Lake Chatuge Hybrids

By Darren Hughes

September was an insane month out here! These hybrids and spots have been biting everywhere on the lake and we’ve been absolutely wearing them out. October should remain about the same. It’s definitely one of the best fisheries in the North Georgia and Western North Carolina Mountains and October is a perfect time to come get your fish on!

Currently, Lake Chatuge is 3 feet below full pool. Water temps are in the low 80s, and water clarity is clear throughout the lake.

Hybrid fishing remains excellent. The fish are still schooling in large numbers. Our average trips are still consisting of 30 to 50 fish in just a few hours. Most of our hybrids are averaging 5-10 pounds. 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. Down lining 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 has slowed down considerably but you can still find a few busting. When these fish start busting on bait, it’s always a good idea to have a plug, spook, or red fin at the ready.

October 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, Apalachia, Hiwassee, or Nottely, or questions about the bait shop, call me, Darren Hughes, 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!

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