Lake Chehaw (formerly Lake Worth) is a 1,400-acre impoundment of the Flint River and Muckalee and Kinchafoonee creeks, located near Albany. Owned and operated by the Georgia Power Company, three boat ramps provide public access to the reservoir.
Georgia Power: ph. 706-317-6041
Prospects and Fishing Tips
LARGEMOUTH BASS, CHANNEL AND FLATHEAD CATFISH & SHOAL BASS
According to spring surveys conducted by DNR fisheries biologists, the average largemouth in Lake Chehaw (Lake Worth) is about 13 inches. Most tournament caught bass are 1-2 pounds, but there are the occasional large (5+ pound) bass caught. Lake Chehaw offers a variety of fishing habitats, including several creek channels (Muckalee, Flint, Kinchafoonee, Muckafoonee), fallen timber, shallow flats, and extensive vegetation.
Spinner baits, topwater, and rubber worms are popular baits on Chehaw.
Best fishing includes the islands upstream of Cromartie Beach, the slough just upstream of the Highway 91 crossing, and the area around the main (Flint River arm) dam. Largemouth fishing can also be good in the area directly below the Flint River dam, especially during the spring months.
The average shoal bass will weigh 1-2 pounds, though fish up to 6 pounds are occasionally caught.
Lures that imitate crayfish (a favorite food of shoal bass), plastic twitch baits and topwater plugs.
Look to the fast-water shoal areas of the Flint River for these hard-fighting fish. Also look to the tailrace below the dam as shoal bass, among other species, congregate there at various times throughout the year and are usually present during the spring months.
Hybrid Bass and Striped Bass
In addition to flathead catfish, stripers provide the best chance at a trophy catch. Anglers annually catch striped bass at 20-plus pounds. Most fishing success occurs during the spring and in Blackshear and Lake Chehaw tailraces. Chehaw is occasionally stocked with a small number of hybrids, but there is also fish that migrate downstream from Lake Blackshear. Hybrids in the reservoir are generally small, but there are opportunities to catch 1-3 pound fish, especially in the middle summer through fall.
For spring fishing in the tailraces, live bait (primarily shad), bucktails, and large crankbaits and topwater lures work well. The trick is being there when the fish are there and feeding. Striped bass or hybrid striped bass can be difficult to target in the summer, but expect to find them mostly in the lower end of the Flint River arm, between the main dam and Cromartie Beach. Slow-trolling live bait or small shad imitations such as rapalas or white jigs or road runners can be effective during the late summer and early fall.
Fish Albany and Blackshear tailraces from late March through May for the occasional striped bass or hybrid striped bass. Fish can also be found during late summer and early fall in the reservoir, especially in the stretch of river between the Muckafoonee and Flint River arm dams.
Channel catfishing probably provides the most consistent action on Lake Chehaw, with good numbers of fish weighing 1-2 pounds. Average flatheads will weigh 3-8 pounds.
Use live bait (bluegill or shad) for flatheads. For channel cats, use a variety of baits, such as large worms, chicken livers and shad or mullet guts.
Target flatheads along old creek and river channel drop-offs and near deeper holes in the Flint River arm and the two creek arms. Fish shallow water coves and flats near deeper water during the spring and fall for channel cats. Channel catfish can be located throughout the summer in deeper holes in the river channels up the two creek arms and the Flint River arm. Also, channel cats congregate in the tailrace below the dam at different times throughout the year.
Bream fishing on Chehaw includes bluegill and redear sunfish. Bluegill will be relatively small, averaging 5-7 inches, and the average redear will be 6-8 inches.
Red wigglers usually work best for redear sunfish and crickets generally for bluegill, although both baits can catch either fish. Some anglers fish with small jigs worked slowly under bobbers.
Shallow flats and sloughs adjacent to deeper water are often productive bream spots. The slough just upstream of Cleve Cox boat ramp (located at the Highway 91 crossing) and the sloughs above and below the confluence of the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creeks can be productive, though bream are found throughout the reservoir. Redear fishing usually is best from late April through June, and bluegill fishing is usually best from June through September.
While Chehaw doesn't boast a large crappie population, anglers can catch modest numbers of black crappie, especially during spring spawning.
Minnows and small jigs fished 5-15 feet.
Target areas around creek mouths and around any visible cover, such as old stumps or fallen trees. Many submerged stumps and much standing timber is located in the main reservoir basin. Pre and post-spawn fish can also be found in and near the main river channels, but will usually be associated with channel swings and submerged cover.
Additional species that can be found in the tailrace below the dam are hybrid striped bass, striped bass, largemouth, spotted, shoal and white bass. In addition, Alabama shad have been found to congregate below Albany dam, indicating succes in passage through Lake Seminole's dam and migration up the Flint River.
Lake Chehaw has many shallow areas, making it vulnerable to aquatic nuisance species. Managers are particularly concerned with hydrilla, an exotic plant that has infested Lake Seminole and has the ability to rapidly spread throughout a reservoir such as Lake Chehaw. Anglers can help prevent the spread of hydrilla by inspecting their tackle, boat motor, and trailer and removing all plant fragments before entering or leaving boat ramps. More information regarding hydrilla and other aquatic nuisance species in Georgia can be found at:
Additionally, managers are concerned about the potential introduction of spotted bass into Chehaw. The invasive spotted bass may directly compete with the native shoal bass and largemouth bass, and anglers are advised not to release spotted bass into the system and report any spotted bass sightings to the Albany Fisheries office at 229-430-4256.