Guide To Walleye & Sauger Fishing In North Carolina
Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.
Walleye & Sauger Lakes
For walleye enthusiasts there are several lakes with notable populations of walleye. Those lakes include Blewett Falls Lake, Chatuge Lake, Falls Lake, Fontana Lake, Hiwassee Lake, Lake Gaston, Lake Glenville, Lake James, Lake Nantahala, Santeetlah Lake and W Kerr Scott Reservoir.
You are liable to also find limited walleye fishing in the rivers flowing into and out of these lakes.
North Carolina State Records
Fishing for walleye in North Carolina
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 13 lbs 8 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 5 lbs 15 oz
Click the images and links above for species details.
Top lures for walleye in North Carolina
Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.
The state record walleye was taken from Lake Chatuge.
The state record sauger came from Norman Lake.
Fishing For Walleye
This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Fishing For Sauger
Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.
Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.
North Carolina walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
In-Fisherman - Walleye
U.S. Fish & Wildlife - Walleye
The National Wildlife Federation - Walleye
Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.
Learn the migration patterns of walleye
Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.