Your prize catch awaits you in Lake Norman. Anglers come here from around the world for their chance at a record-winning catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, striped bass, and yellow and white perch. Early summer brings peak fishing with warmer temperatures. But the fish do bite all year round, so if you're willing to brave the Southern winter chill or a mild spring day to drop your line, you might catch a whopper!

Fishing License

You will be required to have a basic NC fishing license or sportsman license when fishing on Lake Norman. A license can be purchased online, at most Walmart stores, or by calling NC Wildlife at (888) 248-6834.

If you're planning to fish for less than 10 days, the short term license is built for you. Annual and lifetime licenses are available for avid fishermen and come with noticeable discounts.

Size and Creel Regulations

Lake Norman has a variety of fish you can catch during your trip including Black Crappie, Striped Bass, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, and Yellow Perch. Make sure you are following all size and creel regulations for Lake Norman. If they do not meet the size or creel regulations, you will need to release the fish back into the lake.

Andrew Fishing

Fishing at Latta Nature Preserve
Latta Nature Preserve

Fishing at Patriot Pier Ramsey Creek
Patriot Pier at Ramsey Creek Park

Rent Fishing Poles

Borrow a fishing rod from Quest Center and purchase your bait right in their gift shop or swing by Cornelius Town Hall and take advantage of their Tackle Loaner Program where you can check out fishing rods and tackle for a maximum of 3 days. Ideal for anyone that wants to have some fun fishing without having to spend money on equipment!

Live Bait

Fishing Piers

There are three piers where you can spend a relaxing day fishing on Lake Norman: Patriot Pier at Ramsey Creek Park (ADA compliant), Lake Norman State Park located in Troutman, and Stump Creek on Perth Road in Mooresville.

Fishing From The Shore & Boat Access Areas

With 520 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman is seen best by boat. Several marinas grace the shores of the lake, providing boat launches, boat slips, storage, rentals, and repairs. Jetton ParkRamsey Creek Access Area, and Robbins Park (catch & release only), are just a couple of the various locations in Cornelius where you can fish from the shore. You can also find a few good fishing spots at Latta Nature Preserve and Blythe Landing in Huntersville.

If you're on the hunt for the American angler's most prized trophy, here are some fishing tips on how to catch largemouth bass in the spring and summer.

Plan a visit to our Visitors Center and pick up a copy of “Fish Tales” by Captain Gus Gustafson. Captain Gus has fished the lake since it’s inception in the early 1960s, and his knowledge and boating experience are as long as the lake! While you’re here, grab a waterproof GPS/Fishing map of Lake Norman, or download the Wake App for GPS Navigation.

Guided Fishing Tours

New to fishing? Fish on! is an outstanding guided tour option, as Craig Price is a fully insured captain with 40+ years of experience fishing the Piedmont lakes in North and South Carolina.

For more fishing guide services, visit our Fishing & Guides page. Lake Norman's dazzling water lined with thousands of magnificent homes (with some belonging to many NASCAR drivers, their crew members, and professional basketball and football stars) make the time spent fishing both interesting and enjoyable.

Fishing by Justin Potter


Fun Facts

  • With a surface area of 32,510 acres, Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in North Carolina

  • Lake Norman is 34 miles long with over 520 miles of shoreline

  • The deepest area in the lake is over 100 feet, while the average depth is 33 feet

  • The largest blue catfish in NC was caught on Lake Norman, weighing a whopping 85 pounds

​Experience fishing of your own on the lake, or join us as Visit Lake Norman hosts several national fishing tournaments annually (a testament to the fishing opportunities available here). And remember, good things come to those who bait!