Lake Wylie Walleye fishing tips and where to find them

Tom Keer

People looking to freshwater fishing in Charlotte, North Carolina typically head to Lake Norman, Lake Keowee, and Lake Gaston. But 28 miles south of Queen City is Lake Wylie, a fishing gem. The lake is on the North and South Carolina border, so many of Lake Wylie’s hotspots cross state lines.

It’s rarely a question of where to fish on Lake Wylie. The lake is a reservoir formed by the Catawba River. It is 13,400 acres and has 325 miles of coastline. Six public boat ramps are managed by Duke Power, giving boaters a choice of amenities. The work on the coast is great, but there are a tremendous number of islands that provide great structure. While the average depth of the lake is around 20 feet, the maximum depth is 94 feet. This variation in depth allows anglers to find suitable water temperatures almost all year round.

Fishing on Lake Wylie includes the top species of largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, hybrid striped bass, black bass and white bass. The spring black crappie fishing is excellent. However, fishing on Lake Wylie is a dream.

The clarity of the water is important to catch fish. Bright spinnerbaits and rattling crank baits work in dirty conditions. In clear water, jerkbaits with jigs get the nod, and worms with Carolina rigging are top producers.

Start a boat, go kayak fishing, or walk along the shore. You have the choice. There are no mutual agreements between the Carolinas for fishing licensing. And since fishing on Lake Wylie crosses state lines, you must have both an NC and SC license.

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at or