Lake Hiwassee water temps are still in the upper 60’s, and water clarity is mostly clear to stained in the creek and rivers, especially in the Nottely River and Hiwassee River areas. Fishing out here remains excellent, and we are still catching some large quantities of fish. This should be the case through the month of December.
The striper bite has been great. These fantastic Lake Hiwassee monsters are on the move and are working their way to the shallows and creeks. The early morning top-water bite has been excellent. To get hooked up with these early morning feeders, work the banks, points and shallows with a spook or a red fin. Trolling planer boards and weighted free lines with live bluebacks are other great techniques. As the sun comes up, they should move to deeper water. Turn your focus to a down line bite using live bluebacks.
The smallmouth and spotted bass bite has been off the hook—we’ve been absolutely slaying these fish. It seems our top-water bite has been lasting all day. Working shallow humps, brush piles and rocky points with spooks, jerk baits, and buzz baits have produced some great fish. The majority of our larger smallmouths have been coming off our down line bite 40 to 50 feet deep in the mid-day hours. Jigging flutter spoons will also work for these deeper bass.
December also means it’s time for a great walleye bite. Lake Hiwassee has some of the best walleye fishing in the southeast. We really try to turn our focus this time of year to catching walleye. Start looking for these fish to make their way from the deep, cool waters to the creeks, rivers, and shallow banks around the lake. Because walleye are so light sensitive, you’ll want to target them in the early morning hours and around dusk. Try slow trolling spoons, jointed rap shads, live bluebacks, and large bass minnows. Remember to zig-zag your boat while trolling. This allows your bait to be more active and also allows you to mark fish in larger areas. Keep your speeds around 2 to 3 mph.
December is a very exciting month for fishing on Lake Hiwassee. With so many options to catch some great fish, you can’t go wrong. As Murphy North Carolina’s only full-time guide, we do trips on this lake 365 days a year. Hiwassee is our home lake, and we know it better than anyone. So if you want the fishing trip of a lifetime with a professional fishing guide service, give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call, and come get your fish on.
Finally we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We’ve had an epic 2016 season on our local lakes this year, and we couldn’t have done it without you. A big thanks to everybody who has made it possible, and we hope to do it again in 2017. See y’all next year, and good luck on the water!
Forecast By: Shane Goebel
Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service &
The Angler Magazine Fishing Team