Lake Chatuge Hybrids and Spotted Bass

By Darren Hughes

March was another great month of fishing on Lake Chatuge and with this warmer-than-usual spring in place, we expect April to be even better. Currently, lake temps are in the mid 50’s. Water clarity is clear all over the lake and water levels are holding at about 4 feet below full pool.

The hybrid bass bite has been crazy. We’ve been catching some nice 7 to 10 pound fish in good numbers for early spring. The hybrids are presently staging in their spawning areas in the backs of creeks and feeding on small bait. This should continue through the month of April and into May. Early morning planer boards and free lines have worked the best. As the sun really comes out, the fish are moving to slightly deeper water and hitting on our down lines. Live bait is key here to catching some quality fish, but don’t hesitate to cast a spook, Red Fin, or sexy dog, especially when theses hybrids are busting top-water.

Our spotted bass bite has also been insane. We are averaging anywhere from 30 to 40 fish a trip out here. Lake Chatuge offers the best spotted bass fishing in Western North Carolina, and I highly recommend booking a trip with us to experience this super exciting fishing thrill. These big spots are stacking up on shallow points, humps and flats all over the lake and preparing for the spawn. Look for these fish in the 10-30 foot range. The early morning bite has been okay, but it really fires up once the sun comes up. The late afternoon bite has also been pretty productive. Once you find these fish, they are hitting just about anything you can cast at them. Jerkbaits and crankbaits have been working great, but as always, our super lively blueback herring are the biggest producers for some huge spots.

April 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 and We also carry live herring at The Ridges Marina in Hiwassee GA. -it’s the best place around for quality live blueback herring. For guided fishing trips on Lakes Chatuge, 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, 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.