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Welcome to the site. I can only offer general advice as to the lake but as to getting started the best advice I can give you is to find someone local who fishes alot and go with them a few times to see if you like their style of fishing. If not try again with someone different. Keep at it and try to learn the rythms of the fish in the lake. (IE.when they are shallow and when they are deep. when the fish are in their preferred temperature range and when the water is too cold or too hot. (you can still catch them then, but, you just have to slow down with the fish.) Worms and minnows are a good starting point as far as bait. You need to learn some good knots right off the bat. As you gain experience you will learn which lures to buy but learning how to fish them takes a knowledgeable buddy, research or a whole lot of trial and error. Good luck. Maybe somebody local to you will see this and chime in. AL
 

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Welcome. Always liked that town name.:D Santeetlah is a great lake. My best advice would be a hair jig.(like a crappie jig) tipped with minnows on points, ledges, and structure. A Little Cleo works. Great lake for smallmouth. Also a Carolina rigged worm. Good lake for trout. Hard to beat the crappie jig and minnow. Fontana is also close by. I fish it more often. I usually make a couple trips a year to Nantahala Delayed Harvest water.(Above the power plant) Night fishing this time of year should be productive.
 
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