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Where to Go Fresh Water Fishing in North Carolina During the Winter
Ice fishing may not be your first thought when you think of North Carolina, but perhaps it should be. Even if the waters don't completely ice over, there are still areas that are open for fishing in the winter. It is important to note that trout fishing is prohibited in certain North Carolina waters from March 1 through April 6.
In most cases, the only places you can fish for trout during that time are at power supply and municipal water supply lakes. You will also need separate fishing licenses for inland and coastal fishing. Each 10-day, nonresident license will typically cost you $10 and may be purchased online through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's website. Trout stamps are additional. Other than that, you are good to go.
Here's a quick look at a few spots to consider:
Crowders Mountain State Park
Looking to snag some largemouth bass, catfish or bream? You may want to point your pole towards Crowders Mountain State Park in Kings Mountain. It features a man-made, 9-acre lake with ample shoreline suitable for casting a line in case there's no ice. If you get tired of fishing from the shore there are canoe rentals available on site. It'll generally cost you $5 for the first hour of rental and $3 each hour thereafter. The park opens daily at 8 a.m. from November through April, and admission is free.
Pilot Mountain State Park
Crappie, sunfish, catfish and varieties of bass may be found at the Pilot Mountain State Park in Pinnacle. Approximately 2 miles worth of the Yadkin River runs through the park. It is shallow enough in some areas to wade across. You'll need a canoe for other sections. Boat rentals are not available on site, so you'll need to bring your own. There are also two islands in the river that you may fish from. Both are accessible by canoe. The park opens daily at 8 a.m. year-round, and admission is gratis.
New River State Park
Do you prefer to fish for muskellunge, smallmouth and redeye bass? If so, I'd suggest that you check out the New River State Park in Laurel Springs. The New River runs through the park, and there are three boat launch areas to choose from; Kings Creek, US 221 Access and Wagoner Road. You'll need to bring your own boat though. There is no charge to access the area and it opens daily, year round, at 8 a.m.
My family enjoys winter sports and has traveled extensively.
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