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West Virginia Striped Bass fishing and Hybrid Striped Bass

The current state record weight for striped bass is a 29.56-pound fish caught by Terry Watkins at Bluestone Lake.

29 lbs - 9 oz Striper Record - Blue stone lake

A new West Virginia state record striper established for length was caught by Better late than never. Not exactly a weight record but establishes the record for length at 40 inches and 21 lbs. West Virginia A state record for striped bass was recently caught by Michael Pittman, Jr., of Wayside in Monroe County, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the Division of Natural Resources. Pittman caught the 40.88-inch, 21.38-pound fish from Bluestone Lake in Summers County on July 8, 2007. He caught the record striped bass using a crank bait while fishing near the mouth of the Bluestone River. Pittman’s catch establishes a new West Virginia record for length. The previous length record for striped bass was a 37.75-inch fish caught by Harold Mills from Bluestone Lake in 2006. The current state record weight for striped bass is a 29.56-pound fish caught by Terry Watkins at Bluestone Lake. Anglers who believe that they have caught a state record fish should check the record listing in the 2007 Fishing Regulations brochure. The brochure also outlines the procedure to follow for reporting their catch. This information is also available online at

striped bass record

West Virgina striped bass forum

Striped Bass Fishing Lakes In West Virginia

Beech Fork Lake, Bluestone Lake, East Lynn Lake and Mt Storm Lake are the primary waters for stripers in WV. Rivers flowing into and out of these lakes may also have a few stripers. The West Virginia state record striped bass came out of Bluestone Lake.

R.D. Bailey lake WWest virginia Hybrid striped bass lake

R.D. Bailey Lake Army corps of Engineers

W.Va. -- The Coal River is best known for its gentle rapids, serene wilderness -- including the section on the Big Coal between Racine and Dartmont -- and some of the best fishing in the state.

On the Coal River above Alum Creek, anglers will find smallmouth bass, spotted bass and rainbow trout. Below Alum Creek, it's mainly hybrid striped bass, sauger, walleye and catfish.

The newly designated Walhonde Water Trail on the Coal River offers 100 miles of fishing and paddling. Anglers and paddlers now have a second official venue for leisurely day trips in West Virginia. After four years of planning, the 100-mile Walhonde Water Trail now has 19 designated access points between Madison on the Little Coal River and Whitesville on the Big Coal all the way to St. Albans where the two merge into the Lower Coal River, according to The Charleston Gazette. None of the rapids on the trail rate more difficult than Class II during normal flow conditions. Walhonde through Whitesville, Sylvester, Racine, Ashford, Emmons and Alum Creek on the Big Coal; Madison, Danville, Julian and McCorkle on the Little Coal; and Upper Falls (Tornado) and St. Albans on the Lower Coal. It is the second officially designated water trail in the state. The Coal River Group is developing the trail. Routes along the river in Boone, Lincoln and Kanawha counties. The other is the Upper Monongahela Water Trail that travels from Fairmont into Pennsylvania.  

West Virginia began stocking hybrid striped bass in Bluestone Lake in 1976. The state receives its hybrid striped bass from South Carolinas Palestine hatchery in Wirt County and Apple grove Hatchery in Mason County. Some of the fish make their way into bluestone from Claytor lake in Virginia. Bluestone covers more than 2000 acres and stretches 10 miles. Both the New river amd Bluestone arms produce hybrid striped bass.

Ramps are present at Bertha Bull Falls, Bluestone Bridge, Bluestone State Park, Bluestone Marina, and at Leatherwood landing

Besides Bluestone other lakes that get fingerlings are Beech Fork, East Lynn, Mount Storm and R.D. bailey. Substasntial numbers also go into the tailwaters of the Ohio River and Kanawa rivers. A small lake Dunkard lake of 49 acres was also stocked experimentally with fingerlings.

A top area for hybrid bass in the state is the top area above the tailwaters of the Ohio River dams.

Both Ohio and west Virginia share reciprical license with the ohio River.

R.D. Bailey may be the top hybrid lake in the entire state. at 70 feet deep with lots of slopes and clay banks.

R.D. Bailey Lake
Beautiful lake in rugged terrain with visitor center overlooking the lake and many recreational opportunities.
Recreational Activities:
  • Auto Touring
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Picnicking
  • Recreational Vehicles
  • Visitor Center
  • Water Sports
  • Wildlife Viewing
Address: Drawer 70 US Route 52 North Justice,WV,24851-0070 Phone: (304) 664-3229
Directions:The dam is on the Guyandotte River near the southern West Virginia town of Justice. From Justice, which is in Mingo County, take US Route 52 south. On US Route 52 south, after leaving Mingo County and crossing the Guyandotte River into Wyoming County, app Managing Partner:
US Army Corps of Engineers
Additional Information: R.D. Bailey Lake Web Site
Weather Information:Weekly National Weather Service Forecast for Justice,WV There is no live information from National Weather Service


Lures and baits of choice

Bucktails - spoons, chicken liver and crawfish.

When fishing for stripers concentrate on the deeper waters in the lake. If you can locate schools of shad, stripers are often close by. When the baitfish are shallow over the deep water, you can catch stripers on crankbaits or by swimming spoons at appropriate depths. And for the ultimate thrill try large topwater baits if you see any surface feeding action. When the stripers are deep, jigs and jigging spoons work well. Live and cut bait will also take striped bass when they are in medium to deeper water. Fish nearby or in the river channel if it is a defined depth change. Trolling is also an excellent way to fish for stripers. Use flashy lures in bigger sizes


West Virginia hybrid stripers

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