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Almost heaven, West Virginia. You don’t hear it mentioned much in fishing circles because there is no major bass fishing impoundment, no stops on the major tournament trails. But West Virginia is an angler’s paradise- home to wide-open lakes, expansive rivers, and babbling brooks just waiting for you to cast a line. From fly fishing for brook trout to spinning rivers for smallmouth bass, there’s plenty of catching opportunity on more than 20,000 miles of streams and 100 lakes. Our South Jersey member Walt Parker recently packed up the family for a kayak fishing trip to Stonewall Jackson Lake and Audra State Park along the Middle Fork River.

Audra State Park is located in southwestern Barbour County. Each year, visitors are drawn to the natural beauty of the heavily wooded area bisected by the Middle Fork River, which offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and fishing, along with camping and hiking. Like much of the state, Audra is an ideal destination for families who enjoy the outdoors. The clear, clean water of the Middle Fork River and the rock overhang of the Alum Cave offer opportunities for family adventure. Here are a few other waters waiting to offer your family some fun.

Bluestone River- The Bluestone runs through the beautiful wilderness of WVa, and has warm water fish like smallmouth bass, rock bass and bluegill. In the winter months, you can find stocked rainbow trout, and wade in the waters near Pipestem Resort State Park to fly fish for trout and smallmouth.

North Bend Lake- North Bend’s 305 acres are home to bass, muskies, catfish and crappie. The lake reaches a depth of 36 feet in the center and is a warm water fishery. The lake is popular for night fishing

Summersville Lake- The biggest lake in the Mountain State, Summersville has some incredible fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass and walleye. The beautiful scenery of Summersville Lake is the perfect backdrop to any fishing trip.

Tygart Lake- Tygart is a place the whole crew can head for a weekend of incredible fishing. At this 1,800-acre lake you can find panfish, crappie, channel fish, bass and walleye. After a day of fishing, you can unwind at Tygart Lake State Park’s 20-room lodge, which sits upon a high peninsula, overlooking the beautiful lake below.

Stonewall Jackson Lake- The Parkers destination, Stonewall Jackson is known to offer some of the best bass fishing in West Virginia. The Lake only allows catch-and-release, which means you will probably catch larger fish here than at other lakes around the state. The Marina at Stonewall Resort also includes a boat launch, pontoon rentals, marina shop and boat slips as well as guided fishing trips.

Plum Orchard Lake- 2,953-acre Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area is an excellent warm water fishery for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and channel fish. The lake is also one of the top producers of trophy size largemouth, bluegill and channel cats in West Virginia. You can also fish here at night, a great time for catfishing.

If you want a little slice of heaven for your family, pack up the camping gear, canoes, kayaks and fishing gear and head to one of the many state parks and nearby fisheries.


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