Level: 1.1 feet below full. Temp: Low 60s. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Good. John Hembree and his brother won a Saturday night pot tournament in May and placed second in another throwing mostly Zoom Super Flukes and spinnerbaits. Wind and cool weather have delayed the topwater bite. “We haven’t had a calm day in two weeks,” said John. On windy days, John throws a pearl Fluke, either unweighted or on a lead-head on main-lake points, humps and reef markers. Back in the coves a spinnerbait on blowdowns is a good bet, he said. Many anglers are throwing the standard chartreuse/white spinnerbait, but John says he likes a solid white skirt in the clear-water lake. After dark, you may have to slow down and throw a worm, he said. Most of the bass are postspawn, but topwater bite is just beginning, and it will improve as the water temperature rises and the bluebacks start to school up out on open water. A chartreuse-shad Sammy is standard issue for anyone fishing Chatuge in June. But a Pop-R, Rico, Super Spook or fluke will work, too. Hit main-lake points, reef markers and secondary points inside the creeks. Watch for breaking fish and have a Sammy or other lure that you can cast a long ways. If you can put a bait near where a fish swirls, you have a good chance of hooking up. If the fish aren’t on top, the fall back is either a Texas rig or Carolina rig on the same structure and watch for brush in the 15- to 20-foot range. Green pumpkin is the most popular worm color on the lake. Try either finesse or Trick Worms. Most of what you will catch on the main lake is spotted bass. If you are targeting largemouths, move to the backs of the creeks or head up the river and look for blowdowns and brush. Throw spinnerbaits, flukes or a jig ’n pig around the wood. For more on the June bass pattern at Chatuge, see page 78.