In his 1881 book, Dr. James A. Henshall described smallmouth bass in the following manner, “inch for inch and pound for pound the gamiest fish that swims.” Anyone who has ever caught a smallmouth bass will agree that they are strong, powerful fish and put up an incredible fight. Whether you’re an experienced angler looking to battle the ultimate freshwater fish, or a casual angler who wants to spend a relaxing summer day on the water, our smallmouth bass float trips are for you.

Our bass floats take place on some of the most scenic rivers in the Southeast. The French Broad, the Tuckasegee, the Nolichucky, and the Pigeon all drain off the western side of the continental divide. These slow-moving rivers flow past large rock formations and through remote gorges. While smallmouth bass are our primary target on these trips, you never know what else you might catch. Walleye pike, white bass, striped bass, largemouth bass, freshwater drum, carp, and bream have all been caught on our smallmouth bass float trips. If you are floating the French Broad or the Nolichucky, don’t be surprised if you end up hooking into a musky. 

Our smallmouth bass float trips are open to all anglers. You are welcome to use a fly rod, conventional tackle, or a combination of both. If you plan on using conventional gear, we recommend a medium or medium-light rod that is about 7’ in length. If you prefer to fly-fish, you will find that smallmouth will readily take a well-presented fly. When fly-fishing for smallmouth, we recommend that you be able to accurately cast 50 feet. While you can catch smallmouth bass on a shorter cast, the longer cast will allow you to fish water that is less pressured.

Regardless of your skill level you will enjoy a day on the water with Davidson River Outfitters. Our guides are excellent instructors and a large part of their day involves teaching the finer points of fishing. Whether you are a beginner looking to land your first smallmouth, or a seasoned angler who wants to target the largest fish in the river, our staff will do whatever it takes to make your smallmouth bass fishing experience at DRO one of the most memorable of your life.

Float Trip Rates:

Full Day Float (6-8 hrs): $500.00

All boats will have a cooler with ice, snacks, and drinks. Lunch is not provided. If you do need lunch, please ask your guide.

At 640 acres, Lake Toxaway is North Carolina’s largest privately held lake, and this beautiful body of water draws visitors from around the world. Constructed in 1903, the Lake Toxaway resort area was billed as the “Switzerland of America.” Thirteen years later, though, a tropical weather system dumped twenty-four inches of rain in twenty-four hours on the lake and its watershed. This enormous amount of rain caused the earthen dam to burst, releasing over five billion gallons of water over Toxaway Falls. The effects of this flood can still be seen today in parts of the Toxaway River below the lake.

In 1960, the Lake Toxaway Company purchased all of the land where the lake had once been and began to rebuild it. Today, there are hundreds of vacation homes in the area surrounding the lake, and The Greystone Inn is a favorite among tourists.  

There are a number of fish species that inhabit the lake, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, and catfish. On our guided trips, we target largemouth and smallmouth bass, and fishing is done from a motorboat. You are welcome to fly-fish or use conventional tackle.

Bass fishing on Lake Toxaway is dependent on several factors and varies with the time of year. The heavy boat traffic between Memorial Day and Labor Day makes fishing during the summer months very difficult. The depth of the lake’s crystalline waters also makes fishing a challenge during this time of year, as the bass typically migrate to depths of twenty feet or more to avoid the bright summer sun and the very warm surface water.

The fall, from September 15th to Thanksgiving, offers good fishing for bass. The fish become more active and feed aggressively in preparation for the winter. During this time of year, bass can be caught on crankbaits, plastic worms, and jigs.

From December to April 1st, the fishing on the lake is extremely slow, as winter water temperatures will reach the low 30’s. While this colder water causes the trout to venture to the surface, the other fish in the lake basically become dormant and school up near springs or other sources of warmer water.

The best fishing of the year occurs between April 1st and Memorial Day. This is when the bass come out of their winter dormancy and start feeding heavily prior to spawning. The largest fish of the year are caught during this time.

For a guided trip on Lake Toxaway, you must be a member of the Property Owners Association, a guest of a member of the POA, or a guest at the Greystone Inn. We have a very limited number of guides who can guide on Lake Toxaway, so be sure to make your reservation well in advance.

Lake Toxaway Guided Bass Fishing Trips:

Half Day (1 or 2 anglers): $400.00

Full Day (1 or 2 anglers): $500.00

On full day trips, the boat will have a cooler with ice, snacks, and drinks. Lunch is not provided. If you do need lunch, please ask your guide.