Discover the best fishing spots, recommended gear and pro tips for an unforgettable adventure

Whether you’re a seasoned angler tuned into the whisper of the line or a novice drawn to the serene beauty of the lake, Tygart Lake in West Virginia is a fishing haven. With the help of this guide, plan your fishing adventures to one of West Virginia’s most popular and picturesque lakes and learn more about fishing spots, gear recommendations and pro tips to ensure your trip is nothing short of unforgettable.

Embark on a lake fishing journey like no other at Tygart Lake. With its expansive waters covering 1,750 acres and reaching depths up to 130 feet, Tygart Lake is the perfect setting for a peaceful day of fishing for bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, white bass or walleye.

Fishing Gear Recommendations

While gearing up with a trusty rod and reel combo, reliable fishing line and assorted hooks, baits, weights, swivels, bobbers and lures will help you enjoy a successful day of fishing at Tygart Lake, the most important piece of gear is a personal floatation device or PFD.

If you are on the water in a vessel, West Virginia law requires that you have a PFD that is in good condition, properly sized and readily available for each person on board. Any child under the age of 13, including infants, must wear a PFD while the vessel is underway. Vessels 16 feet and over must have a throwable Type IV PFD ring or cushion on board that can be thrown to a person in the water in addition to the previously noted PFDs.
In addition to regulations set by the WVDNR, Tygart Lake has federal regulations that require mandatory wearing of PFDs, regardless of age, on all vessels, including kayaks and paddleboards. Learn more about state and federal boating regulations at

Fishing Pro Tips

Start your day early or in the late afternoon during what anglers call the “golden hours” for fishing. At these times, the light is softer and the water’s surface temperature cools, encouraging fish to move closer to the surface to feed.

Fish habitat enhancement structures have been constructed and installed at several locations in Tygart Lake and provide areas for fish to spawn, hide and forage. Since they congregate numerous fish, they are also good places for anglers to try their luck. Structure locations are marked with buoys throughout the lake and can also be found on the WVDNR’s online fishing map.

The tailwaters of Tygart Lake are another popular fishing spot. Trout are stocked once each month, February through May and once in Octover. Walleye are prime targets from December to May, as they move through the dam during the winter. During the summer months, smallmouth bass are a popular catch. Musky are also frequently fished for at this location.

Access Sites

Whether you’re launching a boat for a day on the lake or seeking the perfect shoreline spot for casting your line, Tygart Lake State Park and its surroundings offer several public access sites that cater to anglers of all levels.

Tygart Lake Cove Run
This access site is carry down only and has five pull-off parking spots. There are no facilities at this site. For directions to this access site, click here.

Tygart Lake Pleasant Creek WMA
This access site has a ramp with a concrete launch. There are no facilities at this site, but there is a parking lot with 30 spots. For directions to this access site, click here.

Tygart Lake State Park – Ramps 1 and 2
These two access sites both have a ramp with a concrete launch. Both sites share a parking lot of 75 spots. Facilities and amenities include a fishing pier, portable restrooms, trash receptacles and lighting. For directions to access site No. 1, click here. For directions to access site No. 2, click here.

Tygart Dam Tailwater
This access site has a concrete boat launch just downstream of Tygart Dam in the Grafton City Park.  There are trash receptacles and a picnic area with approximately 5 spots available for boat trailer parking. For directions, click here. 

Outdoor Adventures Nearby

Whether you’re an angler seeking new waters, a hunter in pursuit of game or an outdoor enthusiast eager to explore, Tygart Lake serves as your gateway to outdoor adventures in West Virginia’s Mountaineer Country.

Pleasant Creek WMA
Located near Philippi in Barbour and Taylor counties, Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area offers more than 3,000 acres of hunting, fishing and outdoor adventures all year long. Hunting opportunities include those for deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, grouse, dove, woodcock and various waterfowl. Trapping opportunities include those for bobcat, coyote, red fox, mink, muskrat and opossum. 

Because it is situated along the shores of Tygart Lake and due to there being several ponds created for waterfowl habitat and hunting opportunities, Pleasant Creek WMA also offers plenty of  fishing opportunities for rock, largemouth, smallmouth and white bass, bluegill, channel and flathead catfish, crappie, muskellunge, sunfish and walleye.

For more information about Pleasant Creek WMA, including directions in Google Maps, click here.

Float Trip – Tygart Dam Tailwater to Camp Towles
Enjoy a 7.3 mile float down the Tygart River in your tube, raft, kayak or canoe, take in the scenery and perhaps cast a line or two while you’re at it. Before you go, click here to access real-time water data and streamflow on the Tygart River via the USGS’s National Water Information System.

Tygart Lake State Park
Located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, just four miles south of Grafton, Tygart Lake State Park is known for its 10-mile long, 1,750-acre lake, which is a popular fishing and boating destination. When you aren’t casting lines, Tygart Lake State Park offers other water activities, such as the Tygart Adventure Lake, water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking and canoeing, as well as hiking trails and other popular outdoor activities.

To learn more about what this park has to offer, visit


After a day of fishing, relax and reflect on your adventures by staying right in the heart of it all at Tygart Lake State Park, which offers cozy cabins, plenty of campsites and a lodge with stunning views of the lake and mountains. Ready to book your trip? Click here to book now!

Upgrade your fishing experience. Buy a physical license card today.

Before you cast a line, make sure you buy your West Virginia fishing license. All anglers 15 years and older are required to have one, and if you plan on fishing for trout you’ll also need a trout stamp.

Upgrade your angling experience by opting for a new physical license card with your 2024 fishing license and trout stamp purchase. This collectible card not only looks good but serves as a memento of your commitment to the sport and the conservation efforts that keep it thriving. It’s a small upgrade that can make a big difference, ensuring you’re always ready to seize the moment when the waters call.

Want to explore more of what Tygart Lake and other fishing lakes and streams in West Virginia have to offer? Check out the WVDNR’s interactive fishing map at