Lake Hiwassee October Striper Fishing

By Shane Goebel

October in the Western North Carolina Mountains is a fantastic time to hit the water. With the beautiful views of the changing leaves and the cool comfortable temps, a day on the water seems like a dream come true after a hot summer. Not to mention the fishing is also great. This is the perfect time to hit the lake and experience some extreme striper fishing, and what’s the best way to do that? By booking a trip with Murphy, NC’s #1 and only fulltime striper guide: Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. We’ve been striper fishing these mountain lakes longer than anyone and have what it takes to put you on some huge fish.

Currently, Lake Hiwassee is 15 feet below full pool. Water clarity is clear and water temps are in the low 70s. At the time of writing this report, we are seeing good signs of lake turnover. Don’t let this get you down. The fish will be very moody but you just have to deploy some different tactics. For us, the smallmouth and spots usually get fired during turnover and the stripers get pretty temperamental. Just be patient and figure out what is working the best to get that hookup.

Striper fishing has been excellent. We’ve been averaging around 20 stripers per morning out here. The early-morning and evening bites are your best times to see action. We’ve also had some heavy bites in the mid-day hours. With the cooling water temps, continue to target creek mouths and points off the main lake channel but also look for schools to move back into the creeks. The majority of our fish have been caught from Point 6 to the dam. The top-water bite has picked up a bit, so keep a spook or a Red Fin at the ready to snag surface-busting fish. The fish will continue to be schooled up throughout the next month and will remain in deeper water before starting to spread out. Just remember to keep an eye on your electronics and watch for schools of stripers when cruising the lake. Also, remember to try to get the fish back into the water as quickly as possible after they are caught. Try not to drop them in the boat and remember that the limit is 4 per person out there. This is an excellent striper lake, and it’s only going to get better if we help them thrive. I predict some huge monsters out here in the next 5 years but we have to keep them in the lake.

Smallmouth fishing has been outstanding, too. The bass have really started to school up. Work shallow humps, creek mouths, and clay banks. We also picked up some nice schools along the main river channel. Also, target brush piles throughout the lake. Downlining blueback herring has worked best for us, but we are also picking up some quality fish on jerkbaits, flukes, and spooks. Look for these smallmouths to continue to get even hungrier as the water temps drop.

October is a fantastic month for catching some big fish on this lake. From smallmouth bass to hard fighting stripers, there are many great opportunities to catch a number of fish species on Hiwassee Lake. Give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and let the area’s #1 rated guide service put you on some of Lake Hiwassee’s best trophy fish. We are Murphy, NC’s only full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lake Nottely, Chatuge and Blue Ridge. And for all your live blueback herring and tackle needs, check out Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. They carry everything you need for a successful day of fishing. So, come fish with the pros for the opportunity to be featured in Angler Magazine, and let us help you get your fish on!

Shane Goebel is the Owner of Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service and a member of The Angler Fishing Team. Contact him at or (828) 361-2021 / 1-(844)-4-ANGLER.