Trophy Striper Fishing on Lake Hiwassee

By Shane Goebel

Explosive bites—as if someone threw a grenade in the water—reels screaming, rods doubled over, and line peeling out like a Nascar. Yup! That all means it’s once again monster striper time on this wicked fun Western North Carolina lake located in Murphy, NC. April and May are two of my favorite months on Lake Hiwassee. If all this sounds like something down your alley, then it’s time to book that striper trip with Murphy, North Carolina’s #1 striper guide service, Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service. We are one of the South’s premier striper guide services and have what it takes to put you on some trophy stripers!

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 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 unusual warmer 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.

April is a fantastic month for catching a lot of 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 and 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

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