Tips for Fishing Lake Wylie

By Tom Keer

Oct 25, 2017

Anglers from the Charlotte area have a lot of quality water near by.  Savvy anglers try Lake Wylie especially in the spring and the fall.

Folks wanting to go freshwater fishing in Charlotte, North Carolina usually head to Lake Norman, Lake Keowee, and Lake Gaston.  But 28 miles south of Queen City is Lake Wylie which is a gem of a fishery.  The lake sits on the North and South Carolina boarder, so many Lake Wylie fishing hotspots cross state lines.

It's seldom an issue of where to fish on Lake Wylie.  The lake is a reservoir formed by the Catawba River and is 13,400 acres big with 325 miles of shore line.  Six public boat ramps are managed by Duke Power, so boaters have their choice of convenience.  Working the shoreline rip rap, drop offs and edges, and shallows are great, but there are a tremendous number of islands that offer great structure.  While the lake's average depth is about 20 feet the maximum depth is 94 feet.  That depth variation means anglers can find suitable water temperatures nearly year 'round.

Lake Wylie fishing includes the top species of largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass and white bass.  The black crappie fishing in the spring is outstanding.  That said, Lake Wylie  fishing is a dream.

Water clarity is important to catching fish.  Bright spinnerbaits and rattling crankbaits work in dirty conditions.  In clear water, jerkbaits get the nod with jigs and Carolina-rigged worms are top producers.

Launch a boat, fish from a kayak, or walk the shore, the choice is yours.  For fishing licensing, there are no reciprocal agreements between the Carolinas.  And as Lake Wylie fishing crosses state lines be sure to have both an NC and an SC license.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at