Walleye fishing is best with live bait from April till about July, with both day and night fishing trips available.  Walleye can be caught year around trolling with down riggers using artifical lures. July through October is good months to catch Bluegill and giant catfish at Fontana Lake. Cat fishing is done mostly of the night.  For the months of November through April, Fontana has some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the south.

  • Fontana Lake: provides 238 miles of shoreline and 10,230 acres of water surface for fishing and recreation activities. Fontana offers a large variety of fish including: smallmouth and large mouth bass, black, white and spotted bass, walleye, bluegill, catfish, bream, crappie, muskie and more.
  • Nantahala Lake: located at 3012 feet above sea level the lake has 3,800 surface acres and over 42 miles of shoreline and offers great fishing for trout, bass, catfish, walleye, crappie and sunfish. It feeds the Nantahala river which then empties into Lake Fontana.
  • Santelah Lake: a 3000-acre lake within the 1,350,000 acres of the Nantahala National Forest has a wide variety of fish including: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and walleye. Until recently Santeetlah Lake was home to the state record largemouth and walleye. Santeetlah also has a good population of crappie, bream and lake trout..
  • Bear Creek Lake: located in Jackson County is managed as hatchery supported waters, meaning they are regularly stocked with trout by the Wildlife Resources Commission but the primary draw is smallmouth bass. In addition to smallmouth and trout, the lake also has crappie, rock bass, some largemouth bass and loads of sunfish and bream.
  • Cedar Cliff Lake: offers smallmouth bass, crappie, rock bass, some largemouth bass and loads of sunfish and bream. Cedar Cliff Lake also has a small population of trout that enter the lake from the Tuckasegee River.
  • Lake Glenville: located at 3500 feet above sea level is the highest lake east of the Mississippi and offers excellent fishing for Small and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Trout, and Bream.