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The 8 Best Fishing Lakes in North Carolina

Discover the best fishing lakes in North Carolina with this comprehensive guide. From the crystal clear mountain lakes of the Appalachians, to the remote coastal estuaries of the Outer Banks, explore the best spots to catch the biggest fish and experience the best fishing in the state.

Lake Marion

Lake Marion is a large lake located in the Midlands of South Carolina. It covers 110,600 acres, making it one of South Carolina’s largest lakes.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat and pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Santee Cooper Country and Best Western
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Santee Cooper Country, 2 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: boat ramp, marina, campground
  • Nearest Gas Station: Santee Cooper Country, 2 miles away

Lake Gaston

Lake Gaston is a large lake located along the North Carolina and Virginia border. It is 34 miles long and covers 20,300 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Great Wolf Lodge and Hampton Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Sportsman’s Supply, 7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Littleton Fuel Stop, 7 miles away

Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake is located in Chatham and Wake County. It covers 14,000 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Fairfield Inn & Suites and Hampton Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Sportsman’s Supply, 17 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites, swimming beach
  • Nearest Gas Station: Circle K, 17 miles away

High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake is located in Davidson, Randolph and Rowan counties. It is 25,000 acres and is one of the most popular lakes in North Carolina.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Fairfield Inn & Suites and Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Shulls Mill Store, 7 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: beach, marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Farris Market, 7 miles away

John H. Kerr Reservoir

John H. Kerr Reservoir, commonly referred to as Buggs Island Lake, is located in North Carolina and Virginia. It covers 50,000 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express and Country Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Buggs Island Bait & Tackle, 3 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Buggs Island Marina and Gas, 3 miles away

Kerr Lake

Kerr Lake is located along the Virginia-North Carolina border. It covers 50,000 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Holiday Inn Express and Country Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Kerr Lake Bait and Tackle, 5 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Kerr Lake Marina and Gas, 5 miles away

Lake Wylie

Lake Wylie is located in both South Carolina and North Carolina. It covers 12,455 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Comfort Inn & Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Fish N Crowd, 3 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Circle K, 3 miles away

Badin Lake

Badin Lake is located in the Uwharrie Mountains in Montgomery County. It covers 5,350 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Days Inn and Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Badin Lake Bait and Tackle, only 2 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Badin Lake Mart, 2 miles away

Fontana Lake

Fontana Lake is located in the Great Smoky Mountains and is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority system. It covers 10,230 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Pigeon Forge Inn and Quality Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Fontana Bait and Tackle, 1 mile away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Fontana Marina, 1 mile away

Lake James

Lake James is located in Burke and McDowell counties. It covers 6,812 acres.

  • Types of Fish: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: bank, boat, pier
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: available at the lake
  • Fishing Guide Service: available
  • Closest Hotels: Comfort Inn & Suites and Days Inn
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Lake James Bait and Tackle, 6 miles away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: must have a license; size and daily creel limits vary
  • Amenities: marina, campground, boat ramp, picnic sites
  • Nearest Gas Station: Speedway, 6 miles away

Find Good Fishing Spots in North Carolina and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in North Carolina, then you’ve come to the right place! The Google map below shows some of the best fishing locations in the state, so why not take a look and explore all the lakes that this beautiful state has to offer? With so many great fishing spots to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for a day of fishing fun. So why not take a look and see what North Carolina has to offer?

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to North Carolina

North Carolina is a great place for sport fishing throughout the year due to its mild climate. Summers are typically hot and humid while winters are usually mild and temperate. During the summer, temperatures usually range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s (Fahrenheit) with occasional brief showers. In winter, temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low-70s with occasional snow and ice storms. The fall and spring months are generally very pleasant with temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s.


Fishing Lakes in North Carolina
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