West Virginia State Fishing Records

WV State Fishing Records

Below you will find a compiled list of all the West Virginia State Fishing Records.

West Virginia is a unique state that keeps track of fishing records for both length and weight. Most states only keep record of the biggest fish by weight. This gives anglers two chances to claim a WV state record.

As you can see below, almost all the state bass records have different anglers claiming the length and weight record.

These are impressive fish that should be celebrated, both for their impressive length and weight.


However, some anglers hold both the length and weight record for the species of fish.

Records are meant to be broken, but some have been standing for many years. Others, however, have been broken this year.

Learn more about the WV state record smallmouth bass and many others below. Don’t miss your chance at a spot in the WV State Fishing Record Books.

WV State Fishing Records

SpeciesYearTotal Length (inches)Total Weight (pounds)Location of CatchWV State Record Holder
Largemouth Bass199424.812.28Pond in Grant CountyDavid W. Heeter
200125.759.62Dog Run LakeEli Gain
Smallmouth Bass197124.259.75South BranchDavid Lindsay
197625.57.5New RiverFranklin J. Elliot
Rock Bass196413.81.75Big Sandy CreekWarren Ryan
Spotted Bass1988193.82RD Bailey LakeLeonard Blankenship
2000194.77RD Bailey LakeKevin Dameron
Striped Bass200037.6829.56Bluestone LakeTerry Watkins
Hybrid Striped Bass198531.516.75Kanawha RiverRobert Honaker
200032.114Kanawha RiverFrankie Harris
White Bass
Bluegill196413.752.25Pond (Fayette County)Dennis Criss
198611.72.75Pond (Randolph County)Mark Allan Lewis
Bowfin199432.257.54Pond (Berkeley County)Donald E. Newcomb, III
1994 29.387.66Pond (Berkeley County)Carl A. Jaeger, III
Buffalo19764138Little Kanawha RiverHobert Null
Common Carp19884141.5Stonecoal LakeCharles J. Cook
199839.347Pond (Preston County)Gary Johnson
Grass Carp200247.152.5Pond (Mason County)Joseph R. Spencer, II
Bullhead Catfish197722.756.1Tygart Lake HeadwatersGary R. Freeman
Channel Catfish202337.540.59South Mill Creek LakeAllen Burkett
199438.521.25Lee CreekMike C. Mace
Flathead Catfish19565270Little Kanawha RiverL.L. McClung
Chain Pickerel200127.756.19Tuckahoe LakeSteven Demma
Crappie197119.754.05Meathouse ForkLeonard Edgell
Eel1977447.25Bunker Hill QuarryArlie R. Ruble
198344.256.27Elk RiverSteve Woods
Fallfish197021.253.5North Fork of South BranchJames Blackwell
Freshwater Drum19543725Little Kanawha RiverBill Dawkins
198935.527South Fork of HughesCharles Mickel Lott
Longnose Gar199350.519.08Kanawha RiverMichael Shan Casey
202353.6216.75Ohio RiverRich Chapman
Goldeye198318.53Ohio RiverDelbert McWilliams
Muskellunge199750.3749.75Stonecoal LakeAnna Marsh
200352.738.5 Stonecoal LakeGlenn Boyd
Northern Pike198942.622.06Dog Run LakeBoyd O. Pratt Sr
Sauger1985234.75Ohio RiverSteve Powell
Saugeye2000267.25Ohio RiverDru Beck
200027.16.13East Lynn LakeWendell Williamson
Skip Jack199118.62.38Ohio RiverElmer Bullard
200218.42.61Kanawha RiverSteve Skeens
Tiger Musky199449.2536.5Mountwood LakeClyde E. Beckett
Brook Trout198123.54.78Lost RiverJack E. Foltz
200422.257.64Shavers Fork of Cheat RiverGary M. Chapman
Brown Trout196827.58.63South BranchPaul Barker
Golden Rainbow198727.58.63Stonecoal LakeGerald Estep
202326.59.72Little Beaver State Park PondBenji Lilly
Rainbow Trout199331.711.74Stonecoal LakeJohn P. Arnett
Tiger Trout1986266.68Greenbrier RiverJohn Duncan
Walleye19763515Kanawha FallsFred Cline
20033217.82Kanawha RiverSteve Skeens
Yellow Perch1971151.75Pond (Monongalia County)Stanley Bloniarz, Jr.
198514.51.83Tygart LakeCharles Mayle

What we can learn from the WV State Fishing Records

  • Steve Skeens is the only person to hold two West Virginia state fishing records (Walleye and Skipjack) both caught in the Kanawha River
  • Both WV state record Muskellunge were caught at the same place, Stonecoal Lake.
  • The West Virginia record for Freshwater Drum is the oldest state fishing record, held by Bill Dawkins since 1954.
  • There is an abundance of great fishing spots in West Virginia. The locations where these trophy fish were caught is very diverse.
  • More WV state fishing records have been set at Stonecoal Lake than anywhere else
  • Other bodies of water responsible for multiple state record fish caught: Kanawha River (4), Ohio River (4), Little Kanawha River (3)
WV State Fishing Records

How to Claim a West Virginia State Fishing Record

Think that you have caught the WV state record bass? Unsure of what to do next? Anglers who have caught a potential WV state record fish should download the state fish record reporting form.

You will need to contact the WV DNR fishery biologist for your district. They will come verify the weight, length and species of state record fish. You will then have to fill out the form above and send to the WV DNR office in Charleston.

In the event your trophy fish does not capture the West Virginia state fishing record, you are eligible to receive a trophy fish citation. While you don’t get the title of WV state record holder, this consolation prize is still worthy of bragging rights.

The WV Trophy Fish Citation is only measured by length and each species of fish has its own trophy status criteria. For more information or to apply for your West Virginia trophy fish award download the application at the WV DNR website. If your prized catch qualifies as a West Virginia trophy, you will be mailed an official certificate celebrating your achievement.