Mitchell Grimsley: Chatuge Bass Tourney
Fishing the Nov. 24 Georgia BASS Nation Trail high school tourney on Lake Chatuge.
Mitchell Grimsley is a 15-year-old sophomore at Towns County High School where he competes on the high school fishing team. Mitchell’s GON Blog centers around his fishing outings and tournament experiences in north Georgia.
Georgia Bass Nation Trail held a tournament on Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee on Nov. 24. The main target for most tournament anglers on this lake are aggressive spotted bass, which Lake Chatuge has an abundance of. When on an active school of spotted bass, you can typically get a five-fish limit.
With colder than usual water temps for this time of the year, the fish were schooled-up very tightly and packed on deeper humps and points over brushpiles. However, the bite was tough because of the fishing pressure Lake Chatuge has received over the past couple of weeks.
We blasted off at around 7:15 a.m. in the second flight of boats. We were number 69 to leave out of 134 high school boats. We started out on a deeper bank that had docks on it. The main attraction this bank held was the abundance of brush piles in deeper water which were host to schools of spotted bass. I started out with a shaky head worm but quickly switched to a dropshot. Being in 21 feet we drifted over a school of bass as indicated by our fishfinders. I dropped straight down on them and had to shake it for about a minute and a half before I could get one to bite. The bass was around a two and a half pound fish which would turn out to be our biggest of the day. My partner, Adrian Hooper, caught one more fish off of this stretch.
After 15 to 20 minutes we moved to our next spot. We caught one fish on the first drop fishing vertical on a lone fish roaming the flat we were fishing. This was our second keeper of the day, being about one and a half pounds. Ten to fifteen minutes later we moved to another offshore hump with no success though seeing multiple fish on the graph.
Afterwards we shot down the lake to a pocket that had shown potential in practice but had taken a beating. The pressure on the Chatuge fish started to show as we dropped on multiple fish with drop shots and jigging spoons with no takers. Our next spot we planned to fish was taken so we decided to fish the main bridge on the lake. A short fish was the only one that wanted to bite. We then ran to a main-lake point hosting multiple brush piles. But with only a couple of unwilling fish showing on our graphs, we decided to move back to our second spot.
Now back we fished the outer edges of the hump when we got on another school of fish. Adrian caught one more keeper out of the bunch. Around 10 minutes later we decided to again move to our original first spot. We fished the stretch forward and then back. We picked up our fourth keeper of the day.
After many more spots and a lot of short fish caught it was time to weigh in. We had four keeper fish that weighed in at 6.58 pounds. This was half a pound shy of making state. All of the fish we caught came on drop shots throwing a Roboworm. I throw my drop shot on 10-lb. braid leading to a 7-lb. fluorocarbon leader by using an FG knot.
The team of Adams and Keahey from Jackson County High School came in first place with 14.51 pounds. The team said their winning strategy was to catch a limit as early as possible and added that they threw fast-moving baits in the morning and slowed down as the day progressed. Their key places for finding fish were points, banks and docks.