Lake Chatuge

by Eric Welch

        Water temperature: 78 degrees, lake level: 5.5 feet below full pool, clarity: clear.

It’s almost here; the greatest time of the year to fish, fall and winter. With the lake dropping and days getting shorter and cooler weather in the forecast, fishing on Lake Chatuge is fixing to bust wide open. Everyone saw, read or heard about what the pros did on the lake in three days, mainly throwing topwater lures. Just wait till the water temps drops another 10 degrees, and it will be the best topwater bite we’ve had in a couple years.
The lake is full of blue blacks from 2.5″ to 6″ and they are staged all over the main body and in the pockets. If you know how to read your electronics you can find the bait. Topwater baits I’m using are Strike King Sexy Dawg, KVD Splash and Ima Little Stik 135. I’m also following it up with a Sebile Magic Swimmer 125 (custom painted) and Nichols Flutter Spoons in Bobshell shad.
Once the bass bust the school of baitfish up, I’m throwing a Rage Swimmer in 2.5 and 3.75 on a 3/16 swimbait head. You can also watch fish on your depth finder and throw a dropshot with a 6″ Morning Dawn Roboworm and a Z-Man TRD worm on a 1/16 Ned Rig hook. You can also catch fish on the double Fluke rig. Around docks, it’s hard to beat a shaky head in green pumpkin, and maybe a pb/j jig.
Give Welch’s Guide Service a call. We’re your #1 guide service and we’ve been doing it since 2001.

by Shane Goebel
Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service

Fall fishing is wide open out here on this awesome North Georgia lake. The cooler water temperatures have really got these big fish feeding.

Currently, Lake Chatuge is 8 feet below full pool. Water temps are in the low 70s, and water clarity is clear throughout the lake.

Hybrid fishing has been wicked great. These fish are still schooling in large numbers, and we are catching some big quantities. We typically average about 30 to 50 hybrids a trip. These are some of Lake Chatuge’s hardest-fighting fish, and we’re having a blast wearing them out. The early morning and mid-afternoon bite has been prime. Look for schools of fish along the main channel and off points. Downlining live blueback herring has been the best technique. Fish will be slightly shallower in the early morning hours and will move to deeper water by mid-morning. With the cooling water temps, the topwater bite has picked up considerably. When these fish start busting on bait, it’s always a good idea to have a plug, Spook, or Red Fin at the ready. As the month progresses, these hybrids will work their way back into the creeks and spread out. Time to break out the ol’ planer boards.

Fall fishing on Lake Chatuge is always exciting. Remember, live bait on this lake can be the difference between a successful day of fishing and a horrid one. For all of your bait and tackle needs, come visit us at Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. It’s the best place around for quality live blueback herring. We also carry ethanol-free gas and have some of the best hot, made-from-scratch biscuits in North GA. For guided fishing trips on Lakes Chatuge, Hiwassee, or Nottely, or questions about the bait shop, call us at Hughes General Store. And whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, give Chatuge a shot for some of the best spotted bass and hybrids in the area. Good luck, and get hooked!