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Bass Fishing In West Virginia

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Guide to fishing for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

West Virginia Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in West Virginia is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In West Virginia

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in West Virginia. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in West Virginia. The state record largemouth bass is over 12 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Some popular bass fishing destinations in the state include Sutton Lake, Tygart Lake, and Kanawha River. Largemouth bass are often found near submerged structures such as fallen trees, weed beds, and rock formations. Anglers typically use a variety of techniques, including casting with soft plastics, crankbaits, and topwater lures, to entice these aggressive predators.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In West Virginia

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 9 pounds.

They can be found in rivers and streams such as the New River, Potomac River, and Shenandoah River. Smallmouth bass prefer clear, rocky habitats with swift currents. Anglers often use lures such as jigs, crankbaits, and tube baits to target smallmouth bass. Spring and fall are generally considered the best seasons to fish for smallmouth bass in West Virginia, as the fish are more active during these times.

Spotted Bass Fishing In West Virginia

Spotted bass, also known as Kentucky bass, are another popular bass species in West Virginia. They are typically found in rivers and lakes, including the Ohio River and Bluestone Lake. Spotted bass are similar in appearance to largemouth bass but have distinct markings, including rows of dark spots along their lower sides. Anglers can target spotted bass using similar techniques as largemouth and smallmouth bass, focusing on areas with cover and structure.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In West Virginia

Bass fishing lures

All about fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass in West Virginia lakes. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing. Find water in the state and chances are you found bass. Small lakes, ponds, parks and rivers are good places to look. The states major lakes with bass include 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 and Tygart Lake.

When bass fishing in West Virginia, it's important to follow state regulations regarding size limits, bag limits, and fishing seasons. Additionally, anglers should practice catch-and-release techniques to ensure the sustainability of bass populations and the long-term health of the fisheries. With its diverse bass species and beautiful fishing locations, West Virginia offers an exciting and rewarding bass fishing experience for anglers of all levels.

Fishing Boats For Rent In West Virginia

Bass 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

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for West Virginia this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and top water lures are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

West Virginia State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from a private pond.

The state record smallmouth bass came from South Branch.

The state record spotted bass was caught out of R. D. Bailey Lake.

Bass fishing in West Virginia

This largemouth bass, over ten pounds, was caught by Josh Tingler of Mineral Wells. The lunker was taken on a live bluegill, using 8 pound line. You just never know when you might catch a bass of a West Virginia.

WV Bass fishing

Erik Tingler caught this 10-pound bass on a live bluegill in Wood County West Virginia. After catching his dream fish, he quickly weighed and measured it, then returned it to the water to fight another day.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in West Virginia.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Mountain State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

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