Summer Fishing Favorites
Fishing is a favorite pastime in Almost Heaven. Slow mornings on a calm creek. The excitement of reeling in a smallmouth bass. Leaving the day feeling closer to nature. These are moments you long for, and moments West Virginia can help you find.
Each region of the state is filled with fishing spots to help you connect with nature and unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With over 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 fishing lakes, you can do everything from casting a reel with your friends to fly fishing with a professional. Where will you go fishing in Almost Heaven?
Wheeling Creek is a popular fishing location for locals. A tributary of the Ohio River, Wheeling Creek, runs for 25 miles through the Northern Panhandle. You can expect to catch catfish, brook trout and smallmouth bass. Looking to make it a weekend trip? Make Oglebay Resort and Conference Center your home base. Here, you can golf, horseback ride, hike and even visit a zoo.
Just outside of the vivacious college town of Morgantown is Cheat Lake, a 1,730-acre lake known for largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie and walleye. The lake is perfect for all ages and experience levels. With various boat launches around the lake, you never have to worry about a crowded pier and the marinas that dot the area can provide gas, snacks, fuel and more. Cheat Lake is also a great swimming location. Backwaters allow for warm and calm waters, and designated “no wake zones” make it so your swim is uninterrupted.
Arguably the most popular fishing and boating area in the state is Summersville Lake. Over 2,700 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline make it West Virginia’s largest lake. Fishermen are sure to find large- and smallmouth bass, walleye, panfish and catfish. When you’ve had enough of fishing (or if the fish stop biting) visit the nearby Summersville Lighthouse. After climbing 122 steps, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible 360-degree view of the lake.
The Shenandoah and Potomac rivers have healthy populations of tiger muskie, largemouth bass and walleye, making this area popular among anglers and fishermen. After your day on the river, rest up at nearby Angler’s Inn, a bed and breakfast ready to offer refreshments.
North Bend Lake, near Parkersburg, is the perfect place for a day of fishing. You might reel in bass, muskies, catfish or crappie. They also offer night fishing if you’re up for a late-night jaunt on the water. Stay a while and explore all the history Parkersburg has to offer at the Oil and Gas Museum, paying homage to West Virginia’s oil and gas industry. Or visit the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park for a glimpse into life on a colonial plantation. The state park is only accessed by a sternwheeler riverboat.
New River-Greenbrier Valley
The Greenbrier River is a great place to catch smallmouth bass, though you can also find catfish and carp in deeper sections. Four sections with put ins make full and half day trips a breeze. The river follows along an old C&O rail line so there are also many hiking and biking opportunities as well along the 78-mile path. Nearby Greenbrier State Forest offers cozy mountain retreats to call home after your day on the water.
Spruce Knob Lake is one of the most picturesque trout fishing destinations in West Virginia. The 23-acre lake is regularly stocked by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Although there’s a small boat launch, a wooden pier along the shore allows you to cast a line for bluegills, sunfish and smallmouth bass.
Right outside of the busy city of Huntington lies an angler’s paradise at Beech Fork State Park. Filled with largemouth and hybrid striped bass, crappie, catfish, sauger and bluegill, Beech Fork Reservoir offers 720 acres of peaceful fishing. The lake is also popular for boating, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Offering 275 campsites, the state park is an ideal place to sleep beneath the stars. The Camper’s Corner Store has everything you need too, like basic grocery needs, fishing supplies, firewood and even hand dipped ice cream.
The Guyandotte River carves through the heart of coal country in the Hatfield-McCoy Mountains region. Here you can expect to catch bass, bluegill, muskies, gar, trout and walleye. You might even find a turtle or two. There are three boat ramps along the river to provide ample opportunity to get out on the water.
No matter the region, you’re sure to find a quiet and peaceful place to fish, to reconnect with nature and to explore almost heaven.
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