Roanoke Rapids Lake Fishing Report Guide

Roanoke Rapids Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing fans! Ready to discover one of the best fishing spots in North Carolina? Welcome to your ultimate Roanoke Rapids Lake Fishing Guide. This guide has everything you need to know about fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake, from the best fishing spots to the right baits and lures. So, grab your gear, and let’s get started!

About Roanoke Rapids Fishing

Roanoke Rapids Lake is a stunning man-made reservoir in northeastern North Carolina. Created in 1955 with the construction of the Roanoke Rapids Dam, this lake offers fantastic fishing opportunities, beautiful scenery, and a range of recreational activities. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, Roanoke Rapids Lake has something special for you.

Roanoke Rapids Fishing Details

Let’s get into some key details about Roanoke Rapids Lake:

  • Water Surface: 4,600 acres
  • Shoreline: 47 miles
  • Average Depth: 15 feet
  • Max Depth: 50 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 132 feet
  • Location: Northeastern North Carolina
  • Coordinates: 36.4546° N, 77.6758° W
  • Accessibility: Multiple public access points, including boat ramps and fishing piers
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, fishing piers, picnic areas, restrooms, hiking trails, camping areas

Types of Fish in Roanoke Rapids Lake

Roanoke Rapids Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it a haven for anglers. Here’s a closer look at the types of fish you can catch and where you might find them:

Largemouth Bass

  • Where to Find Them: Largemouth bass love hanging out near submerged structures like fallen trees, rocks, and vegetation. During spring and fall, look for them in shallow waters. In summer, they move to deeper, cooler areas.
  • Details: Largemouth bass are a top pick for many anglers because they’re big and put up a good fight. They’re active year-round but are most energetic during warmer months.


  • Where to Find Them: Crappie tend to gather around brush piles, docks, and other submerged structures. In the spring, they move to shallow waters to spawn.
  • Details: Crappie are known for their delicious fillets and are relatively easy to catch, making them great for family fishing trips.


  • Where to Find Them: Catfish like deeper waters, especially near the bottom. Look for them around drop-offs, channels, and areas with rocky or muddy bottoms.
  • Details: Roanoke Rapids Lake has both channel catfish and flathead catfish. They’re night feeders, so nighttime fishing can be particularly rewarding.


  • Where to Find Them: Bluegill are usually found in shallow waters near the shoreline, particularly around vegetation and submerged structures.
  • Details: Bluegill are small but plentiful, making them perfect for kids and novice anglers. They’re most active in warmer months.

Striped Bass

  • Where to Find Them: Striped bass often hang out in open waters and near submerged structures. They tend to school, so if you catch one, there are likely more around.
  • Details: Striped bass are known for their strong, aggressive bites and can be very exciting to catch. They’re most active during spring and fall.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle for Roanoke Rapids Fishing

Using the right bait, lures, and tackle can make a huge difference in your fishing success. Here are some recommendations for fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake:

Largemouth Bass

  • Baits: Live shiners, worms
  • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, topwater lures
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy rod with a fast-action tip, 10-15 lb test line


  • Baits: Minnows, wax worms
  • Lures: Jigs with soft plastic grubs, small crankbaits
  • Tackle: Light to ultralight rod, 4-8 lb test line


  • Baits: Chicken liver, cut bait, stink bait, nightcrawlers
  • Lures: None (catfish prefer natural baits)
  • Tackle: Heavy rod, 15-30 lb test line, sturdy hooks


  • Baits: Worms, crickets, small pieces of bread
  • Lures: Small jigs, spinners, tiny crankbaits
  • Tackle: Light to ultralight rod, 2-6 lb test line

Striped Bass

  • Baits: Live shad, anchovies
  • Lures: Jigs, spoons, swim baits
  • Tackle: Medium to heavy rod, 15-25 lb test line
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  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Roanoke Rapids Fishing

Roanoke Rapids Lake offers a variety of fishing spots, each with its own unique features. Here are some of the best locations to try:

The Dam Area

  • Details: The area near the dam is perfect for targeting largemouth bass and striped bass. The deeper waters and rocky structures provide excellent habitats for these species.

Brush Piles and Submerged Structures

  • Details: Throughout the lake, you’ll find numerous brush piles and submerged structures. These spots are prime locations for crappie and bluegill. Look for clusters of vegetation or underwater timber.

Shallow Bays and Coves

  • Details: Shallow bays and coves are excellent for catching bass, especially during the spring and fall. These areas warm up faster, attracting fish looking for food and spawning grounds.

Drop-offs and Channels

  • Details: Drop-offs and channels are key locations for catfish. These fish prefer the deeper, cooler waters found in these areas, especially during the hotter months.

