Chatuge Lake Fishing Report Guide

Chatuge Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fellow fishing enthusiasts! If you’re planning a trip to Chatuge Lake, you’re in for a fantastic experience. Nestled in the scenic mountains, this man-made reservoir straddles Towns County, Georgia, and Clay County, North Carolina. Known for its picturesque beauty and diverse fish population, Chatuge Lake offers something for every angler. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know to make your fishing trip successful and enjoyable.

About Chatuge Lake Fishing

Chatuge Lake was created in 1942 by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) when they dammed the Hiwassee River. Originally designed for flood control and power generation, the lake has since become a popular destination for recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and hiking. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrop, Chatuge Lake is a true gem for outdoor lovers.

Chatuge Lake Fishing Details

Here are some key details about Chatuge Lake:

  • Water Surface: 7,000 acres
  • Shoreline: 132 miles
  • Average Depth: 30 feet
  • Max Depth: 144 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 1,923 feet
  • Location: Towns County, Georgia, and Clay County, North Carolina
  • Coordinates: 34.9921° N, 83.7916° W
  • Accessibility: Multiple boat ramps, public access points, and marinas
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, fishing piers, picnic areas, campgrounds, and hiking trails

Types of Fish in Chatuge Lake

Chatuge Lake is home to a wide variety of fish species, making it a haven for anglers. Here’s a closer look at the types of fish you can catch and where to find them:

Largemouth Bass

  • Description: Largemouth bass are a favorite among anglers for their size and fight. They are abundant in Chatuge Lake.
  • Where to Find: These fish are commonly found in shallow waters with plenty of vegetation, near submerged structures, and around docks. Early morning and late evening are the best times to catch them.

Smallmouth Bass

  • Description: Smallmouth bass are known for their strong fight and acrobatics. They are a prized catch in Chatuge Lake.
  • Where to Find: Look for smallmouth bass near rocky areas, points, and deep drop-offs. They are more active during cooler parts of the day.

Spotted Bass

  • Description: Spotted bass are similar to largemouth bass but have distinct spots along their sides. They are plentiful in Chatuge Lake.
  • Where to Find: Spotted bass can be found in deeper waters, near submerged structures, and along rocky points.


  • Description: Crappie are popular for their delicious fillets and are often found schooling in large numbers.
  • Where to Find: Crappie can be found around brush piles, submerged trees, and artificial structures. They are more active in the spring and fall.

Bluegill and Sunfish

  • Description: These smaller fish are perfect for kids and beginners. They are abundant and easy to catch.
  • Where to Find: Bluegill and sunfish can be found near the shoreline, around docks, and in shallow, weedy areas.


  • Description: Chatuge Lake is home to several catfish species, including channel catfish and flathead catfish.
  • Where to Find: Catfish are commonly found in deep holes, near river channels, and around rocky structures. Night fishing is particularly effective.

Striped Bass

  • Description: Striped bass, or stripers, are known for their powerful runs and are a favorite among sport fishermen.
  • Where to Find: Stripers can be found in open water, near points, and around the dam. They often follow schools of baitfish, so look for signs of feeding activity.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle for Chatuge Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait, lures, and tackle is crucial for a successful fishing trip. Here are some recommendations for fishing at Chatuge Lake:

Largemouth Bass

  • Baits: Live bait such as shiners and minnows
  • Lures: Plastic worms, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy rod and reel with 10-20 lb test line

Smallmouth Bass

  • Baits: Live bait such as crayfish and minnows
  • Lures: Jigs, tube baits, and jerkbaits
  • Tackle: Medium rod and reel with 8-15 lb test line

Spotted Bass

  • Baits: Live bait such as minnows and shad
  • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastics
  • Tackle: Medium rod and reel with 8-15 lb test line


  • Baits: Minnows and small jigs
  • Lures: Soft plastic grubs and tube jigs
  • Tackle: Light to ultralight rod and reel with 4-8 lb test line

Bluegill and Sunfish

  • Baits: Worms, crickets, and small insects
  • Lures: Small jigs and spinners
  • Tackle: Ultralight rod and reel with 2-6 lb test line


  • Baits: Chicken liver, cut bait, stink baits, and nightcrawlers
  • Lures: Large, smelly baits
  • Tackle: Heavy rod and reel with 20-50 lb test line

Striped Bass

  • Baits: Live shad and herring
  • Lures: Jigs, swimbaits, and topwater plugs
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy to heavy rod and reel with 15-30 lb test line
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  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Chatuge Lake Fishing

Chatuge Lake offers numerous fishing spots, each with its own unique features. Here are some of the best locations to cast your line:

Chatuge Dam

The area near Chatuge Dam is known for its striped bass fishing. Stripers often congregate here, following schools of baitfish. Use live shad or herring for the best chance of landing a big one.

Jackrabbit Mountain

Jackrabbit Mountain is a popular spot for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The rocky points and submerged structures provide excellent habitats for these fish. Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish here.

