring, but it’s a good idea to also set out a couple of free lines 100 to 120 feet behind the boat.

When the sun comes up in the mid-morning hours, we switch to downlining live blueback herring. Most of our fish have been in the 25 to 35-foot range. This seems to be the best technique for the larger smallmouth but not until the sun gets up.  Look for large schools of smallmouths in the Toccoa River and Star Creek area. Live bait seems to be the key out here lately, but a jigging spoon and shaky head can’t be ruled out this time of year. This time of year, spotted bass start to school up and feed strong, so keep an eye out for the topwater bite, too. When they start busting on the surface, they will hit just about anything you can throw at them.

To escape the heat, walleye start to head for deeper water in July. Look for these guys to be suspended off rocky points and on steep ledges throughout the lake. You may also find some stray wanderers on shallow humps. Downlining live bluebacks will work the best to target these guys. You can even bounce a few nightcrawlers 6 to 12 inches from the bottom, in addition to trolling crankbaits and jerkbaits. When I decide to pull artificial baits, I always turn to my Yo-Zuri Deep Diver, Shad Raps or Smithwick deep divers. Just remember to make some good S turns and keep your speeds around 2 to 3 mph.
July is a fantastic month for catching some very big fish on this lake. Give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and let the area’s #1 guide service put you on some of Lake Blue Ridge’s best trophy fish. And for all your live bait and tackle needs, go check out Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. They carry everything you need for a successful day of fishing. Now, hit the water, and go get your fish on! Good luck!