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Great Fishing In West Virginia

Guide to fishing in the Mountain State

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Pick A LakePick A SpeciesPick A State

  • Beech Fork Lake
  • Bluestone Lake
  • Burnsville Lake
  • Cheat Lake
  • East Lynn Lake
  • Jennings Randolph Lake
  • Moncove Lake
  • Mount Storm Lake
  • O’Brien Lake
  • Stonewall Jackson Lake
  • Summersville Lake
  • Tygart Lake

West Virginia is a paradise for anglers, offering a variety of fishing opportunities across its ponds, lakes, and rivers. The state boasts a diverse range of fish species, making it a haven for both warm water and cold water fisheries.

In West Virginia's warm water fisheries, anglers can target popular species such as bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass are abundant in the state's lakes and rivers, providing exciting opportunities for bass fishing enthusiasts. Crappie, including black crappie and white crappie, can be found near submerged structures and are a favorite target among anglers. Catfish, including channel catfish and flathead catfish, thrive in West Virginia's warm water fisheries, and anglers can enjoy the thrill of landing these powerful fish. Additionally, sunfish species such as bluegill and redear sunfish are plentiful in ponds, lakes, and rivers, offering a great opportunity for family-friendly fishing.

West Virginia's cold water fisheries are primarily focused on trout. The state's rivers and lakes are regularly stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. Anglers can enjoy fly fishing or bait fishing for trout in pristine mountain streams and lakes. Trout thrive in the colder waters and provide anglers with a rewarding fishing experience. The spring and fall seasons are particularly productive for trout fishing in West Virginia.

Beyond the lakes and rivers, West Virginia's ponds also offer great fishing opportunities. Many ponds are stocked with a variety of fish species, including bass, bluegill, and catfish. These smaller bodies of water are often easily accessible, making them ideal for family outings or casual fishing trips.

West Virginia's fishing scene is enhanced by its breathtaking natural landscapes. Anglers can enjoy the serene beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, pristine lakes, and meandering rivers as they pursue their favorite fish species. The state's abundance of public access points and fishing-friendly facilities, including boat ramps and fishing piers, further enhance the fishing experience for both locals and visitors.

Whether you prefer warm water or cold water fishing, West Virginia's variety of fish species and fishing locations ensure there's something for every angler. Whether casting your line in a tranquil pond, exploring the scenic lakeshores, or wading in a pristine river, West Virginia's fishing opportunities are sure to provide memorable experiences and a deep appreciation for the state's natural wonders.

Fishing Boats For Rent In West Virginia

The number of fishing lakes in the state of West Virginia is limited but the quality of fishing makes up for it. Big bass, fat walleyes, plentiful crappie and monster stripers and catfish are available to anglers in their favorite lakes, ponds, streams and rivers. Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, white bass, yellow perch, stripers, bowfin, chain pickerel, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, sauger, saugeye and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams.

Major West Virginia Lakes & Species

West Virginia major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

Major angling destinations, cross referenced with species found in each of the lakes or impoundments. For a detailed list of primary fish species in WV, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.

Beech Fork Lake is a 720-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Lavalette.

Bluestone Lake is a 2,000 acre lake in south WV, at Hinton.

Burnsville Lake is a 1,900-acre lake in central West Virginia, at Burnsville.

Cheat Lake is a 1,770-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Morgantown.

East Lynn Lake is a 1,000-acre lake in the west-central part of the state, at Kiahsville.

Jennings Randolph Lake is a 950-acre lake in northeast WV, 6 miles north of Skyline.

Moncove Lake is a 144-acre lake in eastern WV, at Roxalia,

Mount Storm Lake is a 1,200-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Bismarck.

O’Brien Lake is a 217-acre lake in western WV, 7 miles east of Ripley.

Stonewall Jackson Lake is a 2,600-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Walkersville.

Summersville Lake is a 2,700-acre lake in the central part of the state, at Mt Nebo.

Tygart Lake is a 1,700-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, at Grafton.

Fish Species & State Records in West Virginia


Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 12.28 lbs

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 9.75 lbs

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 4.77 lbs


Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 33.42 lbs

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 70.0 lbs

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 59.74 lbs


Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4.05* lbs

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 4.05* lbs

Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye



World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 18.97 lbs



World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 5.06 lbs



World record: 15 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 8.73 lbs


Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 19.4 lbs

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7.64 lbs

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 16.0 lbs

Golden Trout

Golden trout

World record: 11 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 9.31 lbs




World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 2.75 lbs

Redbreast Sunfish

Redbreast sunfish

World record: 2 lbs 0 oz*

State Record: N/A

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

State Record: N/A

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 1.75 lbs

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 4.56 lbs

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 1.93 lbs

Striped bass

Striped Bass


Inland world record: 64 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 45.70 lbs

Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striper (Wiper)

World record: 27 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 16.75 lbs

Other species



World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 9.25 lbs

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel

World record: 9 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 6.19 lbs

Longnose Gar

Longnose gar

World record: 50 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 19.08 lbs


Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 49.75 lbs

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 22.06 lbs

Tiger Muskie

Tiger muskie

World record: 51 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 36.5 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

State of WV Fishing Information

Click here for a West Virginia fishing license. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website offers a great deal of information about fishing in West Virginia.

Largemouth Bass

Visit to find information about fishing boats in West Virginia and other boating information. There is a section dedicated to activities for kids in WV. It includes fishing stories, fish photos and tips for where and how to take a kid fishing in West Virginia.

Bass fishing book

Fish for big bass

Excellent largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities are available to anglers.

Quality striped bass fishing can be found at several WV lakes and the rivers feeding them.


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