Stripers on Lake Hiwassee

By Shane Goebel

Rain, rain, rain! Mother nature is definitely showing herself in 2020. The good thing is that April is finally here, and it brings with it some rip-roaring striper fishing action on Lake Hiwassee. Spring time is the most exciting time of the year for us on this lake. It’s the perfect time of year to get hooked up with some huge hard fighting striped bass, and trust me, we’ve been slaying them out here. So, enough sitting around complaining about all this rain—the weather is getting warmer and spring is in the air. Time to get out of the house and book that striper trip with Murphy North Carolina’s #1 striper guide service, Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service.

Currently, Lake Hiwassee is 16 feet below full pool. Water temperatures have been in the low to mid 50’s. Water clarity is clear in the main lake and just slightly stained in the backs of the creeks and rivers.

Striper fishing has been super out here lately. We’ve have had such an amazing late winter striper run and it’s only going to get better! Most of the stripers we are catching have been in the 20 to 40-pound range, and we have been loading the boat with these monsters. The warmer unusual water temps have had these fish schooled up and aggressively biting. Our boats have had a bunch of 20 plus striper mornings in the past couple of weeks. We have also been wearing them out on light tackle, which is so darn fun! This pattern should continue into the month of April and increase as the stripers start their pre-spawn. Pulling planer boards with live herring and huge gizzard shad in the backs of creeks and around shallow, sloping banks is going to be the best technique. It’s also 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 April and start to work their way to the backs. Also, 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.

The smallmouth and spotted bass bite has been extremely good. We are catching some very nice smallmouth and spots in the 3-5 lb. range and in large quantities. We are at least averaging 20 to 30 smallmouth and spotted bass a trip. Several largemouth in the 8 to 10 pound range have been caught as well. These spotted bass and smallmouth have been schooling up on points and shallow areas around the lake. Down-lining live bluebacks has been the best technique for catching a slew of these great bass in 15-25 feet of water.

April is a fantastic month for catching a lot of trophy stripers and smallmouth 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 premier full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lakes Nottely and Chatuge (in North Carolina), and Lake Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge, GA. And for all your live bait and tackle needs, check out Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. They carry everything you need for a successful day of fishing and have the best live herring around. 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.