Lake Chatuge Fishing Report August 2006

Level: 1.9 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Fair. “You have to work for them, but it’s been pretty good,” said John Hembree, who with brother Jerry, has won the last two nighttime tournaments they fished on the lake. “We have been getting six or eight keepers per trip,” said John. “Last Saturday night we won with about 13 1/2 pounds, and we had a largemouth that weighed 7 1/2 pounds.” There are two main patterns right now,” said John. There has been a good many largemouths caught up shallow, and there have been a lot of spots caught in deeper water.” If you are targeting largemouths, John says tie on a spinnerbait or a buzzbait and hit shoreline cover, especially back in the creek runs — blowdowns, brushpiles and rocks. His 7 1/2-pounder hit a dark-skirted spinnerbait. For spotted bass, you have to go deep. “The spots have pulled off into brushpiles in 20 or more feet of water,” he said. A Zoom Finesse green-pumpkin worm bounced slowly through deep brush will produce a few fish. John also keeps a couple of other rods rigged, one with topwater and one with a spoon. “I will have something ready to throw if fish are breaking on top,” he said. “We saw some fish schooling the other day, but before we got there they went down. We still caught some by dropping a spoon on them. And sometimes when you pull a fish out of a brushpile other bass will follow the fish out. One of our tactics is to drop a spoon back on those fish and spoon them up right under the boat.” In the spring we were catching a lot of spots in the 2 1/2- to 3-lb. range. I don’t know where the bigger fish have gone. Most of what you will catch now is in the 1 1/2- to 2-lb. range.”

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