The 29-mile long, 11,700-acre Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lake has more than 240 miles of shoreline. And its deep, cold waters provide the ideal habitat for a variety of fish. In fact, record size muskie and walleye have been pulled from its depths. And many believe it’s one of the best smallmouth bass fishing lakes in the country, including the Fisherman’s Bass Tournament Circuit, which held its annual Hall of Fame Classic at Fontana in Fall 2001.
Fontana Lake Has Been Called the Best-kept Secret in the Mountains
Fontana Lake is unique in many ways. Unlike most lakes in the area, shoreline development has been kept to a minimum. More than 90 percent of the land around the Lake is owned by either the National Park Service or the US Forest Service. Maps of the Lake are available at local fishing stores.
Those fortunate enough to go boating on Fontana Lake have a unique perspective of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At places the view is unobstructed from the lake level to the top of towering Clingmans Dome, the Park’s highest peak.
For the Sportsman
Spend the day exploring the fingers of Fontana Lake, fishing in the coves, or skiing in the open. Surrounded by the Appalachain Mountains, it’s easy to find a private place to enjoy the water.
There are a number of marinas where you can rent a boat, or put your own boat on the lake. You’ll find knowledgeable staff, and plenty of boating and fishing supplies. Shuttle service is offered to Eagle Creek and Hazel Creek – two north shore locations where you can spend time fishing, hiking, exploring and camping in the National Park.
Fontana’s Finger Lake
The finger lake is a popular place to spend the day swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking. This overflow is separate from the main lake preventing motorboats form entering. In the mountains, most river and lake banks are simply too steep and too rocky to serve as a beach. One exception is the Finger Lakes Day Use Area of Fontana Lake where you’ll find a small park with picnic tables, public restrooms and a swimming area. Since there are no life guards, you naturally swim at your own risk.