Yeah, the elongated shape was what had me thinking bass in the water. My bass is about 90% spots, which generally are skinnier that the LMB, and I thought at first this was a LMB. But the fins weren't anything like a bass when I got it out of the water, and with that ear opening, I just called it a bluegill.
From reading the NC wildlife profile, these guys are apparently more common in the mountains and in streams than in lakes. This was actually caught in the Lake Norman Park lake, which is a dammed off section of a feeder creek, making it's own 20-30 acre pond/lake, separated from Lake Norman by about a 12' dam.. (best guess from memory). It wasn't a crappie, but it was fun to catch, and it was big enough (looks small in photo, but I was standing above it shooting downward (pic should be rotated 90 degrees)... need to learn to take pics that make fish look bigger, not smaller!) that I thought it might be worth a post.