Fishing the Eno River and Occoneechee Ponds

Rules: Fishing is permitted in Eno River State Park and Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area and is a lot of fun. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Regulations apply.

A North Carolina fishing license is required except children under 16 years old may fish anywhere in the park with any bait without a license.

Other restrictions include:
Spear guns, bows and arrows are not permitted.
Bait collecting is not permitted on the park.
Only campers or persons with special activity permits may fish during closed hours.
Release, unharmed, any fish of any species you do not intend to take home.

What You Can Catch

The commonly caught fish in the Eno are:
Bluehead Club
Roanoke Bass
Redear Sunfish
Bull Chub
Redbreast Sunfish
Largemouth Bass
Yellow Bullhead
Green Sunfish
Snail Bullhead
Bluegill Sunfish

Common fish caught at the Occoneechee Mountain ponds are:
Bluegill Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Largemouth Bass

Common fish caught in the Eno Quarry are:
Bluegill Sunfish
Largemouth Bass
Snail Bullhead

For a checklist of the 61 fish species known in the Eno, contact the park office. Fish are plentiful in the river but because it is a small river, trophy size fish are rare.

How is the River Best Fished?

The Eno River is a series of alternating slow stretches and fast moving riffles. The slower stretches have pockets of deeper water generally two to four feet. It is best to work up or down river locating these deeper spots and fishing near rocks or downed trees. The fish move around a lot so the hot fishing areas are constantly changing.

Wading the river gives the best access to the choice spots without the interference of trees. However, there are many scattered openings on the banks to be sought out for access.

Fly fishing tends to catch the most quantity, but they tend to be smaller fish. Crickets, worms, spinner lures, and artificial minnow lures do better than fly fishing catching “keeper” size fish.

Specific Suggested Locations

Few’s Ford - A long stretch up to 6 ½ feet deep. Plenty of open access for bank fishing. Immediately upstream from Few’s Ford on the Buckquarter Creek Trail 150 yards from the Piper Cox parking lot.

Pleasant Green - This is the easiest place on the river for fishermen to access with the closest parking lot to the river. Access from several spots on the bank.

Bobbitt Hole - The deepest place in the river. Hike the Bobbitt’s Hole Trail to the end, about 1.3 miles from the Cole Mill parking lot along the river. Several bank locations are open for casting.

Bob’s Hole - Right below the ruins of the old Durham Water Pump Station. From Rivermont Road hike the Pump Station Trail 600 yards to river. Leave the trail at the ruins and hike down river about 50 yards.

Pea Creek – From the Cole Mill parking lot hike the Pea Creek Trail 0.7 mile along the river to the mouth of Pea Creek. There is deep water ranging up to 8 feet at that point and open bank for casting.

Fly fishing is good everywhere.

Occoneechee Ponds - These are old farm ponds. Portions of the banks and the dams are mowed for access. Parking is 275 yards away.

Piper Hole - On the Eno Trace Trail at the base of the steps. Good access. 200 yards from the Few’s Ford Picnic Area.

Eno Quarry – On the Eno Quarry Trail at the Cabe Lands Access. 0.8 mile hike from parking. Openings on the bank allow several casting spots. Maintained trail circles. Be cautious. There is no shallow water. Drop offs from the bank are 2-18 feet.