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Fishing Fontana Lake

AKA: Fontana Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fontana Lake, NC

Popular Fish Species Fontana Lake, NC

Fontana Lake Popular Fish - Spotted Bass

Spotted Bass Fishing

Spotted bass are often found in some of the same areas one would find largemouth bass, especially when in deeper water. They also tend to gather in small schools. Here at Fontana Lake, they are a favorite of many local anglers, as they are plentiful and put up a very strong battle. Fishing for spotted bass can be good anytime you can locate them. Their diet consists mainly of crayfish and insects, but they also eat small baitfish, sunfish and bluegill. Most of the time, spots prefer to stage on steep rocky or gravel banks, and may move up and down the water column throughout the day. When shallow, use topwater or shallow crankbaits around rip rap. When they are deep, use worms and jigs. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass also reside here in good numbers.

Fontana Lake Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals at Fontana Lake, as they are tough fighters and exciting to catch. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. The fishery is nicely managed by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Largemouth bass and spotted bass also reside here in good numbers.

Fontana Lake Popular Fish - Walleye

Walleye Fishing

Considered by many to be the best walleye fishery in North Carolina, Fontana Lake has a healthy population of walleye this year. May and July tend to be the best time for weekend anglers to catch them. During this time they tend to move shallower and closer to shore. Other times of the year they are more likely to roam around in deeper water. As always, staying close by schools of baitfish. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate around structure on points, flats and ledges off the river channels. A proven method for catching walleye here is trolling with spinners tipped with live bait, or trolling with long-billed, deep diving crankbaits. However casting live bait, jigs, worms and spoons also works well at times.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout, bluegill, yellow perch, steelhead and muskie at Fontana Lake in North Carolina.

Fontana Lake Fishing Video

With over 230 miles of scenic shoreline, Fontana Lake offers a broad range of fishing opportunities. Well known as a bass tournament lake, it is home to bass over 10 pounds. Healthy populations crappie, perch, bluegill and walleye make this an excellent choice for fish-fry outings. If you like to fish for the big ones, the lake also boasts big catfish and muskie. If you prefer trout fishing, Fontana serves up both rainbow and brown trout. This 11,700-acre reservoir, located in the western part of the state, has a wide variety of camping and lodging choices. Public boat ramps and marinas make boating a pleasure, and boat rentals are available for varied types of boats. The lake has limited shoreline cover, but has a great deal of creek channels, coves, ledges and humps that hold fish - both deep and shallow, depending on time of year. There is limited shoreline access to much of the lake, but there are areas for fishing from shore. Boat, canoe, and kayak fishing are the preferred ways to fish these waters.

Fontana Lake, located in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina, is a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts seeking a serene and rewarding fishing experience. Spanning over 10,000 acres, this scenic reservoir offers a diverse range of fish species and stunning natural surroundings.

One of the most prized fish species in Fontana Lake is the smallmouth bass. Anglers from near and far come to the lake in search of these feisty fighters. The rocky shorelines, submerged structures, and deep channels create excellent habitats for smallmouth bass. Anglers can target them using a variety of techniques such as casting crankbaits, working jigs, or using live bait. The thrill of hooking into a powerful smallmouth bass amidst the majestic mountain scenery is truly unmatched.

Fontana Lake is also known for its healthy population of walleye. Anglers can find these elusive fish near rocky points and drop-offs, particularly during dawn and dusk. Trolling with crankbaits, casting with jigs, or using live bait are popular methods for targeting walleye in the lake. The challenge of catching these prized fish adds to the allure of fishing in Fontana Lake.

In addition to smallmouth bass and walleye, Fontana Lake is home to other fish species such as largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, and various species of catfish. Anglers can try their luck with different fishing techniques and baits to target their desired species. The vastness and diversity of the lake provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Fontana Lake in North Carolina offers anglers a remarkable fishing experience amidst breathtaking mountain scenery. With its diverse fish species, including smallmouth bass, walleye, and more, the lake provides ample opportunities for both seasoned anglers and beginners. Whether you're casting a line for trophy bass or simply enjoying the tranquility of the lake, Fontana Lake is a destination that promises unforgettable fishing memories.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Carolina

Primary fish species residing in Fontana Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Spotted bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie Walleye Rainbow trout Brown trout Bluegill Yellow Perch Steelhead Muskie

Fontana Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Fontana Lake, and anglers can take advantage of its expansive waters and multiple boat ramps. Whether you prefer a motorized boat, kayak, or canoe, the lake offers plenty of space for boating and exploring its various coves, inlets, and islands. Boaters can admire the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains and enjoy a tranquil day on the water.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Alarka Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
828 488-3841

Almond Boat and RV Park
Rentals: Fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and pontoons
828 488-6423

Fontana Village Resort Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and pontoons
828 498-2017

Prince Boat Dock Parking Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
828 479-3704


Alarka Marina
7230 Grassy Branch Rd
Bryson City, NC 28713
828 488-3841

Fontana Village Resort Marina
40 Fontana Dam Rd
Fontana Dam, NC 28733
828 498-2017

Prince Boat Dock Parking Marina
Fontana Lake
Robbinsville, NC 28771
828 479-3704

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Cable Cove Boating Access
County Rd 1287, Fontana Dam, NC 28733
This is a concrete ramp with primitive parking, just passed the Cable Cove Campground on Cable Cove Road.

Lemmons Branch Boat Launch
Conveniently located in the southwest sector of the lake, this two-lane concrete ramp has paved parking for over fifty vehicles. Take Highway 28 to Tsali Road to Lemons Branch Boatdock Road.

Prince Boat Dock Parking Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
This is a primitive ramp and parking, located on Thomas Park Road.

Tsali Boating Access Ramp
Located in the southwest sector of the lake, at the end of Tsali Road, this is a primitive launch area and parking.

Fishing Guides On Fontana Lake

Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited, Fontana Lake Fishing Guides - bass, walleye, trout

Fontana Guides - bass, trout, white bass

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a North Carolina Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available near Fontana Lake, allowing visitors to extend their fishing adventure and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, there are options to suit different preferences and comfort levels. Camping near Fontana Lake offers a peaceful retreat where you can relax by the campfire, share fishing tales, and enjoy the starry night sky.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

The Campground at Fontana Village - 828 498-2211

Turkey Creek Campground - 828 488-8966

Teaberry Hill RV Campground - 828 479-3953

Stecoah Valley RV Resort Campground - 239 707-3469

Fontana Lake NC Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Fontana Lake
Fontana Village Resort Marina
40 Fontana Dam Rd
Fontana Dam, NC 28733
828 498-2129


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Fontana Lake in North Carolina.

Crappie, perch, bluegill and walleye fishing in western NC.

Fishing at Fontana Lake, in North Carolina.