Brush Piles

Artificial brush piles are popular spots for crappie fishing. Look for submerged structures and fish around them to find schools of crappie. These spots are productive year-round.

Shallow Coves

Shallow coves around the lake are great spots for largemouth bass. The submerged structures and vegetation attract bass, especially in the early morning and late evening.

Rocky Points

Rocky points are excellent spots for bluegill and sunfish fishing. The shallow, weedy areas provide plenty of hiding spots for these smaller fish, making it a perfect spot for kids and beginners.

Deep Holes

Deep holes and river channels are ideal for catfish. These areas provide the perfect habitat for catfish, especially during the warmer months. Night fishing is particularly effective in these spots.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Chatuge Lake Fishing

To make the most of your fishing trip to Chatuge Lake, here are some helpful tips and recommendations:

  1. Time of Day: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, as the fish are more active during these cooler periods.
  2. Seasonal Patterns: Different fish species have different seasonal patterns. Spring and fall are generally the best times for bass fishing, while summer is great for catfish.
  3. Weather Conditions: Pay attention to the weather. Overcast days can be excellent for fishing, while bright, sunny days might require fishing deeper waters.
  4. Local Regulations: Make sure to familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations, including size and bag limits, to ensure a legal and sustainable fishing experience.
  5. Safety First: Always wear a life jacket when boating, and make sure to have all necessary safety equipment on board.

Chatuge Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Chatuge Lake:

  1. John D.: “Chatuge Lake is one of my favorite fishing spots. The bass fishing is fantastic, and the scenery is beautiful. I always have a great time here!”
  2. Samantha K.: “We took the kids to Chatuge Lake for a weekend fishing trip, and they had a blast catching bluegill. The lake is so peaceful and relaxing. Highly recommend it!”
  3. Mike S.: “If you’re into catfish, Chatuge Lake is the place to be. I’ve caught some huge catfish here, especially at night. Great place for serious anglers.”
  4. Lisa M.: “The crappie fishing at Chatuge Lake is top-notch. We’ve had some fantastic catches around the brush piles. Plus, the lake is so serene and picturesque.”
  5. Dan P.: “Chatuge Lake offers a great variety of fishing opportunities. From bass to stripers, there’s something for everyone. The facilities are well-maintained, and it’s a great place for a fishing trip.”

Top Rated Closest RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds for Chatuge Lake Fishing

Here are five top-rated RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds near Chatuge Lake, complete with features, amenities, hookups, and distance to the lake:

1. Jackrabbit Mountain Campground

  • Features: Scenic views, hiking trails, boat ramp
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, potable water
  • Hookups: None (primitive camping)
  • Distance to Lake: 1 mile

2. Riverbend Campground

  • Features: Riverside sites, fishing access, playground
  • Amenities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers
  • Hookups: Water, sewer, electric (30/50 amp)
  • Distance to Lake: 5 miles

3. Lake Chatuge RV Park

  • Features: Lakefront sites, boat ramp, picnic areas
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, laundry facilities
  • Hookups: Water, sewer, electric (30/50 amp)
  • Distance to Lake: On the lake

4. Hiawassee KOA

  • Features: Pool, mini-golf, camp store
  • Amenities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers
  • Hookups: Water, sewer, electric (30/50 amp)
  • Distance to Lake: 7 miles

5. Bald Mountain Park Camping Resort

  • Features: Swimming pool, playground, fishing pond
  • Amenities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers
  • Hookups: Water, sewer, electric (30/50 amp)
  • Distance to Lake: 10 miles

Chatuge Lake Fishing Summary

Chatuge Lake is a fantastic destination for anglers of all skill levels. With its diverse fish species, beautiful surroundings, and excellent amenities, it offers everything you need for a memorable fishing trip. Whether you’re targeting largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, or stripers, you’re sure to have a great time on the water. Don’t forget to check out the nearby RV parks and campgrounds for a convenient and comfortable stay. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions for Chatuge Lake Fishing

1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Chatuge Lake?

Yes, a valid Georgia or North Carolina fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 16. You can purchase a license online or at local retailers.

2. What is the best time of year to fish at Chatuge Lake?

Spring and fall are generally the best times for bass fishing, while summer is ideal for catfish. Crappie can be caught year-round, but they are most active in the spring and fall.

3. Are there boat rentals available at Chatuge Lake?

Yes, there are several marinas and outfitters around the lake that offer boat rentals, including pontoons, fishing boats, and kayaks.

4. Can I fish from the shore at Chatuge Lake?

Yes, there are several public access points and fishing piers where you can fish from the shore. Popular spots include the areas around campgrounds and picnic areas.

5. What kind of gear should I bring for a fishing trip to Chatuge Lake?

It’s a good idea to bring a variety of gear to cover different fishing conditions. This includes rods and reels suited for bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish, as well as a selection of baits and lures. Don’t forget essentials like a tackle box, cooler, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

We hope this guide helps you have an amazing fishing adventure at Chatuge Lake. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Chatuge Lake Fishing Report Guide: