Lake Chatuge is a beautiful lake, filled with islands and surrounded by mountains. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful lake in the mountain area and it is no surprise it is called The Jewel of the Mountains. The lake was formed when the Hiawassee Dam was constructed and the basin filled. The lake is huge, bordering North Carolina and Georgia.
General Lake Info:
Angling prospects are compiled by fisheries biologists and are based on sampling efforts of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), knowledge of past fishing trends, angling experience and information provided by anglers and marina owners. For more information, contact the Wildlife Resources Division, Gainesville Fisheries office: ph. 770-535-5498.
Parks and Recreation:
Chatuge Dam Reservation – Boat Ramps, Picnic Tables, Fishing Pier and Visitor Center – Phone: 423-876-6706
Chatuge Woods Campground – Camping, Boat Ramps, Showers and Picnic Pavilion
Clay County Park – Camping, Showers, Picnic Tables and Pavilion, Playgound, Swimming Area and Nature Walking Trails – Phone: 828-389-3532
Gibson Cove Recreation Area – Camping, Boat Ramps, Showers, Swimming Area, and Nature Walking Trails – Phone: 828-389-3532
Jackrabbit Mountain Recreation Area – Boat Ramps, Showers, Picnic Tables and Pavilion, Swimming Area, and Nature Walking Trails – Phone: 828-837-5152
Lake Chatuge Recreation Area – Camping, Boat Ramps, Showers and Nature Walking Trails Phone: 706-745-6928
Ledford Chapel Recreation Area – Boat Ramps and Fishing Pier – Phone: 828-837-8909
Lower Bell RV Park – Camping, Boat Ramps and Marina – Phone: 707-896-6082
Penland Point Campground – Camping, Boat Ramps, Marina, Picnic Tables, Playgound, and Swimming Area – Phone: 828-389-9967
WRD operates one boat ramp on Lake Chatuge.
Best Fishing Bets for 2009
Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Bluegill and White Bass
Largemouth Bass – Though present, largemouths will account for less than 20 percent of the black bass catch.
Technique – Artificial lures that imitate shad or herring are excellent springtime bass baits. For fall and winter, try live night crawlers, crayfish and bait minnows.
Target – Coves with structure such as logs, brush piles and fallen trees are best to target.
Spotted Bass – Abundant. Expect high catch rates of 1-2 pound spots.
Technique – Artificial lures that imitate shad or herring are excellent springtime bass baits. Try jigging spoon and drop shot rigs during fall and winter.
Target the main river channel banks composed of gravel-to-boulder-size rocks with cover (stumps, brush and logs) at mid and lower lake sections.
Bream – One of the more abundant sunfish varieties. Expect larger fish from June – August.
Technique – Crickets and night crawlers fished under a float are productive.
Target – Adult fish spawn in relatively shallow water on sandy bottoms from June – August.
White Bass – According to annual sampling, white bass abundance is increasing. Lake Chatuge is one of the best reservoirs to target white bass in north Georgia.
Technique – Jigging with hair jigs, plastic grubs and spoons, and fishing topwater lures from May through July are effective methods.
Target main lake points in summer months and creeks during the spring spawn.
Crappie – Low numbers of crappie are available. Most fish caught will average 1/2 pound.
Technique – Minnows and minnow-tipped jigs are most productive.
Target downed trees and cove pockets containing woody debris or brush.
Other Fish Species – Chatuge supports a good population of channel catfish that readily take cut baits and commercial catfish baits. Carp also are abundant and readily take prepared catfish baits, corn and dough baits from May – August.
During 2009, several partners plan to help set a number of PVC fish attractors at selected cove sites throughout the lake. For information concerning attractor locations call the Wildlife Resources Division office at 770-535-5498
Contact Info & Website Link:
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – 423-751-2264 – TVA Lake Chatuge Website
Be An Ethical Angler:
Ethical anglers fish responsibly and consider the rights of others. They portray a positive image and help protect and conserve our natural resources. Be an ethical angler; the future of fishing depends on it.
Know and obey the fishing regulations
Report viloations and pollution
Keep only the fish they can use and release all the others properly so they will survive
Pass on the tradition by taking a child fishing
Don’t transfer fish or plant species between bodies of water – Non-native species can adversely affect existing populations.
Appreciate the environment by not littering, dispose of fishing line properly and leave a place cleaner where they found it
Show coutesy to other, lend a helping hand whenever possible and always ask permission before fishing on private property
Each person on board must have a readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved type I, II, II or V (hybrid) Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) in good condition with no rips or tears. Type V devices are acceptable only when worn and surely fastened. Each vessel, except for Class A vessels, canoes, and kayaks must be equipped with at least one type IV (throwable) device. Also, any child under age 10 who is on board a boat must wear an appropriately sized USCG approved life jacket at all times while the boat is moving, whether it be drifting, sailing, or mechanical power.
Boats with enclosed areas that may trap gas or vapors are required to be equipped with a USGC approved fire extinquisher.
Make sure your boat registration and fishing license are current. Carry your license and registration card with you.
Check your boat trailer lights, navigation lights and fuel before beginning your trip.
Carry a first aid kit, insect repellent sunscreen, extra clothing, rain gear, and plenty of food and drinking water.
Be aware of and abide by all fishing regulations. A copy of current fishing and boating regulations can be obtained from any DNR office and many sotres that sell bait and tackel. Have a float plan. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
Follow these guidelines for a safe and fun recreation experience.