Summersville Lake Fishing in WV

Summersville Lake Fishing

Summersville Lake is paradise in the mountain state. There are tons of reasons to visit during the warmer months of the year, but one is more important than the rest. Summersville Lake is a fishing hot spot.

Nestled at the base of Mount Nebo, incredible scenery surrounds you as you spend time on the water. Despite it being conveniently located off the well traveled I-19, you get the feeling of being in a much more remote mountain destination.

Find out why so many people head to this central West Virginia lake in the summer. Grab your rod and reel and start planning your Summersville Lake fishing trip today.

Summersville Lake Fishing

Summersville Lake Fishing

At 2,800 acres in size, Summersville Lake is the largest lake in West Virginia. Much like Stonewall Jackson Lake, it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers by damming the Gauley River.

Construction of the dam began 1960. It was completed in 1966 and is the second largest rock-filled dam in the Eastern United States.

The deepest part of Summersville Lake is a staggering 327 feet below the surface. While it’s unlikely you’ll be fishing there it’s fun to imagine what might be lurking in those depths.


Speaking of depths, a ship was sunk in Summersville Lake intentionally. Since the lake is so big and so deep, scuba diving is another hot attraction. The sunken ship gives divers an interesting landmark to explore when they are underwater.

Additional attractions to Summersville Lake can make your fishing trip extra special. Summersville Lake boasts the only working lighthouse in the state of West Virginia.

Along with scuba diving, it’s common to see people slacklining from the cliffs or rock climbing. Kayakers and stand up paddleboarders will be sharing the water with you as well.

Summersville Lake Fishing
It’s common to see people rock climbing from your boat at Summersville Lake

As you can tell, Summersville Lake is a popular summer destination for many different activities. This can make the lake crowded at times, especially during peak vacation times.


Don’t get discouraged if you see people everywhere. Use your boat and find a secluded corner where the water isn’t as deep and your odds of a successful fishing trip should improve drastically.

The WV DNR stock trout in the Summersville Lake Tailwaters but bass are another popular target for anglers on the lake.

Whatever you like fishing for, chances are you’ll find it at Summersville Lake.

When fishing at Summersville Lake, anglers with a valid WV fishing license can expect to catch:

  • Bluegill
  • Bass
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Catfish
  • Sunfish

You may find it surprising considering its massive size, but no current WV state fishing records have come from Summersville Lake.


Summersville Lake WV Boat Rentals

With over 60 miles of shoreline to fish from at Summersville Lake, it’s safe to say there is room for everyone. However, in order to truly experience everything the lake I believe it needs to be done from a boat.

At Summersville Lake there are three boat ramps to begin your exploration of the many coves and cliffs the lake has to offer.

If you don’t have a boat, don’t worry. There are plenty of options for boat rentals at Summersville Lake.

On our fishing trip we kept it simple and rented a boat at the Summersville Lake Marina but there are many choices in the area.


Summersville Lake Boat Rental

Our boat rental at Summersville Lake cost us $400 plus fuel for the day. The boat rental period was 12 hours, from 7 am to 7 pm. Since it was a little pricy we took advantage of the full 12 hour rental period.

Despite the cost, we felt it was worth it to add to the overall experience. Broken down for the entire day it averaged out to just $35 an hour. Sounds more reasonable when you think about the boat rental that way.

It improved our fishing trip and the boat allowed us to access and see so much more. The experience would have been totally different and much less interesting if we were confined to fishing from the shore. When planning your Summersville Lake fishing trip, try and budget for the boat rental – it’s totally worth it.

Below you can find some of your options for Summersville Lake boat rentals.


Boat Rental Companies at Summersville Lake

Summersville Lake Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats and pontoon boats
304 872-1331

Summersville Lake Retreat Boat Rentals
Rentals: Fishing boats and pontoon boats
304 872-5975

Lakeside Outfitters
Rentals: Kayaks
304 872-9101

Summersville Lake WV Boat Rentals

If this is your first time boating on Summersville Lake it’s important to understand the no wake zone. Beyond the bridge where Route 19 crosses over the lake is a no-wake zone for casual boating. 

2 thoughts on “Summersville Lake Fishing in WV”

  1. I agree with needing a boat to access better fishing spots , I casted for hours from shore and didn’t get any bites but I’m certain that there are quality smallmouth around the rocky ledges if you can get there.. The lake is beautiful to say the least it’s one of the wonders of the world

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