Where to Fish in Charlotte: 2023
Updated June 2023
What could be better than spending time on the water on a beautiful summer day? Take in the view and try your luck when you cast a line in a nearby park or preserve and create memories as you wait (and hope and wish and pray) to catch a fish. Whether you’re an expert angler or just learning how to bait a hook, check out these spots in and around Charlotte and have an outdoor adventure – whether the fish are biting or not.
Please note people 16 and older in North Carolina must have a fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission online or from a local tackle shop or outdoor retailer that serves as a wildlife service agent. Call 1-888-248-6834 for more information or check out the Website.
Mecklenburg County — Nature Preserves
Ready to get your fishing on but don’t have the right equipment? No problem. You can borrow a rod and reel for up to 24 hours at the following nature preserves:
6211 Sample Rd., Huntersville
Access to Mountain Island Lake offers numerous fishing, kayaking and canoeing opportunities, including a fishing dock.
15222 York Rd.
Drop a line in Lake Wylie from the banks and piers on Copperhead Island, a 20-acre island with hiking trails, camping, fishing access, and more. Open daily for public use unless reserved for a special event.
2900 Rocky River Rd.
Reedy Creek Park features three ponds and a fishing pier, and is open from dawn until dusk. Dragonfly Pond is seven acres in size and has a depth range of 1-9 feet. It contains largemouth bass and bluegill. Kingfisher Pond is three acres in size and has a depth range of 3 to 7 feet. It contains largemouth bass and bluegill.
Mecklenburg County Parks
Looking for the your secret neighborhood fishing spot? Start with North Carolina’s Community Fishing Program, which includes a number of ponds at parks stocked for public fishing.
Mecklenburg County Parks with fishing locations are open every day from dawn until dusk.
- Freedom Lake at Freedom Park
- Park Road Lake at Park Road Park
- McAlpine Lake at McAlpine Creek Park
- Beatty Lake at Colonel Francis Beatty Park
- Davie Lake at William R. Davie Park
- Idlewild Lake at Idlewild Road Park
- âHornet’s Nest Lake at Hornet’s Nest Park
Gaston County Parks and Recreation
The below four parks offer fishing free of charge. Of course adults and children 16 and over must have a valid NC fishing license. If you have fish enthusiasts under the age of 16, Gaston County Parks and Recreation offers a free fishing tackle loaner program where kids can checkout a fishing rod and tackle box for a single day of use. Pick up is at the Gaston Country Parks and Recreation office Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 1303 Dallas-Cherryville Hwy., Dallas. 704-922-2160.
4185 Mountainview St., Gastonia
South Fork River Park has 800 feet of riverfront along the South Fork with access areas for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking.
1303 Dallas-Cherryville Highway, Dallas
1101 Lowell Spencer Mountain Rd., Gastoniaâ
1750 Rankin Lake Rd., Gastonia
1400 Catawba St., Belmont
Spend a day by the beautiful Catawba River at this 10-acre park, which includes a canoe and kayak launch, public boat launch, and two fishing piers.
19000 Jetton Rd., Cornelius
The large, picturesque park is 105 acres and features a sandy beach area (no swimming allowed) and picnic decks.
18441 Nantz Rd., Cornelius
This waterfront park cover 46 acres and features a public swimming access area, boat launching and docks, a playground, picnic shelters, nature trails, and a fishing pier that’s ADA-compliant. Beginning June 15, the swim beach will be open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Parking is $10 per vehicle for county residents and $15 per vehicle for non-county residents.
159 Inland Sea Lane, Troutman
Did you know Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in North Carolina? Take it all in at this spacious park with public swimming from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the summer. It has its own 33-acre lake for fishing, boating, camping, and picnicking.
4330 Weddington Rd., Matthews
Beatty Lake is 20 acres in size and has a depth range of 1 to 18 feet. Find great spots for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill. The park is open daily from dawn until dusk.
1631 Pleasant Plains Rd., Matthews
The 36 acre park has two shelters, restrooms, a pond with fishing pier, playground, swings, cornhole, trails, 12-hole disc golf course, and access to the Four Mile Creek Greenway.
If you are age 16 and older, you’ll need a valid South Carolina fishing license to fish in the South Carolina waters of Lake Wylie. Licenses can be purchased at area convenience stores, sporting goods stores, and bait and tackle shops. For more information, contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
4490 Boatshore Rd., Rock Hill, S.C.
On the banks of Lake Wylie, the park is open every day, daylight-dusk. Visitors over age 16 are required to have a South Carolina fishing license. Anglers cannot fish on the piers or in swimming areas. The cost is $3 per day for York County Residents ($1 for children 6 – 16) and $5 per day for non-residents ($2 for children 6 – 16)
1782 Quality Circle, Rock Hill
Fishing at this park along the Catawba River is free. The park, which is 70 acres in size, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
6800 Bringle Ferry Rd., Salisbury
Lake Murtis at Dan Nicholas State Park is a 10-acre lake with bream, small mouth bass, and catfish. They do not allow for carp fishing and bass fish are catch and release; all other fish are keepers. Anglers must register at the concession stand. Fishing at the park costs $1.50, and is free for children under 3 and adults over 60. During the summer, the park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
5213 Harkey Rd., Waxhaw
In addition to fishing in the 350-acre lake, visitors can swim, enjoy pedal boats, and play mini-golf during summer months. The lake is home to some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the state as well as bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Call for details on entrance and activity fees.
2573 Haigler Drive, Fort Mill
Nestled amid beautiful lakes and hardwood forests, Anne Springs Close Greenway is a natural preserve more than twice the size of Central Park. Fishing clinics are offered to the public throughout the year. Fishing is restricted to Greenway members only.
Fishing is also a great birthday party idea! Most of the facilities listed above offer shelter rentals, so you can celebrate your special day by the water and everyone can throw in a line. Looking for additional birthday party ideas? Check these out.
Courtney McLaughlin is a freelance writer in Charlotte, mom and much better at catching leaves and tree limbs than fish.