Lake Wylie Fishing

Lake Wylie has the reputation of being one of the best bass-fishing lakes in the Southeast. This 13,400-acre lake is home to healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Top fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, perch, sunfish, chain pickerel, catfish, and crappie. Even though most anglers come for the bass fishing, the crappie fishing on Lake Wylie is outstanding.

Lake Wylie shares its 325 miles of shoreline with North Carolina. There are two public access area on the South Carolina side, along with four boat launch ramps. Anglers can launch all types of boats here, including kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, ski boats, house boats, and pontoon boats. While fishing from boat is the norm, there is ample shoreline with drop offs, edges, steep banks and structure that hold a variety of fish species.

In addition to great fishing, Lake Wylie has offers several amenties, including campgrounds with RV hookups, tackle stores, lodging, convenience stores, marinas, and restaurants.

The best time to fish Lake Wylie is during the early spring between the months of March and April, when average water temperatures are between 60 and 65 degrees—especially if your target it largemouth bass. During the spring, bass move to the shallows as they prepare to spawn. Post spawn they’ll defent their nests and fry with vigor, attacking just about any presentation cast in their direction.

Even though spring offers some of the best fishing opportunities, anglers will find good fishing year round on Lake Wylie. The average depth of Lake Wylie is about 20 feet but there are several pockets where depths reach over 90 feet. Fishing from boat, and even shore, anglers can typically find a depth where temperatures are suitable and fish are biting spring, summer, fall, or winter.

As summer approaches, big bass tend to transition into deeper, cooler waters. During early fall you’ll see another migration of fish toward shallower waters, especially the mouths of creeks as they pursue schools of bait fish.

You’ll find good fishing just about everywhere you wet your line on Lake Wylie, but there are a few areas that stand out and a few things to look for. For starters, you want to look for structure. Areas with rocks, logs, brush piles, et al. Anywhere there is cover, you’re likely to find fish.

Fish on Lake Wylie tend to move around depending on the time of day and season. Fish different areas and depths. Once you start getting bites, stick with that spot for a while. Where there’s one fish there is likely more.

A few sweet spots on Lake Wylie include Big Allison Creek, Buster Boyd Bridge, South Fork Catawba River, and Fishing Creek Reservoir. During early spring and late fall, Big Allison Creek is a hot bed of largemouth bass and crappie activity. If you’re visiting during the summer, and are down for fishing stripers, it doesn’t get any better than the area around Buster Boyd Bridge.

South Fork Catawba River is an all around great spot for fishing largemouths, smallmouths, as well as catfish and variety of sunfish species. Reports suggest this area offers good fishing year round, but we recommend hitting it during early spring. Fish Creek Reservoir at the upper end of the lake is another spot worth fishing. It’s one of the better locations for targeting crappie and panfish.

Locals report the best crappie fishing is found under bridges and around docks. For catfish try Fish Creek River, and if you’re really interested in reeling in some lunkers hit the “hot hole” at South Fork River and the South Point Access Area. Walk upstream through the woods ’till you reach the steep banks on the channel. Cast you line and you’ll catch some trophy blue and flathead catfish. You’ll also find catfish in any of coves peppered throughout the lake.

There are number of islands and humps on Lake Wylie where you’re find schools of fish holding. Hit the points adjacent to any one of the many islands and you’ll likely get some bites.

If you’re fishing from shore we’ve heard good reports about Copperhead Island on the North Carolina side. It offers some docks and accessible structure. The fishing pier on Allision Creek Landing as well as the area around BB Bridge also offers some good bank fishing. You can also find some productive fish from shore areas at McDowel and Ebeneezer Parks.

Crankbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits, and other bait fish imitating lures is what you want to be fishing if you’re targeting any of the black bass species (largemouth, smallmouth, striped, etc.)

Lighter versions of the aforementioned lures are great for top water fishing during the warmer summer months. As fall approaches and water temperatures fall below 50 it’s time to break out the jigs or suspending jerkbaits.

Most of the lakes panfish species, including crappie, respond best to live bait. Live minnows, worms, and crickets should be your go-to baits.

Catfish respond well to the norms—chicken liver, night crawlers, shrimp, crickets, and minnows. Locals report a lot of success fishing corn puffs dipped in stink bait.

A couple never fail presentations include the Texas rig and Carolina-rigged worms. Carolina rigs are preferred when water clarity is high. When water is a bit dirtier we recommend bright colored spinnerbaits and rattling crankbaits.

The most popular species of sport fish in Lake Wylie include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, hybrid striped bass, catfish, and white bass. The following chart provides a comprehensive list of the fish species you may encounter when fishing on Lake Wylie.

The following boat ramps provide access to Lake Wylie.

Buster Boyd Access Area on Lake Wylie Boat Ramp
Clover, SC

Lake Wylie Marina Boat Ramp
7000-7098 Brookview Dr Lake Wylie, SC

River Hills Marina Boat Ramp
1-99 Executive Ct Lake Wylie, SC

Ebenezer Park of Rock Hill on Lake Wylie Boat Ramp
Rock Hill, SC

Lake Club Marina Boat Ramp
4422 Harbor Inn Rd Rock Hill, SC