Western NC Trophy Striper Season is Here!

By Shane Goebel

30, 40 even 50 pound stripers! If that got your attention, then check this out! It’s trophy striper time here in Western North Carolina. Big Baits and some of the hardest fighting stripers time and definitely my favorite time of the year. Yeah it’s cold but most certainly worth it. Last December we had a 52 pounder reeled in by a 10 year old boy. Even though it was 19 degrees out that morning, it was his fish of a lifetime. December and January are awesome months to get out with us to score that same opportunity. So throw on those long johns you got for Christmas and give us a holler. We are Lake Nottely and Lake Hiwassee’s #1 striper guide service and we’ve got what it takes to land those monsters. Also, remember all of our December half day trips are $100 off and Christmas gift certificates are only $350. That’s a savings of $100. They make a perfect Christmas gift and can be used anytime. Sale ends January 1 st . Check out our Facebook page or www.bigolfish.com for more details.

Lake Hiwassee is currently about 24 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 Appalachia. 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 www.bigolfish.com or call (828) 361-2021.