The temperature and leaves are falling and everyone has Thanksgiving turkey on their brains, but we are still fishing the fall away on this sweet Western North Carolina lake. So don’t let the chilly mornings and dressing hold you back—get out there and tackle some of those incredible Lake Chatuge fish.
Water temperatures are currently around 74 degrees, and the water level is down 8 feet. A lot of the lake has turned over, and water quality has been poor in some areas. Although lake turnover is going on, don’t let that stop you from fishing. Fish are still pretty active and are eating well in portions of the lake.
Spotted bass are still schooled up throughout Lake Chatuge. We’ve had a fantastic top-water bite in the morning. Check shallow humps and areas from 10-25 ft deep. Watch for these fish to bust the water as they chase up bait, and cast into them. Poppers, spooks, spoons, and of course live bait have been working great on catching these spots. We have also been doing great with our downline bite. Also, don’t forget to target your points and brush piles. Some excellent largemouth and spots have been caught lately off rocky points and around brush.
Now that water temps have fallen, the hybrids are on the move. These guys are heading towards the creeks and rivers and are moving up in the water column. We’ve started to pick up a few small ones on an early morning top-water bite. Red Fins and Zara Spooks work great for hooking up with some of these hybrids. The same rule of thumb applies as for the spotted bass—search around shallow areas and watch for fish chasing up bait. Trolling free-lines with live bait and planer boards should work fine as well. We’ve also been doing awesome with a downline on some big hybrids still schooled up deep. Several fish from the 13 to 15 pound range have been boated with us. Live blueback herring remains your best bet to catch these fish.
November fishing on Lake Chatuge is always exciting. The bigger fish start feeding more aggressively, and for us, it’s a great month for some great top-water action. Remember, live bait on this lake can be the difference between a successful day of fishing and a horrid one. Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA carries a wide range of bait and tackle--it’s the best place around for quality live herring. So whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, give Chatuge a shot for some of the best spotted bass and hybrids around. Get your fish on, and good luck!