North Carolina Fishing Spots, Maps and Reports

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Types of Fish in North Carolina

American Shad
Blue Catfish
Bluegill
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Bullhead
Channel Catfish
Crappie
Flathead Catfish
Green Sunfish
Hickory Shad
Largemouth Bass
Muskie
Pickerel
Pumpkinseed
Rainbow Trout
Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Rock Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Striped Bass
Walleye
Warmouth
White Bass
White Catfish
White Perch
Yellow Perch

If you want many species of bass, trout, shad, catfish, crappie, and perch, cast your line in North Carolina. Shallow fly fishing streams are bounteous in this state, and with hundreds of miles of coast  saltwater fishing is also a favored pastime. North Carolina annually stocks six million fish to populate its waterways and lakes, and has an abundance of naturally thriving inland and coastal species.

Beautiful mountains allow for trout fishing while surrounded by a glorious landscape. The west coast of the state is home to an array of waterways used by brown, rainbow, and brook trout. South Holston River is one of America’s best rivers for trophy sized brown trout. Roughly $100 million of North Carolina’s economy comes from vibrant, scenic trout fishing!

Tar Creek has notably heavy trout waiting to be caught. Nolichucky is a year round location for trout, especially rainbow trout during winter. Much of the state’s inland trout fishing is accessed through private lands – always be respectful of those who allow anglers to use their property.

Striped, spotted, large and smallmouth bass, are in ample supply in North Carolina. There is also the uncommon Roanoke bass, whose native habitat is extremely limited (Roanoke, Chowan, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, with isolated populations elsewhere, such as the Uwharrie River). Holston River is a great smallmouth bass point. The Watuga River is another popular spot for sizable striped bass, as well as trophy brown and rainbow trout.

American and hickory shad are known to inhabit the Roanoke and Tar Rivers. Both of these rivers play a part in the migratory shad runs. The state record American shad was almost eight pounds in 1974 from Tar River.

The eastern coast of North Carolina allows for vigorous salt water fishing. The state’s record breaking striped bass, a sixty-two pounder, was caught off Hatteras Island. Red drum, or channel bass, are huge once matured and are so plentiful that they are the state saltwater fish. The state record red drum was nearly a hundred pounds!

Troutlines, set hooks, and other set lines are regulated by North Carolina law. Most species  have daily catch limits, as well as minimum and/or maximum lengths required for removal, so please check local legalities before removing fish.

Anyone sixteen years or older must have a fishing license. Both residents and non-residents may opt for an inland or coastal ten day recreational fishing pass, annual, or even a lifetime license (at any age)! People are considered residents when they have lived in North Carolina for six months, or have owned property within the state for two months. Students attending within-state college may apply for a resident license. Any members of the Armed Forces on leave for a month or less is exempt from licensing.

Salt water fishing requires its own license (the North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License), although one should note additional licensing privileges are required for some species (such as the swordfish and tuna). Most licenses are available online, via telephone, and by visiting a licensing agency of the state (except for salt water licenses which cannot be picked up in person, and youth/infant lifetime licenses which are not available online).

North Carolina has one free fishing day annually on the fourth of July, and a Tackle Loaner Program to make fishing accessible to everyone. Also, to promote trout fishing the state offers the Mountain Heritage Trout Water program which allows residents and non-residents to fish in designated locations for three days for only $5.

North Carolina – To be caught, rather than seem caught..
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North Carolina Lakes

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Azusa Grotto Lake


Azusa Grotto Lake, just 2 miles from Mint Hill, North Carolina, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Azusa Grotto Lake include Matthews, Stallings and Hemby Bridge. If Azusa Grotto Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Campbell Creek, Stevens Creek, Sherman Branch, Irvins Creek, Far Branch, McKee Creek, Wiley Branch, Windrow Branch, Edwards Branch and Fuda Creek.
Closest Cities : Mint Hill 2miles, Matthews 6miles, Stallings 6miles, Hemby Bridge 7miles, Harrisburg 7miles


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Back Lake


16 miles from Manteo, North Carolina anglers will find Back Lake and will not be disappointed. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Back Lake include Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. If Back Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Deep Creek, Cumberland Creek, Pains Creek, Muddy Creek, Clark Creek, Broad Creek, Long Shoal River, Callaghan Creek, Whipping Creek and Spencer Creek.
Closest Cities : Manteo 16miles, Nags Head 19miles, Kill Devil Hills 23miles, Kitty Hawk 26miles, Columbia 28miles


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Bakers Lake


Bakers Lake, just 5 miles from Tar Heel, North Carolina, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Bakers Lake include Dublin, Saint Pauls and Stedman. If Bakers Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Indian Creek, Georgia Branch, Mines Creek, Willis Creek, Buck Branch, Phillips Creek, Kirks Mill Creek, Swans Creek, Lake Run and Gallberry Swamp.
Closest Cities : Tar Heel 5miles, Dublin 10miles, Saint Pauls 11miles, Stedman 14miles, Autryville 14miles


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Barger Lake


Davidson, North Carolina is location on Barger Lake. It's a great lake for both resident and visiting anglers to land a lunker! Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Barger Lake include Cornelius, Huntersville and Mooresville. If Barger Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are South Prong West Branch Rocky River, Dye Creek, Gambles Creek, West Branch Rocky River, Knox Creek, Caldwell Station Creek, Davidson Creek, Work Creek, East Fork and Reeds Creek.
Closest Cities : Davidson 0miles, Cornelius 3miles, Huntersville 6miles, Mooresville 6miles, Kannapolis 10miles


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Bay Tree Lake


Bay Tree Lake, just 5 miles from White Lake, North Carolina, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Bay Tree Lake include Garland, Elizabethtown and Harrells. If Bay Tree Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Double Branch, Tomahawk Creek, Little Colly Creek, McNeill Branch, Smith Mill Pond Run, Little Tomahawk Creek, Big Tomahawk Creek, Enoch Mill Creek, Jumping Run Creek and Lake Drain.
Closest Cities : White Lake 5miles, Garland 8miles, Elizabethtown 11miles, Harrells 12miles, Atkinson 16miles