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The Best Lakes To Fish In North Carolina

Scattered across the state are many terrific fishing lakes. Making the top five in this state requires exceptional praise from anglers. Crappie, bass, walleye, stripers and catfish top the list of fish species thriving in these fertile fisheries. Panfish are found everywhere, pike and muskie reside in some of the lakes and kokanee salmon can be caught at Nantahala Lake.

Top 5 Fishing Lakes

#1 - Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake in North-Central NC

This fertile fish factory is located in the north-central part of the state at Wilsonville. Big fat crappie garner a great deal of attention from visitors to this 6,800-acre reservoir. Bass anglers are drawn here for the healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Catfish, stripers and white bass all reside here and provide excellent fishing at times.

Fishing Jordan Lake:
Plenty of areas for bank fishing.
Numerous boat launch ramps.
Campgrounds and RV hookups.
Marinas and restaurant.
Boat rentals.

Primary fish species:
Bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, white bass, stripers and yellow perch.


#2 - Lake James

Lake James in North-Central NC

This multi-species fishing gem is located in the north-central part of the state. Walleye, stripers and bass are at the top the list of the many fish species available here. Crappie, catfish, white bass, pike and muskie each have their own following here as well. Rental boats, marinas, campgrounds and bait shops are all handy to enhance your stay.

Fishing Lake James:
Plenty of areas for bank fishing.
Two primary boat launch ramps.
Campgrounds and RV hookups.
Marinas and restaurants.
Rental Boats.

Primary fish species:
Walleye, bass, crappie, catfish, pike, muskie, stripers and white bass.


#3 - Falls Lake

Falls Lake in Northeast NC

Nestled just northeast of Durham, this 12,400-acre lake is a haven for largemouth bass. Three kinds of catfish, black and white crappie, white bass, perch, sunfish and striped bass round the list of fish species popular here. Visitors will find several boat ramps, a marina and rental boats. There are plenty of campgrounds and RV spaces as well.

Fishing Falls Lake:
Plenty of areas for bank fishing.
Six boat launch ramps.
Campgrounds and RV hookups.
Marina and restaurant.
Rental boats.

Primary fish species:
Largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, white bass, perch, striped bass and pickerel.


#4 - Harris Lake

Harris Lake in Central NC

This 4,100-acre reservoir, in the central part of the state, has over 140 miles of shoreline. The water is populated with bass, sunfish, white bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. Bass exceeding ten pounds and lots of crappie over two pounds are the primary attraction for anglers. Plenty of aquatic vegetation keeps this fishery fertile.

Fishing Harris Lake:
Plenty of areas for bank fishing.
Two primary boat launch ramps.
Campgrounds and RV hookups.
Marina and restaurant.
Boat rentals.

Primary fish species:
Largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead and blue catfish, black crappie, bluegill, white bass, white perch and northern pike.


#5 - High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake in Central NC

Known as a healthy fishery for bass, crappie, catfish and stripers, this 15,000-acre reservoir offers fishing for all ages and experience levels. Bluegill and white bass also thrive here. The lake is conveniently located in the center of the state, 10 miles south of Lexington.

Fishing High Rock Lake:
Plenty of areas for bank fishing.
Two public boat launch ramps.
Campgrounds and RV hookups.
Two marinas and boat rentals.

Primary fish species:
Largemouth bass, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, bluegill, white bass and striped bass


10 Additional great fishing lakes in the state

Badin Lake
Badin Lake in Central NC

Size: 5,000 acres

Top 3 species:
Bass
Crappie
Stripers


Belews Lake
Belews Lake in Northwest NC

Size: 3,860 acres

Top 3 species:
Bass
Crappie
White Bass


Fontana Lake
Fontana Lake in Western NC

Size: 11,700 acres

Top 3 species:
Bass
Crappie
Walleye


Kerr Lake
KerrLake in Northern NC

Size: 50,000 acres

Top 3 species:
Bass
Crappie
Stripers


Lake Gaston
Lake Gaston in Northern NC

Size: 20,000 acres

Top 3 species:
Crappie
Catfish
Bass


Lake Glenville
Lake Glenville in Southwest NC

Size: 1,500 acres

Top 3 species:
Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Walleye


Lake Hickory
Lake Hickory in North-Central NC

Size: 4,200 acres

Top 3 species:
Striped Bass
Catfish
Bass



Lake Nantahala
Lake Nantahala in Southeast NC

Size: 1,600 acres

Top 3 species:
Salmon
Walleye
Trout


Lake Norman
Lake Norman in North-Central NC

Size: 32,600 acres

Top 3 species:
Bass
Stripers
Crappie


Lake Waccamaw
Lake Waccamaw in Southeast NC

Size: 8,900 acres

Top 3 species:
White Perch
Crappie
Bass


Enjoy these popular fishing lakes in NC