Fall Fishing in North Carolina

Freshwater Jewels
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In spite of all the great saltwater fishing in North Carolina, you shouldn't neglect the coastal rivers and lakes. The under-fished bass populations of the remote Alligator and the Scuppernong rivers, which run parallel to each other as they flow into the southern side of the Albemarle Sound, eagerly await the intrepid angler. These two classic blackwater streams are excellent largemouth bass fisheries.

Contact information:
Tyrell County VisitorÂ’s Center, 252-796-0723
Washington County Chamber of Commerce, 252-793-4804

September and October promise an abundant catfish catch on the Cape Fear River, a deep, often swift waterway that begins in the Carolina Piedmont and empties into the Atlantic near the port city of Wilmington. You’ll find the three largest members of the catfish family—channel, blue, and flathead—lurking at the bottom of North Carolina’s largest river system from its junction with the Black River all the way west to Lillington, in Harnett County.

Contact information:
800-222-4757

The crystal-clear Lake Phelps, where the Algonquian Indians fished some 10,000 years ago, is another prime largemouth bass hangout. A 16,600-acre natural lake that lies within the bounds of picturesque Pettigrew State Park, Phelps also teems with yellow perch, pumpkinseed, pickerel, and catfish. South of Lake Phelps in Hyde County you'll find Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge and North Carolina's largest lake. The 50,180-acre Lake Mattamuskeet boasts a 1,000-foot pier, from which you can fish for largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish, bream, and more. Fall fishing is also good from the canals and along the shoreline as well. Looking further south, about 38 miles west of Wilmington sits Lake Waccamaw State Park, home to rare animals and plants found nowhere else on the planet. Fifty-two species of game and non-game fish swim in these aquamarine waters, and the lake is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker, and redbreast sunfish.

Contact information:
Pettigrew State Park, 252-797-4475
Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, 252-926-4021
Lake Waccamaw State Park, 910-646-4748

For information on regulations or to acquire a North Carolina fishing license, call 919-662-4370 or visit: www.ncwildlife.org.





Published: 30 Aug 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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