Topwater action on bass at Fontana Lake has been tough to beat in recent days.

“We’ve had a lot of baitfish on top, and smallmouths, largemouths and spots are bustin’ them,” said Jim Mathis of Bryson City’s Almond Boat Park.

Fontana, a 29-mile-long, 11,700-acre TVA lake formed by impounding the Little Tennessee, Tuckasegee and Nantahala rivers in 1944, usually provides fishermen with good fall action, and this year is no different – maybe even better.

“This time of year is a good for fishing as the lake’s water cools down,” said Mathis (828-488-6423). “We usually see a lot of schooling activity, which is happening now at both of the lake’s main-river channels.”

Mathis said fishermen have been Roostertails, small Flukes and Pop-Rs at fish feeding upon schools of inch-long threadfin shad.

“We had a big school (of baitfish) right out in front of the marina yesterday,” he said.

Anglers fishing up the Tuckasegee arm also may hook up with brown trout and rainbows that will hit flies, small shallow-running crankbaits and spinners such as Roostertails and Mepps.

“People are finding fish all over the lake, including both (river) prongs, especially the Tuckasegee back towards Bryson City,” Mathis said. “The best bites usually happen from daylight to 10 a.m., then when the sun starts to get lower. Baitfish normally don’t like to be at the surface when the sun’s shining bright, although I saw some big schools gettin’ worked over good the other day in the afternoon.”

Anglers are seeing 2½- to 3-pound smallmouths, largemouths and spotted bass attack surface lures, while larger fish are deeper.