Lake Chatuge Hybrids and Spots

By Darren Hughes

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

Currently, Lake Chatuge is 7 feet below full pool. Water temps are in the mid 70s, and water clarity is clear throughout the lake.

Hybrid fishing has been great. These fish are still schooling in large numbers, and we are catching some big quantities. 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 top-water bite has been insane. 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.

Spotted bass fishing remains excellent, too. We are still catching some huge spots throughout the day, and it’s not uncommon to put 30-50 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.

Fall fishing on Lake Chatuge is always exciting. October is a fantastic month for catching a lot of trophy hybrids and spots 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 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.

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