Fishing Pier on Blannahassett Island in Marshall, North Carolina on the French Broad River

The French Broad River, the third oldest river in the world (behind the Nile and the New River) runs the entire length of Madison County from the Buncombe County line to the Tennessee border. In the 1970s, the NC Wildlife Commission put smallmouth bass and some fingerling muskies into the French Broad River. These fish flourished and at one time, you could easily catch 30 smallmouth bass of the 5-6 pound size in one day if you fished in early fall. The other fish in abundance is the catfish.

The town of Marshall added a pier to Blanahassett Island for the use of the public for fishing from the island.

Fish to catch:

  • Smallmouth bass
  • Catfish ( Channel catfish up to 5 pounds; Blue catfish up to 5 to 10 pounds; Yellow & Mud Catfish up to 50 pounds)
  • Muskie (muskellunge)—hard to catch

Tip: This is a great location for a family day–picnic, walking paths, and playground equipment.

Directions: From the town of Marshall, drive south on Baileys Branch Road across the French Broad River and turn right onto Blannahassett Island just after leaving the bridge. There is a fishing pier on the south end past Marshall High Studios (the old school building).

Disclaimer: Refer to the North Carolina Regulations Digest for the most up-to-date information.