places to fish in north carolina

The Top 7 Bass Fishing Destinations In North Carolina

Bass fishing in North Carolina is a league of its own. From huge dammed lakes to crappie factories producing big bait and big bites, North Carolina fishing doesn’t disappoint. We rounded up the local opinions to figure out the 7 best places to fish in North Carolina. Here they are:

1. High Rock Lake
high rock lake

For all the deep water anglers out there, High Rock is your kind of lake. The bass aren’t shy in the stained waters of this reservoir in the heart of the state. High Rock is a bass factory year-round, but it hits it’s peak in the heat of summer when the bass move out deep. May through October you can find schools of largemouth bass stacked on offshore humps and ledges. The Carolina rig is the perfect approach to catching these deep water bass as this classic rig holds true to it’s name as a Carolina special.

2. Fontana Lake

A thriving smallmouth lake in the south? Although a rarity, they do exist. Fontana Lake sits high in elevation just south of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and has a tremendous smallmouth bass population. The clear, cool waters of Fontana Lake make the perfect home for big smallies and other typically northern species like walleye. Plan your fishing trip to Fontana in the spring for primetime smallmouth action. During the prespawn and spawn stages of the spring, the smallmouth will move shallow and become highly susceptible to a variety of techniques. Grab your clear water arsenal of lures and wet a line at Fontana Lake.

3. Lake Phelps

Tucked between the Albemarle and Palmico Sounds in eastern North Carolina, Lake Phelps is a true gem of a bass fishery. This 16,600 acre body of water is North Carolina’s second largest natural lake and it has no shortage of natural cover for big bass. Phelps features an abundance of healthy grass and flooded wooded areas that can be picked apart with a variety of lures. Any day on Lake Phelps holds the potential for a limit of largemouth bass over 25 pounds.

4. Shearon Harris Lake
shearon harris lake

Grass, grass, and more grass, Shearon Harris Lake has plenty of it and giant bass love it. Due to the combination of healthy aquatic vegetation and plenty of sunfish as forage, it’s no surprise that the largemouth here grow so huge. Hitting them on top with a frog and flipping grass mats with a punch rig is a great one-two punch at Shearon Harris to get big bites. Don’t come to this lake with light tackle, bring the big sticks and heavy braided line to pull boatloads of Shearon Harris bass from the grass.

5. Lake Sutton

It’s definitely not the biggest lake in the state at only 1,100 acres, but Lake Sutton’s bass fishing is the real deal. This small man made reservoir is used as cooling lake for a nearby power plant keeping its waters warm all year long and extending the bass’ growing season. Bass fishing at Sutton peaks in the dead of winter. When air temperatures start to drop, bass will school up in front of the warm water discharge. It’s almost as easy as catching fish out of barrel.

6. Lake Waccamaw
lake waccamaw

This unique North Carolina bay lake holds loads of chunky largemouth bass. Most bay lakes aren’t optimal for supporting giant bass, but nearby limestone has transformed Lake Waccamaw’s water pH levels to be perfect for sustaining healthy bass. A combination of weedlines and docks make up the prominent cover at Waccamaw giving you options on how you want to catch your fish. Whether it’s skipping a wacky worm under docks or running a lipless crankbait down weed edges, you will catch your fill of big bass at Waccamaw.

7. Jordan Lake
places to fish in north carolina

Jordan Lake was one of the crown jewel bass fishing destinations for North Carolinians throughout the 80s and 90s. Due to heavy fishing pressure, Jordan Lake’s reputation as a big bass factory has dropped a few notches. However, this lake is not to be overlooked. At Jordan Lake you’re probably not going to catch a 100 bass a day, but on any cast you could catch your new personal best.

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