Lake Santeetlah, also known as Santeetlah Lake, is a beautiful 2,880 acre lake located in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains that is great for boating and fishing. It has all the amenities for vacationing with your friends and family. You can rent one of their runabouts, deck boats, pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks right on the lake. Try your luck at fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, trout and sunfish. There are lots of coves, creek channels, and pockets for the fish to hold up in for you to target. You can also water ski on the main lake areas or grab some light tackle gear and fish up in the backs of the creeks during the spring and fall.
Lake Santeetlah is part of the Tennessee River watershed. It was created back in 1928 when Alcoa dammed the Cheoah River so that they could generate hydroelectric power in Graham County, in North Carolina. The lake is surrounded by the Cheoah District of the Nantahala National Forest, and the private lands around the lake have some beautiful scenic homes, as well as vacation homes. About 80% of the surrounding land is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service provides swimming, camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and boating facilities. The lake has 76 miles of shore line and is home to a variety of trout, muskie, crappie, and bass.
Lake Santeetlah Bass Fishing
Bass Fishing in Lake Santeetlah is a great lake for fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. They tend to frequent the 15-30 foot depths of the lake, and you can pick them up using plugs, spoons, hoochies, hard bait lures like stickbaits, and soft bait lures during the spring, and into the late summer months. The lake does get hot in the summer, so the fish like to be down a little ways to get into the cooler waters.
Lake Santeetlah Crappie, Bluegill, and Panfish Fishing
Lake Santeetlah has a healthy population of Panfish, Crappie, and Bluegill. Grab a lightweight spinning rod and reel combo, and head into shallow waters with submerged vegetation, trees, or around docks. Casting out with small spinners, spoons, mini jigs, and small soft plastics will do the trick.
Lake Santeetlah Trout Fishing
Lake Santeetlah has a great rainbow trout, and brown trout fishery. Fishing from shore, or targeting towards the shore from a boat, there are some great opportunities for catching some nice trout. Both the rainbow trout and the brown trout can be enticed in the colder months casting in towards the shore. Use spoons, kastmasters, and spinners for the rainbow trout. For the brown trout, they like to tear into a medium sized stickbait. In the warmer months you have to get to them by trolling. In the mornings, the rainbow trout will head in closer to shore where you can troll or cast up into them. As it warms up you will find them out in the deeper water. When fishing from shore you can do well with the above mentioned lures, as well as baits like worms, and powerbait. You can also use this homemade trout dough bait recipe. You could also try your hand at some fly fishing.
Lake Santeetlah Walleye Fishing
Live Bait is a favorite of many walleye fishermen on Lake Santeetlah. Walleye are rather finicky and a good presentation of live bait can work wonders in attracting some strikes. Shiner minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches are your best bet for live bait fishing. If you prefer lures, Walleye will slam a quarter ounce jig, in water depths of 15 to 30 feet deep. Hardbait lures, like crankbaits, stickbaits are also good lures to use for Walleye fishing. For softbait lures, a paddle tail shad or ringworm, as well as some good quality immitation minnows would be a good choice. My lure of choice is a firetiger deep diving stickbait or crankbait.
There are several campgrounds and RV spots around Lake Santeetlah, and in the nearby forests. There are a few small resorts and cabin rentals available. You can tent camp, or camp in an RV. If you don’t have an RV, you can also rent an RV.
Cheoah Point Campground
Cheoah Point Campground sits on a peninsula of Lake Santeetlah in the hills of western North Carolina. The lake and surrounding landscape provide for many different recreational opportunities for outdoor family adventures.
Horse Cove Campground
The Horse Cove Campground is near the entrance to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest at Lake Santeetlah. The lower 8 camp sites are open year round, and they are primitive with access to a vault toilet but no running water.
Cottages and Vacation Home Rentals At Lake Santeetlah
Looking for a vacation rental near Lake Santeetlah, in North Carolina? Or any destination you wish to go? Vrbo has vacation homes, cabins, and cottages for many locations that would be great for your next family vacation.
Lake Santeetlah Fishing Guides
There are a few different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips on Lake Santeetlah,. FishingBooker is a service to help you find a local fishing guide to schedule your next guided fishing trip with. Click here to find your next fishing guide for Lake Santeetlah,, or any lake, or any location that you want to hire a guide to get you and your friends on some fish!About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Lake Santeetlah Fishing Experience Awaits!