Picture your favorite fishing spot. It’s a cool morning and you’ve settled into your boat for a peaceful day on the lake or you’re relaxing on the banks of a pristine mountain stream. Wherever you are, the only thing disturbing the stillness around you is the gentle sound of the water. Then, there’s a tug on your line and your heart jumps. Your day’s about to get a whole lot better.

Most anglers have a favorite fishing, but if you’re searching for a perfect fishing spot to call your own, we’re here to tell you that Stonewall Jackson Lake might be one of the best.

Game and Fish says Stonewall Jackson Lake is West Virginia’s No. 1 bass lake.

Located in the the Stonewall Jackson Lake Wildlife Management Area, Stonewall Jackson Lake offers the rugged appeal prized by anglers, hunters, wildlife waters and others who enjoy outdoor activities. So, if you’re looking for a place for your next fishing trip or want to start planning a hunting adventure for this fall, here’s everything you need to know about Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA.

Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA at a Glance

  • Open: All year
  • Size: 18,381 acres
  • Terrain: Farmland reverting to woodland, and rolling hills covered with mixed hardwood
  • Big Game: Deer, turkey, bear
  • Small Game: Waterfowl, squirrel, rabbit, grouse, dove, woodcock
  • Trapping: Bobcat, coyote, red fox, beaver, mink, muskrat
  • Fishing: Stonewall Jackson Lake
  • Game Fish: Largemouth bass, black bass (catch and release), bluegill, carp, channel catfish, crappie, muskellunge, trout (stocked), walleye
  • Accommodations: Shooting range
  • Nearby: Stonewall Resort State Park, Stonecoal Lake Wildlife Management Area
  • Operated By: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

There’s no better place to lake fish than Stonewall Jackson Lake


At 2,650 acres, Stonewall Jackson Lake has plenty of area for you to find a fishing spot of your own. There’s five boat ramps and the lake has carp, bluegill, crappie, walleye, largemouth bass, muskellunge, channel catfish and black bass (cat-and-release). The tailwaters on the West Fork River are also stocked with trout twice a month, from February to April, and once in May.

What makes Stonewall Jackson Lake such a good fishing lake is the diversity of fish habitat. Because the area was impounded in 1989, there are many trees, structures and roadbeds underneath the water’s surface. This provides plenty of cover for fish, which allows them to survive longer. The black bass catch-and-release regulations also mean the fish have time to grow, so the ones you reel in are more likely to be trophy size.

Stonewall Jackson Lake also has accessible fishing docks. There are other special fishing regulations for Stonewall Jackson Lake. Check them out in the 2019 West Virginia Fishing Regulations.

Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA has a lot to offer hunters too


Stonewall Jackson Lake isn’t the only thing worth checking out. Hunters flock to the wildlife management area every year for fall hunting trips. With its rolling hills and hardwood forests filled with stands of oak and hickory that produce the kind of mast big game is attracted to, it comes as no surprise that Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA has an abundance of game.

You’re likely to find white-tailed deer, wild turkey and waterfowl such as Canada Geese and different duck species. And Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA has been called one of the best areas in the state for bow hunters and annually yields a high harvest of deer.

You can also practice your shooting at the WMA during the offseason by checking out the 300-yard rifle range.

Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA is a great place for a trip


In addition to great hunting and fishing, Stonewall Jackson Lake has plenty of outdoor recreation your entire family can enjoy. There’s hiking trails, boat rentals and more. And the Visitors Center beneath the Stonewall Jackson Dam is full of interesting displays and information from around the area.

If you’re planning a fishing or hunting trip, you’ll want to stay at Stonewall Jackson Resort State Park. The park shares the lake with the wildlife management area and has 198 lodge rooms, 10 cabins, and 45 campsites that can be reserved. Take a solo trip or bring your family along for some quality time in the outdoors.

Book today and start planning your trip!

From high in the mountains to low in the valleys, West Virginia’s wildlife management areas conserve our natural resources while preserving public land for the public good. Whether you’re a hunter, angler or nature lover, Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA is a place where you can admire the Mountain State’s rugged beauty and get a little closer to Almost Heaven.

If you have any questions, be sure to call the DNR District 3 office at 304-924-6211. You also can learn more about Stonewall Jackson Lake WMA and other wildlife management areas by visiting wvdnr.gov and mapwv.gov/huntfish.