Fishing and Bears on Fontana

By Ronnie Parris

Hey folks, Hope everyone is doing well! My favorite time of year is here. Cooler temperatures and beautiful coloring on the leaves; you just can’t beat fall weather in the Smokies. Fishing has been awesome lately with a variety of species hitting from walleye to rainbow trout, steelhead, and a variety of bass species – it’s just been really good.

I’ve been doing mostly trolling trips, but by the time this magazine hits the shelves, we should be able to catch a lot of fish by throwing live and artificial baits to the bank. I love the early morning bite but we should be getting a longer feed as the water temperature continues to cool.

It’s been a good fall so far and we’re seeing lots of bears feeding on the shoreline of Fontana. For some of my customers, it’s their very first bear sighting. We’ve seen several deer swim the lake too. Spoons and small Rapalas seem to be what’s been preferred lately, but I think the Keitechs are gonna’ really pick up and be the preferred bait in the next few weeks. It’s hard to beat a good bass minnow when the fish are up close to the shoreline feeding. This is a great time to get out with family and enjoy the outdoors. Dress warm for the morning but layers are a good idea since it warms up fast. This is a great time to take kids since the temperature is so good and the bites usually great. Go out and have fun and make memories. As always, remember to take a kid fishing.

Ronnie Parris is owner and head guide of Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited-Fontana Lake Fishing Guides, headquartered in Bryson City, N.C., heart of the Great Smoky Mountains; (828) 488-9711.