Public Fishing Piers

  • Details: The lake has several public fishing piers that provide easy access for bank fishing. These piers are well-maintained and offer great opportunities to catch a variety of species.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Roanoke Rapids Fishing

Here are some tips to help you have a successful fishing trip at Roanoke Rapids Lake:

  1. Early Morning and Late Afternoon: Fish are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. Plan your fishing trips around these times for the best results.
  2. Seasonal Patterns: Fish behavior changes with the seasons. During the spring, focus on shallow waters where fish are spawning. In the summer, fish move to deeper, cooler waters. Fall sees fish moving back to shallow areas, and in winter, they tend to be in deeper waters.
  3. Use Electronics: A fish finder can be incredibly helpful in locating fish and underwater structures. This technology can save you a lot of time and increase your chances of a successful catch.
  4. Check Local Regulations: Make sure to check the local fishing regulations before heading out. There are often size and bag limits that you’ll need to adhere to.
  5. Stay Patient and Persistent: Fishing requires patience. If you’re not getting bites, try changing your bait or location. Sometimes small adjustments can make a big difference.

Roanoke Rapids Fishing Reviews

Here are some positive reviews from anglers who have fished at Roanoke Rapids Lake:

  1. John D.: “Roanoke Rapids Lake is my go-to spot for bass fishing. The variety of fishing spots and the quality of the fish are fantastic. I’ve had some of my best catches here!”
  2. Samantha K.: “I took my kids to Roanoke Rapids Lake for a weekend fishing trip, and we had a blast. The facilities are great, and we caught plenty of bluegill and crappie. Highly recommend it for family outings.”
  3. Mark T.: “The catfishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake is top-notch. I usually fish at night, and the action is non-stop. The size of the catfish here is impressive.”
  4. Emily R.: “I love fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake because it’s so peaceful. The scenery is beautiful, and there’s always something biting. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature.”
  5. Brian L.: “I’ve been fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake for years, and it never disappoints. The variety of fish species and the well-maintained facilities make it a great spot for anglers of all levels.”

Top-Rated Closest RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds for Roanoke Rapids Fishing

If you’re planning an extended stay, here are some top-rated RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds near Roanoke Rapids Lake:

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area

  • Distance to Lake: 15 miles
  • Features: Scenic park with hiking trails, fishing ponds, and picnic areas
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, playgrounds
  • Hookups: Water, electric, sewer

Lake Gaston Americamps

  • Distance to Lake: 20 miles
  • Features: Riverside location with easy access to fishing and kayaking
  • Amenities: Full hookups, laundry facilities, restrooms, showers
  • Hookups: Water, electric, sewer

Medoc Mountain State Park

  • Distance to Lake: 25 miles
  • Features: Family-friendly campground with a pool, playground, and mini-golf
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi
  • Hookups: Water, electric, sewer

North Bend Park

  • Distance to Lake: 30 miles
  • Features: Beautiful lakeside camping with boating and fishing access
  • Amenities: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, boat ramps
  • Hookups: Water, electric, sewer

Steele Creek Marina & Campground

  • Distance to Lake: 35 miles
  • Features: Waterfront campground with boat rentals and fishing piers
  • Amenities: Full hookups, laundry facilities, restrooms, showers
  • Hookups: Water, electric, sewer

Roanoke Rapids Fishing Summary

Roanoke Rapids Lake is a fantastic destination for anglers of all skill levels. With its diverse fish population, beautiful scenery, and excellent amenities, it offers a memorable fishing experience. Whether you’re targeting largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, or striped bass, you’re sure to have a great time. Plan your trip, pack your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure at Roanoke Rapids Lake!

Frequently Asked Questions for Roanoke Rapids Fishing

1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Roanoke Rapids Lake?

Yes, you need a valid North Carolina fishing license to fish at Roanoke Rapids Lake. Licenses can be purchased online or at local retailers.

2. Are there any fishing tournaments held at Roanoke Rapids Lake?

Yes, Roanoke Rapids Lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Check with local fishing clubs or the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for more information on upcoming events.

3. Can I rent a boat at Roanoke Rapids Lake?

Yes, there are several marinas and rental services around the lake where you can rent boats, kayaks, and other watercraft.

4. What are the best times of the year to fish at Roanoke Rapids Lake?

The best times to fish at Roanoke Rapids Lake are during the spring and fall when fish are most active. However, fishing can be productive year-round if you know where to look.

5. Are there any guided fishing trips available at Roanoke Rapids Lake?

Yes, several local guides offer fishing trips on Roanoke Rapids Lake. These guided trips can provide valuable insights and increase your chances of a successful day on the water.

There you have it, folks! Your complete guide to fishing at Roanoke Rapids Lake. We hope you found this guide helpful and that it inspires you to get out there and enjoy some fantastic fishing. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Roanoke Rapids Lake Fishing Report Guide: