These are the 9 best spots to go fishing in West Virginia

Throughout West Virginia, incredible fishing opportunities are located at every turn of the river. With over 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 fishing lakes, you can do everything from fly fishing to a full-day guided fishing trip. Here are some of our favorite fishing spots in the Mountain State:

Shenandoah & Potomac Rivers

The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers have been popular among anglers for many years thanks to their healthy populations of largemouth bass and walleye. In fact, the South Branch of the Potomac River is known for having some of the best fly fishing in the nation. Afterward, you can rest up at the Angler’s Inn, a spacious Victorian Bed and Breakfast in beautiful Harpers Ferry.

Jennings Randolph Lake

Jennings Randolph Lake in Mineral County is home to incredible trophy-sized walleye. Jennings Randolph Lake is a 952-acre lake situated in the middle of the North Branch of the Potomac River and is regularly stocked with walleye. Catching these walleyes can be difficult, but if you find on of the hotspots where these fish like to gather, your luck may just turn around.

Cheat Lake

Cheat Lake is a popular fishing spot for all ages and experience levels. The lake covers 1,730 acres and is known for its largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, white bass, catfish and walleye. Cheat Lake also has three public fishing piers and a handful of public boat launches. Visitors should be sure to stop by the Sunset Marina, which is open from May through October.

Bluestone River

The Bluestone River runs through the beautiful wilderness of the state and has warm water fish like smallmouth bass and rock bass. You can also wade in the waters of the Bluestone River near Pipestem Resort State Park and fly fish for trout and smallmouth. But fishing can be difficult during the driest parts of the summer when the water is low.

North Bend Lake

Explore all 305 acres of North Bend Lake, which is home to many types of fish like bass, muskies, catfish and crappie. The lake reaches a depth of 36 feet in the center and is a warm water fishery. Oh, and did we mention that the lake is open for night fishing? Just make sure you have a current fishing license on hand.

Summersville Lake

Summersville Lake is the biggest lake in the Mountain State, so you know it has some incredible fishing opportunities. At Summersville Lake, park on a sandy beach or between cliffs and catch some smallmouth bass and walleye. The beautiful scenery of Summersville Lake is the perfect backdrop to any fishing trip. This stunning destination is home to largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish in plentiful numbers.

Tygart Lake

Get the whole crew together and head to Tygart Lake for a weekend of incredible fishing. At this 1,750-acre lake you can find panfish, crappie, channel fish, bass and walleye. After your day spent fishing, relax and unwind at Tygart Lake State Park’s 20-room lodge, which sits upon a high peninsula, overlooking the beautiful lake below.

Stonewall Jackson Lake

Stay at the gorgeous Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke and spend a weekend fishing at Stonewall Jackson Lake, which is known to offer some of the best bass fishing in West Virginia. Stonewall Jackson Lake only allows for catch-and-release and is known for trophy-sized largemouth bass. The Marina at Stonewall Resort also includes a boat launch, pontoon rentals,  shop and boat slips as well as guided fishing trips. This state park lake also has a trophy musky fishery as well as abundant panfish such as crappie and bluegill – as well as special regulation fishing options for black bass. 

Plum Orchard Lake

The Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area is an excellent warm-water fishery for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish The lake is also one of the top producers of trophy-size bluegills in West Virginia. You can also fish here at night, which is great for fishing channel catfish. Plum Orchard Lake is home to abundant aquatic vegetation so anglers should come prepared to fish in those conditions.

Fishing Tips:

  1. Fishing licenses are good for one calendar year, and you must purchase a new license at the beginning of each year.
  2. All licensed anglers must carry a valid form of identification while fishing.
  3. Some fishing spots such as Plum Orchard Lake do not permit the use of minnows.
  4. Some spots like Stonewall Jackson Lake only allow for catch-and-release.
  5. Visit to learn more about how to obtain a fishing license and important fishing regulations.
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This post was last updated on July 13, 2023