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North Carolina Fishing

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All about fishing in the Tar Heel State

  • Badin Lake
  • Belews Lake
  • Blewett Falls Lake
  • Chatuge Lake
  • Falls Lake
  • Fontana Lake
  • Harris Lake
  • High Rock Lake
  • Hiwassee Lake
  • Hyco Lake
  • Jordan Lake
  • Kerr Lake
  • Kerr Scott Reservoir
  • Lake Gaston
  • Lake Glenville
  • Lake Hickory
  • Lake James
  • Lake Mattamuskeet
  • Lake Nantahala
  • Lake Norman
  • Lake Rhodhiss
  • Lake Tillery
  • Lake Waccamaw
  • Lake Wylie
  • Mayo Reservoir
  • Moss Lake
  • Mountain Island Lake
  • Phelps Lake
  • Randleman Lake
  • Roanoke Rapids Lake
  • Santeetlah Lake

The state of North Carolina offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, redeye bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, white catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, bluegill, flier sunfish, green sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, warmouth, white bass, white perch, yellow perch, kokanee salmon, stripers, steelhead, bowfin, chain pickerel, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, sauger and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams. Visit each NC lake page for details on species within that lake.

Major North Carolina Lakes

North Carolina major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.

For a detailed list of primary fish species in NC, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Lakes, sizes and locations in the state.

Apalachia Lake is an 1,100-acre lake in the south-west corner of the state, 5 miles west of Murphy.

Badin Lake is a 5,000-acre lake in the central part of the state, at New London, NC.

Belews Lake is a 3,860-acre lake, located in the northwest part of the state, at Pine Hall, NC.

Blewett Falls Lake is a 2,560-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Rockingham, NC.

Buckhorn Reservoir is a 2,000-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, 10 miles north of Kenly.

Chatuge Lake is a 7,480-acre lake in the southwest corner of the state, at Hayesville, NC.

Cheoah Lake is a 640-acre lake on the western border of the state, at Tapaco.

Falls Lake is a 12,400-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, on the northeast outskirts of Durham, NC.

Graham-Mebane Lake is a 650-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 10 milew east of Burlington.

Fontana Lake is a 11,700-acre reservoir located in the western part of the state, at Almond, NC.

Harris Lake is a 4,100-acre reservoir in the northeast part of the state, 5 miles east of Moncure, NC.

High Rock Lake is a 15,180-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles south of Lexington , NC.

Hiwassee Lake is a 6,200-acre reservoir in the southwest corner of the state, at Murphy, NC.

Hyco Lake is a 3,750-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Semora, NC.

Jordan Lake is a 14,000-acre reservoir in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles west of Cary, NC.

Kernersville Lake is a 60-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 2 miles north of Kernersville.

Kerr Lake is a 50,000-acre reservoir located on the northern border of the state, at Middleburg, NC.

Kerr Scott Reservoir is a 1,475-acre lake located in the north-central part of the state, at Wilkesboro, NC.

Kings Mountain Reservoir is a 1,500-acre lake in the south-west part of the state, at Shelby.

Lake Benson is a 650-acre lake in the central NC, 8 miles south of Raleigh.

Lake Cammack is a 800 acres-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 6 miles east of Altamahaw.

Lake Crabtree is a 520-acre lake in the central part of the state, 1 mile northeast of Morrisville.

Lake Gaston is a 20,000-acre reservoir on the northern border of the state, 2 miles north of Littleton, NC.

Lake Glenville is a 1,470-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, 5 miles southwest of Creswell, NC.

Lake Hickory is a 4,200-acre lake located in the north-central part of the state, at Hickory, NC.

Lake Higgins is a 220-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 3 miles south of Summerfield.

Lake James is a 6,800-acre reservoir in the north-central part of the state, at Nebo, NC.

Lake Mackintosh is a 1,150-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 2 miles south of Whitsett.

Lake Mattamuskeet is a 40,000-acre reservoir near the eastern edge of the state, at Fairfield, NC.

Lake Nantahala is a 1,600-acre lake in the south eastern section of the state, in the Nantahala National Forest, nearby Aquone, NC.

Lake Norman is a 32,000-acre reservoir in the north-central part of the state, at Mooresville, NC.

Lake Rhodhiss is a 3,000-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Rhodhiss, NC.

Lake Sutton is a 1,100-acre lake in the southeast corner of the state, at Wilmington.

Lake Tillery is a 5,200-acre lake located in the central part of the state, at Norwood, NC.

Lake Townsend is a 1,542-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 10 miles north of Greensboro.

Lake Waccamaw is a 8,900-acre lake in the South-east part of the state, at Lake Waccamaw, NC.

Lake Wheeler is a 650-acre lake in central NC, 3 miles west of Garner.

Lake Wylie is a 13,400-acre reservoir on the southern border of the state, at Belmont, NC.

Mayo Reservoir is a 2,800-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 5 miles north of Roxboro, NC.

Mountain Island Lake is a 3,200-acre reservoir in the southwest part of the state, 3 miles west of Huntersville, NC.

Moss Lake is a 1,500-acre lake in the southwest part of the state, at Shelby, NC.

Phelps Lake is a 16,600-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, 2 miles south of Creswell, NC.

Randleman Lake is a 3,000-acre reservoir located in the central part of the state, 10 miles south of Greensboro.

Roanoke Rapids Lake is a 4,600-acre lake located in the northeast part of the state, at Roanoke Rapids, NC.

Salem Lake is a 365-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, at Winston-Salem.

Santeetlah Lake is a 2,880-acre lake in the western part of the state, at Santeetlah, NC.

Tar River Reservoir is a 1,800-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, 3 miles northwest of Sharpsburg.

W Kerr Scott Reservoir is a 1,475-acre lake located in the north-central part of the state, at Wilkesboro.

Fish Species & State Records in North Carolina

Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 15 lbs 14 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 10 lbs 0 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 5 oz

Redeye Bass

Redeye bass

World record: 8 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 14 oz

Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 40 lbs 8 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 78 lbs 14 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 121 lbs 9 oz

White Catfish

White catfish

World record: 22 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 0 oz

Crappie

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 15 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 15 oz

Walleye

Walleye

Walleye

World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 8 oz

Sauger

Sauger

World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 15 oz

Panfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 5 oz

Flier Sunfish

Flier sunfish

World record: 1 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 5 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.2 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 14 oz

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 6 oz

Redbreast Sunfish

Redbreast sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 1 lbs 12 oz

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

State Record: 4 lbs 15 oz

Warmouth

Warmouth

World record: 2.4 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 13 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 5 lbs 14 oz

White Perch

White perch

World record: 4.6 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 15 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 9 oz

Trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 20 lbs 3 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 7 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 24 lbs 10 oz

Salmon

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee salmon

World record: 9 lbs 10 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 1 oz

Striped bass

Striped Bass

Stripers

Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 66 lbs 0 oz

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striper (Wiper)

World record: 27 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 17 lbs 7 oz

Other species

Bowfin

Bowfin

World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 17 lbs 15 oz

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel

World record: 9 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 0 oz

Longnose Gar

Longnose gar

World record: 50 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 25 lbs 0 oz

Muskie

Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 41 lbs 8 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 13 oz

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 33 lbs 8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Falls Lake, North Carolina

Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in North Carolina and other boating information.

Apply for a North Carolina fishing license.

State of NC Fishing Information

Visit the NC Wildlife Resources Commission website for additional information about fishing in North Carolina.

Bass fishing book for sale

 

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