Large reservoir 11,700-acre Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lake .
Access West of Bryson City on NC 28 (off US 19/74). Easy to moderate access.
Species Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Spotted Bass, Walleye, Muskie, Flathead Catfish, Channel Catfish, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Bluegill, Carp
License Requirements NC fishing license
Fontana Lake is the fourth deepest man-made lake in the country. This 10,230-acre finger lake has 238 miles of shoreline and is 31 miles long from 480-ft-high Fontana Dam to Bryson City. With beautiful emerald green water beneath a backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on one side and the Nantahala National Forest on the other, Fontana Lake provides both great fishing and relaxation.
Fontana Lake is a unique fishery that, because of the cold water, is home to several species of fish typically associated with cold northern lakes. Spring runs of walleye, white bass, and steelhead look for the many river and creek mouths which feed Fontana Lake. These runs start in early March and last until the end of May and will offer incredible fishing for both anglers fishing from the bank, or by boat. Spring also brings fantastic fishing for crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch. Great fishing all year for smallmouth and largemouth bass; and catfish can be found throughout spring into fall. Several catfish are caught each year on Fontana weighing in excess of 50 lbs. Because of the cold deep water, Fontana was stocked in the 1970s with walleye, and the population has thrived. Walleye are caught all year long by a variety of tackle and techniques. With a lake the size of Fontana there is bound to be an apex predator and Fontana has such river monsters: Muskie. These native species prowl the waters of Fontana in search of smaller fish to ambush.
Fontana Lake has something for everyone, from serious fishing to fun family outings.
Annual Drawdown Fontana is a man-made lake with lake levels controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). From September - November TVA lowers lake levels 60-feet to allow for winter snows and spring rains. Fontana is a very deep lake, so even with lowered lake levels fishing is not compromised and public access ramps are open all year.
For more information, visit TVA's Fontana web page.