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Georgia Reservoir Fishing Information
Lake Blue Ridge

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates this 3,290-acre reservoir on the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia. In addition to Georgia's more common reservoir fish such as bluegill, largemouth bass and white bass, anglers have the opportunity to catch smallmouth bass, walleye and even the occasional rainbow trout or yellow perch.

Contact Information

Tennessee Valley Authority:  ph. 423-751-2264 or 1-800-882-5263

Fish Attractors

Through a joint project with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Wildlife Action and local businesses and anglers, Fisheries Section personnel with the Wildlife Resources Division help construct man-made fish habitat (often in the form of fish attractors) for various lakes throughout the state. These constructions help serve the purpose of providing underwater habitat for fish.

Locate Lake Blue Ridge's fish attractors here by viewing available maps and heeding biologists helpful tips.

Prospects and Fishing Tips
Best Bets
Largemouth bass
Prospect Largemouth bass abundance will continue to hover around historic levels this year, which means the largemouth fishing should be decent. The average largemouth will be roughly 1 1/4 pounds in size, but 3-4 pound fish will not be uncommon. Blue Ridge is also known for producing a few 9 and 10 pound largemouth every year, and this year should be no exception. image
Technique Baits vary from season to season, but larger u-tail or ribbon tail plastic worms or plastic lizards (especially in May and June) and the standard pig-n-jig are successful largemouth techniques in this lake. Top water lures like Zara Spooks or Rapalas, fished at the end of the day, can generate some exciting top water action. Natural baits such as crayfish and live minnows are also effective.
Target Locating large woody debris is key when targeting largemouth in this reservoir. Largemouth are most often found in up-river locations of the Toccoa arm of the lake, but can also be found in the backs of coves and tributary mouths around fallen trees or stumps. You can also try hitting some of the large log jams that tend to collect in the smaller windblown coves on the upper half of the lake.
Smallmouth bass
Prospect Blue Ridge Lake is perhaps best known as the last stronghold for smallmouth bass in Georgia. Anglers from around the state travel to Blue Ridge for a chance to catch a Georgia smallmouth. However, the illegal introduction of non-native Alabama spotted bass now threatens the existence of this unique fishery. In other Georgia lakes where native smallmouth were once abundant (Chatuge and Nottely), introduced Alabama bass have effectively extirpated smallmouth populations through competition and hybridization. Smallmouth catch rates have been on the decline over the last ten years. In a lake where smallmouth were once the most abundant black bass species, they now account for less than 1% of the black bass community, and only one smallmouth bass was collected in the spring 2016 electrofishing sample. WRD Biologists and hatchery staff are hoping to produce fingerling smallmouth for stocking Blue Ridge Lake in 2017, to help restore this important fishery. Despite low catch rates of smallmouth at Blue Ridge, growth remains good. Consequently, 1-pound smallies have become the norm at Blue Ridge. Persistent anglers should not be surprised to see a few 4-5 pound smallmouth pulled from these waters this year. image
Technique Use medium action rods and reels spooled with 8-10 pound line. April and May are great for shad- or herring-patterned crankbaits (#5 shad raps or Bill Normans) fished on long points. In summer, top water baits fished at dawn or dusk can be effective. However, most summer fishing is done using subtle presentations like Texas rigged plastic worms/lizards, or drop shot rigs fished around brush or rock piles. The cool fall weather pushes smallmouth to more moderate depths around 15-30 feet. At this time, drop shot rigs, flukes and crawfish-imitating jigs are good bets. These same tactics will work in winter as well. Live minnows are a good bait any time of the year.
Target When smallmouth move shallow to spawn in spring, head to long rocky points in the Toccoa arm of the lake. Summer time sends fish deep in the main lake, where they hold on brush piles, ledges and humps. Try nighttime fishing in summer for fish that move to shallow water to feed under the cover of darkness. Cooling fall weather initiates aggressive feeding activity on wind-blown main lake points. In winter, smallmouth tend to congregate around creek mouths where water temperatures may be a few degrees warmer than the main lake.
Spotted bass
Prospect Spotted bass are a species that was illegally introduced into Blue Ridge Lake. Unfortunately their abundance continues to increase in the reservoir. In addition to growing numbers, bigger spotted bass are being caught each year. The average spot will be around a pound, but 3-4 pound plus fish are increasing in number. The DNR encourages anglers to harvest their limit of spotted bass whenever possible to reduce the competition this invasive species places on the native smallmouth and largemouth bass populations.
Technique Follow the same techniques listed for smallmouth bass in your pursuit of spotted bass.
Target Spotted bass will be found in the same locations listed for smallmouth bass.
White bass
Prospect White bass used to be quite common in Blue Ridge Lake. During the early 2000s they were often the most abundant species captured in WRD gillnet samples. However, blueback herring were illegally introduced to the lake around 2004 and are known predators of white bass eggs and young fry. As a result, numbers of white bass are tied directly to the abundance of blueback herring in the lake. In years where herring numbers are high, it is difficult for white bass to reproduce. This means there are generally fewer white bass to be caught in Blue Ridge than in the past, but most will be older and of quality size. In years where herring numbers are reduced, white bass are able to spawn successfully. Herring numbers were low in 2010 and 2014, and fish from those year classes now dominate the fishery. These fish are now averaging around 15 inches and 1.5 lb, but it is possible to catch monsters up to three and four pounds. image
Technique Small lures like "doll flies," and plastic grubs in light colors, along with small, herring-imitating crankbaits, fished on light spinning gear are recommended
