The Best Bass Fishing Lakes In West Virginia


What Are The Best Bass Fishing Lakes in West Virginia?

With its picturesque landscapes and pristine water bodies, West Virginia is a paradise for bass fishing enthusiasts. Among the standout locations are Stonewall Jackson Lake, Woodrum Lake, O’Brien Lake, Summersville Lake, and the Kanawha River. Each destination offers unique characteristics and challenges that make bass fishing an exhilarating experience.

Stonewall Jackson Lake is renowned for its clear waters and abundant submerged timber, perfect for targeting largemouth and smallmouth bass. Woodrum Lake, a hidden gem, provides a serene and less crowded environment with rich aquatic vegetation. O’Brien Lake boasts a mix of rocky shorelines and submerged structures, ideal for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Summersville Lake, the largest in the state, is famous for its deep, clear waters and diverse underwater terrain. Finally, flowing through urban areas, the Kanawha River offers accessible and varied bass fishing opportunities.

The Top 5 Best Bass Fishing Lakes In West Virginia

  • Stonewall Jackson Lake
  • Woodrun Lake
  • O’Brien Lake
  • Summersville Lake
  • Kanawha River

Learn more below about each body of water mentioned and what makes them the best bass fishing lakes in West Virginia.

Stonewall Jackson Lake

best bass fishing lakes in West Virginia - Stonewall Jackson Lake

Stonewall Jackson Lake, nestled in the heart of West Virginia, spans over 2,650 acres and boasts an average depth of 18 feet, with the deepest point reaching 40 feet. This lake, situated near Weston, WV, is renowned for its clear waters and abundant bass population, making it a favorite among anglers. The lake’s structure, featuring numerous coves and submerged timber, provides an ideal habitat for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Anglers can also enjoy the scenic surroundings, as the lake is part of the Stonewall Resort State Park, which offers various amenities and accommodations.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Stonewall Jackson Lake: Focus on fishing near submerged structures and coves where bass are likely to congregate. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for catching active bass.

Woodrun Lake

Woodrum Lake, covering 240 acres, is a lesser-known treasure for bass fishing in West Virginia. Located near the town of Liberty, this lake has an average depth of 15 feet, with the deepest areas reaching up to 30 feet. Its remote location ensures a peaceful fishing experience, free from the hustle and bustle of more popular spots. The lake’s clean waters and rich aquatic vegetation create an excellent environment for bass to thrive. Woodrum Lake is particularly known for its healthy population of largemouth bass, which can often be found lurking near the lake’s many fallen trees and weed beds.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Woodrum Lake: Utilize weedless lures to navigate the dense vegetation and target bass hiding in the cover. Patience and stealth are key to success at this tranquil lake.

O’Brien Lake

O’Brien Lake, situated in Greenbrier County, encompasses 217 acres and has an average depth of 12 feet, with certain spots reaching 28 feet. This serene lake, located near the town of Caldwell, is celebrated for its clear waters and robust bass population. The lake features a mix of rocky shorelines and submerged structures, providing an ideal habitat for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. O’Brien Lake’s secluded nature and picturesque surroundings make it a perfect destination for anglers seeking a quiet and productive fishing trip.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for O’Brien Lake: Target rocky shorelines and submerged structures with crankbaits and jigs. Slow, deliberate retrieves can entice more bites from cautious bass.

Summersville Lake

Summersville Lake, the largest lake in West Virginia, spans an impressive 2,800 acres and has an average depth of 42 feet, with some areas plunging to 327 feet. Located near Summersville, this lake is a haven for bass fishing enthusiasts, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and diverse underwater terrain. The lake is known for its steep drop-offs, submerged rock formations, and extensive shoreline, providing ample opportunities to catch largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. The surrounding Summersville Lake Wildlife Management Area offers additional recreational activities and scenic beauty.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Summersville Lake: Fish deep drop-offs and submerged rock formations with deep-diving crankbaits and drop-shot rigs. Clear water requires using natural-colored lures for the best results.

Kanawha River: Urban Bass Fishing at Its Finest

best bass fishing lakes in West Virginia - Kanawha River & Cathedral Falls

The Kanawha River, a vital waterway in West Virginia, stretches over 97 miles from Gauley Bridge to Point Pleasant, where it meets the Ohio River. This river is a popular destination for bass anglers due to its accessibility and diverse bass population, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. The Kanawha River has an average depth of 12 feet, with deeper sections reaching up to 50 feet, offering various fishing environments. Cities like Charleston and St. Albans provide convenient access points and amenities for anglers.

The river’s structure, with numerous tributaries, eddies, and submerged rocks, creates an ideal habitat for bass. The Kanawha River also benefits from the warm water discharge from industrial plants, which can attract bass, particularly in colder months. Its urban setting does not detract from the quality of fishing, making it an exciting and convenient option for both local and visiting anglers.

Expert Bass Fishing Tips for Kanawha River: Focus on fishing near eddies, tributaries, and submerged rocks where bass are likely to hide. Use spinnerbaits and soft plastics to mimic the river’s natural forage.

Why You Should Consider Bass Fishing In West Virginia

West Virginia is a hidden gem for bass fishing enthusiasts, offering a combination of abundant bass populations, diverse water bodies, and stunning natural scenery. The state’s lakes and rivers are home to a variety of bass species, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, ensuring a thrilling and rewarding fishing experience. With over 50,000 acres of public lakes and thousands of miles of fishable streams and rivers, anglers have plenty of options to explore.

The state also offers a wealth of resources for anglers, including public boat ramps, fishing piers, and well-maintained parks and campgrounds. With its combination of accessibility, natural beauty, and rich fishing opportunities, West Virginia stands out as a premier bass fishing destination that promises both challenge and enjoyment for anglers of all skill levels.

Optimal Bass Fishing Techniques for West Virginia Waters

When fishing in West Virginia’s lakes and rivers, adopting the right techniques can make a significant difference. In clear waters like those found in Stonewall Jackson and Summersville Lakes, using natural-colored lures and lighter line can increase your chances of success. Conversely, in murkier waters such as the Kanawha River, brighter, more visible lures can attract bass more effectively.

Additionally, understanding seasonal patterns is crucial. During the spring spawning season, bass are more likely to be found in shallow waters near spawning beds. In summer, bass often retreat to deeper, cooler waters, while in fall, they move towards shallower areas to feed before winter.

Additional Resources for Bass Fishing in West Virginia

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Find Your Next Fishing Spot

Local Knowledge is Key – Engaging with the local fishing communities and resources can provide insights into current conditions, effective techniques, and hidden spots. Local bait shops and our bass fishing near me map are valuable resources for up-to-date information that can give you an edge on your next fishing trip.

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