I’m constantly asked, “What is your favorite lake to fish on?” and I always reply by saying Lake Nottely, especially in the month of May. This is the month we’ve caught almost all of our trophy striper out here. Personally, I don’t think fishing can get any better on this North Georgia lake than it is during the month of May. It’s definitely the trophy-striper time of year.
Currently Lake Nottely is on the rise at 7 feet below full pool. Clarity is mostly clear and slightly stained in the backs of some creeks. Water temperatures have been in the mid to upper 60s.
Our striper bite has been excellent for this time of year, and we’ve had a really successful spring season thus far. The majority of our fish have been in the 15 to 25 pound range, with several fish caught in late April being in the 30 to 40 lb. range. We are still boating some good numbers, also. In this regard, smaller baits have been key, and here’s why: We recently had the great opportunity to go out with the Georgia DNR biologists on their spring striper shocking. (On a side note, it’s amazing what you’ll see floating to the surface.) As we shocked up stripers and other large fish, we also shocked up large amounts of bait the big stripers were feeding on. All this bait was very small. This is where the term “match the hatch” comes to play. Now granted—this was several weeks ago, and usually this time of year we do use bigger bluebacks and shad— but we are still catching a bunch of larger fish on small bait. For the month of May you’ll start seeing these stripers working their way back out of the creeks and into the mouths. You can still find some good fish up the river towards Meeks Park to marker #9. Pulling planer boards and free lines with live herring will be your best technique. As the sun starts beating down, work your way to deeper water. It never hurts to throw out a couple of down lines. Your early morning and late afternoon bites should be the best, but May also brings with it an amazing top-water bite. Keep a Red Fin or a spook at the ready, and watch for fish busting on the surface.
We would like to also give a big thanks to the Georgia DNR and biologists Chris Looney and Pat Snellings for allowing us to work with them. If you know Chris or Pat, give them a big thanks for all the hard work they do on all of our North Georgia Lakes. We here at Big Ol’ Fish look forward to a great relationship.
Spotted bass fishing also remains very strong. Look for this to continue for the next several months. At the moment, we are catching some nice 4 to 5 pound spots with an occasional largemouth. Several of our largemouth lately have been in the 8 to 10 pound range, and I always quickly get these guys back into the water and never keep them. Hopefully these huge largemouth bass will make a comeback in our local lakes. Largemouths and spots will soon start to work their way to shallower water. Start looking for some large schools of spots halfway in the backs of creeks, pockets and around shallow hump, and look for largemouths to be hanging around shallow points and brush further down into the creeks and rivers.
May is a fantastic month for catching some monster stripers and bass on this North Georgia lake. Give Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service a call and let the area’s #1 rated guide service put you on some of Lake Nottely’s best trophy fish during the fishing trip of a lifetime. We are Murphy, NC’s only full-time guide service, specializing in striped and hybrid bass. We also serve Lake Apalachia for huge lake trout, and Lakes Nottely, Chatuge and Blue Ridge. And for all your live bait and tackle needs, check out Hughes General Store in Blairsville, GA. They carry everything you need for a successful day of fishing and the best live herring around. So, come fish with the pros for the opportunity to be featured in Angler Magazine—let us help you get your fish on!
Forecast By: Shane Goebel
Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Service