Lake Nottely is currently about 15 feet below full pool. With a big drought in place and above-normal temperatures for this time of year, water temps are still in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. Lake clarity is clear and stained in the backs of creeks.
Striper fishing has been excellent lately. The bigger fish are really starting to come up in the water column and are headed towards shallow humps and into the creeks. Look for these big stripers anywhere from Conley Creek to point 7 and all the way up to point 9. 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. 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.
Spotted bass and largemouth have also been off the hook. November brought some of the best top-water action we’ve seen in a long time, not to mention some great quality fish too. We have put several largemouth in the 6 to 7 pound range in the boat. Work those sunny shallow banks early. Spooks, buzz baits, and flukes have been producing well. We also love casting out some live blue backs on ultra-lights rods. This always makes for an excellent fight. Look for fish to find a little shade as the sun comes up in mid-afternoon.
Finally, 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 in 2017. If you’re thinking of giving Lake Nottely a try, head over to Hughes General Store. They have an excellent selection of fishing supplies and the best live bait around. If you’re interested in booking a fishing trip, give Shane at Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call. We are the area’s top rated fishing charter company, serving Lakes Nottely, Chatuge, Blue Ridge and Hiwassee. Come get your fish on, and good luck!
Forecast By: Shane Goebel
Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service &
The Angler Magazine Fishing Team