fishing 300x199 Fishing, Boating and Swimming in Catawba County, North CarolinaCatawba County is an idyllic location for those looking for peaceful, lush scenery, and ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. It lies just where the mountains begin, and the seasons are crisp and varied. The people of the area love outdoor activities, and are lucky to have Lake Hickory and the Catawba River in their back yards. Lake Hickory is a 4,000 acre, full-recreational lake with 115 miles of shoreline and pristine mountain views. The Catawba River flows through the area, along with several smaller creeks and rivers.

The lake brings with it many opportunities for fishing. Lake Hickory is best known for its bass–it has the large mouth and striped variety. Often, the lake hosts bass fishing tournaments. Crappie are also ample, especially in Gunpowder Creek. Night fishing is advised during the summer months for crappie and bass. Lookout Shoals, about 15 miles east of Hickory, is very popular for bank fisherman. Enormous striped bass and shellcrackers are often captured.

Lake Hickory offers 16 lake access areas. The lake also has 6 marinas, and you can rent Pontoon Boats at some.

The area’s rivers, like Jacob Fork and Henry Fork, provide a great place to fish for trout. Sam McCracken, shown in the picture above, has become quite the fisherman in his retirement. He enjoys spending his leisure time fishing in our region. The tranquil rivers bring to mind Washington Irving’s quote, “There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.”

If fishing isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the lake and rivers. Several area parks have walking trails that follow the shore. One of the largest is Riverbend Park, which is 450 acres and has over a mile of shoreline. At this park you can hike, observe nature, walk your dog, or have a picnic. If mountain biking is more your style you should try Geitner-Rotary Park. It has several trails of varying difficulty, some that follow the water.

However you decide to enjoy the outdoors, Catawba County has you covered. Whether you fish, boat, hike, bike or swim, we have a beautiful setting. Come explore the area and you’ll understand why Lake Hickory is so loved. Please see our Parks, Biking, and our Lake Hickory pages for ample information about all three.

Find more information about available trails here.

Some area parks are highlighted on the following map:

Our region also has many bike trails: