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The Best Fishing Lakes In North Carolina

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Guide to top places to fish for bass, catfish, crappie and more in NC.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Apalachia Lake
  • Badin Lake
  • Belews Lake
  • Blewett Falls Lake
  • Buckhorn Reservoir
  • Chatuge Lake
  • Cheoah Lake
  • Falls Lake
  • Fontana Lake
  • Graham-Mebane Lake
  • Harris Lake
  • High Rock Lake
  • Hiwassee Lake
  • Hyco Lake
  • Jordan Lake
  • Kerr Lake
  • Kerr Scott Reservoir
  • Lake Benson
  • Lake Cammack
  • Lake Crabtree
  • Lake Gaston
  • Lake Glenville
  • Lake Hickory
  • Lake James
  • Lake Mackintosh
  • Lake Mattamuskeet
  • Lake Nantahala
  • Lake Norman
  • Lake Rhodhiss
  • Lake Tillery
  • Lake Townsend
  • Lake Waccamaw
  • Lake Wheeler
  • Lake Wylie
  • Mayo Reservoir
  • Moss Lake
  • Mountain Island Lake
  • Phelps Lake
  • Randleman Lake
  • Roanoke Rapids Lake
  • Santeetlah Lake
  • Sutton Lake
  • Tar River Reservoir

Top Fishing Lakes

Badin Lake, Falls Lake, Fontana Lake, High Rock Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Jordan Lake, Lake Gaston, Lake Hickory, Lake James, Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Phelps Lake and Santeetlah Lake are some of the most popular places for fishing in North Carolina, offering anglers the chance to pursue a variety of fish species. The Boat Rental Page lists options for fishing boat rentals at some of these lakes. Also locate boat launch ramps on popular fishing lakes in the state.

North Carolina boasts a diverse array of fishing lakes, offering a range of warm water and cold water fishing opportunities for anglers of all preferences. Warm water lakes in North Carolina are known for their abundance of species such as largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and sunfish. These lakes, with typically higher water temperatures, provide ideal conditions for the growth and activity of warm water fish species. Popular warm water fishing lakes in North Carolina include Jordan Lake, Lake Norman, and High Rock Lake.

On the other hand, North Carolina is also home to several cold water lakes that provide excellent fishing for species like trout and smallmouth bass. These lakes are typically located in higher elevation areas and benefit from colder water temperatures, allowing for thriving populations of cold water fish species. Some notable cold water fishing lakes in North Carolina include Fontana Lake, Lake Glenville, and Lake Santeetlah.

When it comes to species diversity, North Carolina's fishing lakes have much to offer. In addition to bass, catfish, crappie, and trout, anglers can also target species such as walleye, muskie, striped bass, and panfish. Each lake has its own unique mix of fish species, providing anglers with a wide range of fishing opportunities throughout the state.

Whether you prefer the thrill of catching bass in a warm water lake or the tranquility of fly fishing for trout in a cold water lake, North Carolina's fishing lakes cater to all preferences and skill levels. With its stunning landscapes, diverse fish populations, and ample camping and boating opportunities, North Carolina is a haven for anglers seeking memorable fishing experiences.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Carolina


Bass Fishing Lakes

Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass

Spotted Bass
Spotted Bass

Redeye Bass
Redeye Bass

There so many great bass lakes in the state, it's hard to pick a top three, but Fontana Lake, High Rock Lake and Harris Lake are positioned to offer great bass fishing. Other bass lakes in the state include Apalachia Lake, Badin Lake, Cheoah Lake, Falls Lake, Jordan Lake, Kerr Lake, Kernersville Lake, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake Hickory, Lake Higgins, Lake James, Lake Nantahala, Lake Norman, Lake Rhodhiss, Lake Waccamaw, Lake Wylie, Phelps Lake and Randleman Lake. Throughout North Carolina bass anglers will find largemouth, smallmouth, redeye and spotted bass. More...


Catfish Fishing Lakes

Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish

Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish

Blue Catfish
Blue Catfish

White Catfish
White Catfish

Picking the best catfish lakes in the state is difficult, because there are so many primed for great fishing this year. A few at the top of the list include Lake Norman, Kerr Lake, Lake Wylie and High Rock Lake. Other lakes offering good catfish prospects include Buckhorn Reservoir, Chatuge Lake, Falls Lake, Fontana Lake, Graham-Mebane Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Jordan Lake, King Mountain Reservoir, Lake Cammack, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake Hickory, Lake James, Lake Mackintosh, Lake Mattamuskeet, Lake Rhodhiss, Lake Tillery, Lake Waccamaw, Moss Lake, Phelps Lake, Roanoke Rapids Lake and Tar River Reservoir are among the favorite channel, blue, white and flathead catfish fishing destinations. More...


Crappie Fishing Lakes

Black Crappie
Black Crappie

White Crappie
White Crappie

Crappie enthusiasts love North Carolina because there are great crappie lakes all over the state. Jordan Lake, High Rock Lake and Lake Wylie are at the top of the list and appear to be off to a great start for crappie anglers. Additionally, many other lakes in the state are also good choices. Buckhorn Reservoir, Chatuge Lake, Falls Lake, Fontana Lake, Graham-Mebane Lake, Harris Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Hyco Lake, Kerr Lake, King Mountain Reservoir, Lake Benson, Lake Cammack, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake Hickory, Lake James, Lake Mackintosh, Lake Mattamuskeet, Lake Norman, Lake Townsend, Lake Waccamaw, Mayo Reservoir, Mountain Island Lake, Randleman Lake, Salem Lake, Santeetlah Lake, Shearon Harris Reservoir and W Kerr Scott Reservoir are also popular for black and white crappie. More...


Walleye Fishing Lakes

Walleye
Walleye

Fontana Lake, Santeetlah Lake and Lake James are considered three of the top lakes for walleye fishing in North Carolina this year. Blewett Falls Lake, Chatuge Lake, Falls Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake Nantahala and W Kerr Scott Reservoir are considered the top locations for walleye fishing. More...


Trout Fishing Lakes

Rainbow trout
Rainbow trout

Brown trout
Brown trout

Brook trout
Brook Trout

North Carolina offers some excellent trout fishing in rivers, streams and lakes. In this website we cover lakes. Some of the current standout trout lakes in the state include Fontana Lake, Cheoah Lake and Santeetlah Lake. Apalachia Lake, Buckhorn Reservoir, Lake Glenville and Lake Nantahala are also favored options for rainbow, brook or brown trout. More...


Striped Bass & Hybrid Stripers Fishing Lakes

Striped Bass
Striped bass

Hybrid Striped Bass
Hybrid Striped bass

Lake Norman, Hickory Lake, Badin Lake and High Rock Lake are set to be among the best striper fishing lakes in the state. Many other lakes offer great fishing for striped bass and/or hybrid stripers. These lakes include Apalachia Lake, Blewett Falls Lake, Chatuge Lake, Falls Lake, Graham-Mebane Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Jordan Lake, Lake Cammack, Lake James, Lake Mackintosh, Lake Nantahala, Lake Rhodhiss, Lake Townsend, Lake Tillery and Salem Lake. More...


Sunfish & Panfish Fishing Lakes

Bluegill
Bluegill

Green Sunfish
Green Sunfish

Pumpkinseed Sunfish
Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Redbreast Sunfish
Redbreast Sunfish

Redear Sunfish
Redear Sunfish

White Bass
White Bass

Other Sunfish

Virtually every lake in the state has healthy populations of one or more species of panfish, and the fishing is typically good at all of them. Lake Norman, Jordan Lake, High Rock Lake, Fontana Lake and Badin Lake are considered to be among the best. Apalachia Lake, Blewett Falls Lake, Chatuge Lake, Cheoah Lake, Falls Lake, Harris Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Hyco Lake, King Mountain Reservoir, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake Mattamuskeet, Lake Nantahala, Lake Rhodhiss, Lake Sutton, Lake Wylie, Mayo Reservoir, Mountain Island Lake, Moss Lake and Salem Lake are some of the other popular spots to fish for bluegill, bream, perch and other sunfish. More...


Salmon Fishing Lakes

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee Salmon

Lake Nantahala is the only salmon lake in NC which is stocked with kokanee salmon. More...


Visit the North Carolina fishing page for links to information covering a wide variety of fish species and destinations in the state. Visit the North Carolina map to identify your best route to these top fishing locations. Look to our sister site for additional information about boating and boat rentals in NC, at many of the most popular destinations in the state.

 

Best Destinations By State.

AL Fishing Lakes AR Fishing Lakes AZ Fishing Lakes CA Fishing Lakes CO Fishing Lakes CT Fishing Lakes DC Fishing Lakes DE Fishing Lakes FL Fishing Lakes GA Fishing Lakes HI Fishing Lakes IA Fishing Lakes ID Fishing Lakes
IL Fishing Lakes IN Fishing Lakes KS Fishing Lakes KY Fishing Lakes LA Fishing Lakes MA Fishing Lakes MD Fishing Lakes ME Fishing Lakes MI Fishing Lakes MN Fishing Lakes MO Fishing Lakes MS Fishing Lakes MT Fishing Lakes
NC Fishing Lakes ND Fishing Lakes NE Fishing Lakes NH Fishing Lakes NJ Fishing Lakes NM Fishing Lakes NV Fishing Lakes NY Fishing Lakes OH Fishing Lakes OK Fishing Lakes OR Fishing Lakes PA Fishing Lakes
RI Fishing Lakes SC Fishing Lakes SD Fishing Lakes TN Fishing Lakes TX Fishing Lakes UT Fishing Lakes VA Fishing Lakes VT Fishing Lakes WA Fishing Lakes WI Fishing Lakes WV Fishing Lakes WY Fishing Lakes

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