Lake Chatuge May Hybrids and Spotted Bass

By Darren Hughes

The hybrid bass bite is in full swing. These Lake Chatuge monsters are right in the midst of their spring spawn. Currently, they are feeding pretty aggressively on bait in the backs of creeks and in shallow areas around the mouths of creeks. The far south end and far upper ends of the lake have been pretty decent. We are seeing most of our fish in the 25 to 5 foot range. Your early morning and late evening bites will be the best. Pulling planer boards and free lines with live blueback herring and shad will be your best technique. Towards the end of this month, we’ll start to see these hard-fighting fish school up in the mouths of creeks and off points around the lake. When these hybrids school up, it can most certainly make for an unforgettable fishing trip. We typically average 30 to 60 hybrids in a morning, and sometimes, in less than 2 hours. These fish will range in sizes from 6-15 pounds and fight like no other. Also, look for an awesome top-water bite to get fired up soon. I usually keep a Red Fin or a spook at the ready.

The spotted bass bite has also been excellent. Fish should be coming up off their beds and are super hungry. They will be schooling up off shallow points and humps throughout the lake. Recently, we have been boating 25 to 30 fish a trip. A lot of these spots have been averaging 4 to 6 pounds. Focus on shallow areas around creeks and off points and humps. Down-lining live bluebacks has worked the best. Also, watch for a strong top-water bite to start. When these schooling spots start chasing up bait and busting on the surface, they’ll hit almost anything you can throw at them.

May 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 me, Darren Hughes or Shane Goebel at Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. 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.