Target For spawn-run fish, target rocky points and shoals in the Toccoa River arm of the lake in March. Throughout the rest of the year, look for white bass in the main lake body anywhere schooling herring are found.
Prospect Though often overlooked, good populations of channel and flathead catfish are available in this mountain reservoir. Channel cats are typically more abundant, but small, and average 1-2 pounds. The opposite is true for flatheads. There are fewer to be caught, but when you find one it is usually a good one. Sampling efforts typically show one or two 30-pound flatheads each year.
Technique For channel cats, a variety of baits like chicken liver, cut shad, cut bream, and nightcrawlers are good bets. For flatheads, anglers should focus on large live baits, like bream or small bullheads. Use lots of weight to get your bait to the bottom, and make sure the rest of your gear is ready to tangle with a beast Blue Ridge "mud cat".
Target Probe deep holes and river ledges. The cracks and crevices found on rocky banks also provide good hiding places for catfish. Such habitat can be found in the Toccoa River arm of the lake and along the face of Blue Ridge Dam.
Prospect Quality, not quantity, best describes bream fishing at Blue Ridge. Bluegill average 5-6 inches in length, but thick-sided 9-10 inch "bull-gills" are not uncommon. Redbreast sunfish are less common than bluegill, but like bluegill, they too attain impressive size in this reservoir. image
Technique For artificial baits, small is the key in the typically clear waters of Blue Ridge. Try small spinners and natural crawfish imitating micro-jigs. As for live bait, crickets or worms rigged on light line under a bobber, or bottom presentations weighted with split-shot are both good tactics. Drop shot rigs, typically used for bass, can also be employed using live bait, as a means of targeting deeper nesting fish.
Target Anglers should concentrate on fishing around downed trees or other structure in shallow coves, tributary mouths, or on sand flats. Look shallow for nests, but nesting colonies of magnum "gills" may also set up on deeper locales in 15-20 ft. of water. The Toccoa arm of the reservoir is a favored location for large bluegills, which concentrate during the May-July spawning period. For the boat angler, the submerged gravel road bed that extends out from Blue Ridge Marina to the old submerged deep water boat ramp can sometimes hold good numbers of nesting bream.
Prospect Unlike most other walleye lakes in Georgia, Blue Ridge Lake has not been stocked with walleye in decades, as the population is self-sustained through natural reproduction. However, walleye reproductive success has been poor in recent years, following the illegal introduction of blueback herring to the reservoir. Bluebacks are known to prey on walleye eggs and young fry. This has resulted in a walleye population increasingly dominated by older, larger fish, with few young fish recruiting to the fishery each year. Total catch rates in our fall gillnet sampling have been generally declining. Fortunately, walleye spawned successfully in 2010 and 2014, and fish from those cohorts have recruited well. Older walleye have experienced better growth over the past few years. As such, there is the distinct possibility a state record walleye could be pulled from these waters this year. Several walleye caught and released in DNR samples in recent years would have smashed the lake record. Maybe a lucky angler will find one of these fish on the end of their line this year. If you plan to fish for walleye at Blue Ridge Lake, please be aware that the creel limit was recently decreased from 15 to 8 fish. image
Technique Between February and April when fish are shallow, use shallow running crank baits or jigs. Work deeper fish with 1/4 ounce light colored jigs, or vertical jig with a silver or blue chrome spoon. In summer, walleye move deep, sometimes suspending in the thermocline over deep water. Flex-it spoons are a good choice, but trolling deep diving (weight them to get them deeper) crank baits (shad raps or jerk baits) can be productive. Fall and winter techniques are similar to spring, with shad raps and spoons being the most effective approaches. Throughout the year, jigs tipped with live baits like night crawlers or live minnows also are effective. Whatever bait you decide to try, the key is to fish much slower than you would for most other species.
Target In late winter and spring, fish the deeper river ledges in the Toccoa arm of the lake. Warming water will bring walleye shallower to feed and spawn in the mouth of the river. By summer, walleye are back in the main lake, on deep (30 to 50-plus feet) rocky points, humps or even suspended in the thermocline over deep water. With the cooling of fall, walleye move out of their deep summer haunts, into the 20-30 foot depth range. Find them on points and or ledges in tributary coves. Walleye can be very sensitive to light, and often do not bite well during daylight hours. Try fishing at dusk, dawn, or even through the nighttime hours for your best chance of success.
Other Species
Prospect Though not overly abundant, yellow perch call Blue Ridge home. What they lack in numbers, they more than make up in size. Jumbo perch, 12 to 15-plus inches in length and 1-plus pounds in weight, can be caught at Blue Ridge.
Technique Perch and walleye are often found together, so try some of the same methods listed for walleye. Smaller baits are preferred, as yellow perch have a smaller mouth than that of a walleye. Small pieces of worm or minnows fished on the bottom are both favored perch fishing techniques
Target Yellow perch are often found in the Toccoa arm of the lake. Fish the deeper coves where they may be found holding on brush piles or channel ledges.
Additional Information
Anglers wishing to camp at Lake Blue Ridge can do so at the US Forest Service's Morganton Point Campground. Information is available at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=10529&actid=29

Since 2006 the TVA, DNR and local volunteers have worked to enhance fish habitat in Lake Blue Ridge. Anglers can find information about this program and maps of the deepwater fish attractor sites on the WRD Website.

Alabama spotted bass are now established in the lake - probably the result of illegal stockings. Their population has increased significantly in recent years. Spots compete with and can hybridize with smallmouth bass, which in the past, has resulted in the collapse of other Georgia smallmouth bass fisheries. To help reduce spotted bass competition with smallmouth bass and retain that unique fishery, anglers are encouraged to harvest their limit (10) of spots.
Best Fishing Times Key
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