Local WV secret: here’s where to reel in bass

Cheat Lake is quickly becoming one of the best bass fisheries in the state.

Cheat Lake is great for all ages and experience levels. It covers 1,730 acres and gets as deep as 90 feet. There are several docks and piers, as well as boat ramps.

While Cheat Lake is known for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch and white bass, it also has a big population of channel catfish. The walleye population is maintained by stocking efforts by the WVDNR, but improved water quality allows some natural reproduction.

Cheat Lake Dam is owned by Allegheny Energy, a private hydropower company, and is not used in flood control, which means there’s no significant winter drawdown like other area lakes. The company is required to maintain 3 levels to protect aquatic life and recreation on the lake:

  • Winter (November- March) at 857- 870 feet above sea level
  • Spring (April) at 863- 870 feet
  • and summer (May- October) at 868- 870 feet.

There’s excellent fishing for sauger, walleye and smallmouth bass at the tailwaters below the dam.

The Cheat Lake Angler’s Bass Club also has tournaments at the lake, sometimes as many as 5 a year.

There are several accommodations and restaurants in the area if you are looking to make a weekend of it. Coopers Rock State Forest and Lakeview Resort are two of the closest.

Note: All anglers must purchase a West Virginia Fishing License. Visit WVDNR website for a list of local vendors. As of Jan. 1, 2016, there is a minimum length of 15 inches, and a daily limit of 8 walleye per person, per day.

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This post was last updated on July 17, 2020