If you love fishing and are up for a challenge, Tygart Lake is the perfect place to find walleye and smallmouth bass, although crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, and muskellunge are also common.
Tygart Lake has a variety of fish and mostly deep-water boat fishing. It can be difficult to hike around the shoreline.
Time To Complete
The lake is open for fishing year-round, but the hillsides are steep and can be slick in the winter, so be careful. Walleye fishing is exceptional in the spring during spawning and fall during the drawdown period. Bass fishing is great in the spring, summer, and fall.
Every now and then city dwellers need an escape. The rural West Virginia mountains beckon, and Tygart Lake answers the call. Stretching across 10 miles and 1,750-acres in Taylor and Barbour counties, the lake is deep and clear, surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area is on the southwestern shore of the lake and Tygart Lake State Park on the eastern shore. Besides fishing, there is kayaking, canoeing, and golf in the area. A park naturalist also offers free nature programs during the busy season.
What Makes It Great
Tygart Lake is best known for walleye and smallmouth bass, though crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, and muskellunge are also common. Most fish in Tygart Lake are maintained through natural reproduction thanks to the exceptional water quality, but the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (WVDNR) does stock trout in the tailwaters of Tygart Dam.
If you aren’t already convinced a visit to Tygart Lake is a must, you should also know that these waters have been known to produce a trophy fish or 2. Most successful anglers troll, jig off of rocky points, or fish around attractors and recycled Christmas trees, installed by the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection.
During the summer months, the lake is at a relatively normal water level. Mid-September and April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases water from Tygart Dam, lowering the lake.
If you decide to stay overnight, the Tygart Lake Lodge has comfortable guest rooms, 2 gift shops, and food from The Boston Beanery.
Who is Going to Love It
This reservoir can be difficult to fish due to its depth and lack of shoreline cover, so if you love boating and are up for a challenge, Tygart Lake is for you.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach Tygart Lake, take U.S. Route 119 or U.S. Route 50 to Grafton. From Grafton take Route 50 to South Grafton and follow signs to the park.
There are 2 public boat launches that are available during peak summer months, typically Memorial Day through Labor Day. All coves are no-wake zones.
All anglers have to get a West Virginia Fishing License either at the WVDNR’s website or a local Walmart store.
Starting January 1, 2016, the new minimum length limit for walleye is 15 inches and maximum daily creel limit is 8 walleye per person. Current regulations for smallmouth and largemouth bass in Tygart Lake are 6 per day with no size limit.