Fishing North Carolina


Top 10 Fishing Destinations in North Carolina

Among the most scenic states in the nation, North Carolina is one that you will find to be on top, as far as fishing destinations go. The summers are pleasant, which makes it a prime spot for fishing. Serene lakes scattered to the west and to the east coast make North Carolina a sublime destination for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Fly fishing, Trout fishing, and mountain fishing are some of the unique types of fishing that North Carolina possess.

North Carolina has immense richness in freshwater and saltwater fish. Among freshwater species trout, some varieties of perch, carp, catfish, sturgeon, and pike can be landed. Red drum, flounder, Spotted seatrout, bluefish, king mackerel, and Spanish mackerel are found in the salt water of North Carolina.

Types of Catch Available


raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout

brown trout

Brown Trout

brook trout

Brook Trout



northern pike


Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth Bass

spotted bass

Spotted Bass

Striped Bass

White Bass

White Bass

Pumpkinseed Sunfish


bullhead catfish

Bullhead Catfish





yellow perch

Yellow Perch

American Shad



Skipjack Tuna


Yellowtail Amberjack



ocean perch

Ocean Perch





Yellowfin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna

Blue Marlin



Black Drum

Black Sea Bass

Red Drum

State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across North Carolina

To explore more about fishing destinations in North Carolina, we take a tour to the top 10 destinations in the state.

Lake Fontana

Lake Fontana

Possessing a large shoreline with various branches, Lake Fontana is one of the most serene places for anglers to fish. Well-built lodges and rich resources in fish at this venue makes it one of the most wonderful places for anglers to visit. Visitors can take a boat out, and also opt for camping while exploring ruins of old homesteads. Largemouth bass, Bluegill, Walleye, Lake trout, and Muskellunge are some of the best-known species available at Lake Fontana.

Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake

For those who want to go fishing at a beautiful destination, Jordan Lake is one of the best places for anglers to find trophy-sized fish. Jordan Lake stocks some of the richest fish in the region. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black/white crappie, bluegill, white bass, striped bass, and yellow perch are some of the prized catches in the state.

Jordan Lake is a reservoir in New Hope Valley, west of Cary and south of Durham in Chatham County, North Carolina.  The northernmost end of the lake extends into southwestern Durham County

Lake Norman

Lake Norman

mething that draws anglers towards Lake Norman. Apart from big catfish, there are abundant white perch in this lake. It has a 500-mile beautiful shoreline which makes it a must visit for the anglers. The kind of fish you can catch at Lake Norman include: largemouth bass, striped/white bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, yellow perch, and bluegill fish.

Lake James

Lake James

The great width and breadth of Lake James makes it the home for many species. Fishing at Lake James is something beyond the experience of catching typical bass. Camping facilities, boat rentals and more than one marina make this spot an attraction for many visitors.

A few popular catches you will find here include: bass, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, northern pike and tiger muskie. Lake James is a large reservoir in the mountains of Western North Carolina which straddles the border between Burke and McDowell Counties

Lake Chatuge

Lake Chatuge

Located on the North Carolina and Georgia Border, it is the most scenic places for fishing. A fishing license for North Carolina or Georgia is required to fish at this destination. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted and hybrid striped  bass, channel catfish, black crappie, bream, bluegill, and walleye are prized catches at this destination.

High Rock Lake

High Rock Lake

High Rock is a deep-water lake and is an excellent hub for large-size bass. The shoreline stretches for over 365 miles, which creates much room to explore. To explore the deeper parts, a boat rental is the best option when coming to High Rock Lake. Some of the prized catches are: largemouth bass, white bass, striped bass, white crappie, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, and Bluegill.

High Rock Lake is the second-largest lake in North Carolina and is a reservoir lake for hydroelectric power generation.

Ocracoke Island Outer Banks

Ocracoke Island Outer Banks

One of the best destinations for great deep sea or offshore fishing, this remote destination was once famous for harboring pirates. The place is a must visit, as it is easy to swim by the shore and offers many opportunities for catching bountiful fish. Anglers find it the best option for visiting, and that can be  judged by the pace of bookings for rentals on the island. Drums, shark, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, pompano, spots, croaker, and sea mullets are the bountiful species that attract the anglers at Ocracoke Island.

Tuckasegee River

Tuckasegee River

The ‘Tuck’ as it is called, is a serene river, and  home to some great fly fishing. Some of the biggest smallmouth bass can be found in this region. Apart from smallmouth bass, trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, Kentucky spotted bass, walleye, steelhead, muskie, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, white bass, and catfish can be found.

The Tuckasegee River flows entirely within western North Carolina. It begins its course in Jackson County, above Cullowhee, at the confluence of PantherTown and Greenland creeks. It flows in a northwesterly direction into Swain County and through the center of Bryson City, North Carolina. The river passes around the Bryson City Island Park, where it then enters Fontana Lake and then the Little Tennessee River

Nantahala River

Nantahala River

This family-friendly spot provides excellent fly fishing. To cool off from the summer heat, this is the finest spot for cold water fishing. It is one of the best destinations for trout fishing.

The Nantahala River is a river in Western North Carolina, within the Nantahala National Forest, and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach

Although it is a small town, it is packed with places to cast a line due to ocean-facing beaches, in-shore fishing grounds and a wide selection of charter fishing companies. Saltwater fishing licenses need to be purchased when fishing here. Big species like dolphins, sailfish and marlin, are found at this Carolina beach.








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