Lake Hiwassee Winter Stripers: Trophy Striper Season Is Here!

By Shane Goebel

Are you looking for a fight with the hardest hitting fresh water fish around? If so, winter striper fishing in Western North Carolina is for you. These are by far the most wicked, fighting freshwater fish around, and we are very fortunate to have several area lakes stocked with these monster fish. December and January are some of the best months for having your opportunity to land some of our 30 to 50 pound stripers. So, after opening all those Christmas gifts, come get your fish on with Lake Nottely and Lake Hiwassee’s #1 striper guide service, Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service.

Also, remember all of our Christmas gift certificates are only $300. That’s a savings of $100. They make a perfect Christmas gift and can be used anytime. Sale ends January 1st. Check out our Facebook page or for more details.

Lake Hiwassee is currently about 26 feet below full pool. Water temps are still in the lower 60’s. Lake clarity is clear and stained in the backs of creeks.

Striper fishing has been extremely excellent lately. The big boys are really starting to feed. We’ve been catching tons of 15-30 pound fish every morning in all of our boats. These fish are still schooling up and headed towards shallow humps and into the creeks. Look for these big stripers anywhere around the lake; however, most of our fish are being caught in the mouths and backs of creeks. This is a great time of year to start using bigger bait. Start off by pulling planer boards and free-lines early in the morning. Live bluebacks and gizzard shad are working best. Top water bite has been wicked-good and should be getting even better as the water continues to cool, so as you’re pulling baits, keep a Red Fin or a spook tied on and work those banks and points. As the sun comes up and the day gets warmer, the fish will move a little deeper. Switch to down lines and weighted free lines. Remember, this is the time of year to keep an eye out for seagulls. Where there are birds, there is bait, and where there is bait, there are fish.

We want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for an awesome year of fishing, and we hope to see you again in 2023. Remember, December is a fantastic month for catching a lot of stripers on this beautiful mountain 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 stripers during the fishing trip of a lifetime. We are Murphy NC’s only premier full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lakes Nottely and Chatuge (in North Carolina), and Lake Apalachia. 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 owns Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service and is a member of The Angler Magazine Fishing Team. See the website at or call (828) 361-2021

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