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Lake James

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Lake James is a Reservoir in Burke, North Carolina.

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Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State Park. Here, nature offers scenic vistas of the Appalachian Mountains and beckons to those with an appetite for recreation.

Fishing Description: 

The cool mountain waters of the Linville and Catawba rivers flow into hilly terrain to form a deep lake with enough points and coves to challenge any fisherman. Water level fluctuation, due to hydroelectric power production, keeps aquatic vegetation at a minimum and concentrates fish populations, especially in winter.

Cool, deep waters and warm surface waters provide a variety of sport fishing. Largemouth bass is the most sought-after fish in the lake. The early morning and late afternoon hours during April through October are the best times to angle for this tackle-buster and its smallmouth relative.

Walleye, first introduced in 1951, is another prized game fish in the lake. White bass spawn in May, and crappie fishing is best during May through July. Bluegill, robin and catfish are available year round, and record specimens of muskellunge have been caught in the lake.

Other fish include bream, sunfish and perch. A fishing license is required. All Wildlife Resources Commission regulations apply.

Facilities and Parks: 

Canal Bridge Access Area - Burke County: On N.C. 126, south of Benfield Landing Road (S.R. 1234), northwest of Marion.

Hidden Cove Access Area - McDowell County: On N.C. 126, near Lake James State Park headquarters, northeast of Marion

Linville River - Burke County: On N.C. 126, off Jamestown Road, northwest of Morganton

Black Bear - McDowell County: On Lake James Road, off Hankins Road, off N.C. 226/221, northeast of Marion.

Lake James
Waterbody type: 
North Carolina
United States
Surface area: 
Standard elevation: