March Madness Stripers on Lake Hiwassee

By Shane Goebel

February is in the books and it’s that time of year again. The time of year our mountain stripers become crazy active. The warm early spring days are what these trophy fish thrive on. Especially the closer we get to April. March has, historically, always been an excellent month for catching some huge Lake Hiawassee stripers. So, get out of that cramped up house and get some fresh air while catching some nice trophy fish with us! March is probably one of our favorite months for fishing. With that said, give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and book those trips. Let us put you on some of the biggest fish the mountains have to offer. WE ARE MURPHY NORTH CAROLINA’S ORIGINAL STRIPER GUIDE SERVICE. Mention The Angler Magazine and get $25 off your trip.

Currently, Lake Hiwassee is 31 feet below full pool. Water temperatures have been in the low to Mid 40’s. Due to all the recent rains, water clarity is stained in the river and creeks and clear towards the dam.

Striper fishing has been super out here lately. We’ve had a very successful January and February. Most of the stripers we are catching have been in the 15-to-35-pound range, and we’re averaging about 10 to 20 stripers a trip. The warmer water temps have played a big role on the increase in numbers this year. So, this spring should be amazing! This pattern should continue into the month of March and increase as the stripers start their pre-spawn. Continue the same techniques as the previous months, pulling planer boards with live herring and shad in the backs of creeks and around shallow, sloping banks. As you pull boards, it’s always a good idea to work the banks by casting a Zara Spook or a Red Fin. As the sun comes up, turn your focus to fishing the mouths of creeks, as the stripers will follow bait to deeper water. With pre-spawn in mind, more and more stripers will start to stage in the mouths of creeks in March. Keep an eye on your electronics for schooling stripers and pay attention to where the bait balls are. I guarantee you, if you find the bait, the stripers will be close by.

One last note, the smallmouth and trout bite has been extremely good. We are catching some very nice smallmouth and trout on nearby Lake Apalachia. in the 4-5 lb. We are at least averaging 15 to 25 smallmouth and trout a trip. These trout and smallmouth have been feeding great. Down-lining live bluebacks and lite tackle has been the best technique for catching a slew of these great fish in 15-25 feet of water.

March is a great month for catching a lot of huge trophy stripers on this Western North Carolina 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 and Blairsville Georgia’s premier full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lakes Nottely (in North Georgia), Chatuge, 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!

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