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Best Fishing Lakes In Virginia

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Guide to top places to fish for bass, catfish, crappie and more in VA.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

  • Carvins Cove Reservoir, VA
  • Claytor Lake, VA
  • Diascund Creek Reservoir, VA
  • Flannagan Reservoir, VA
  • Kerr Reservoir, VA
  • Lake Anna, VA
  • Lake Chesdin, VA
  • Lake Drummond, VA
  • Lake Gaston, VA
  • Lake Moomaw, VA
  • Leesville Reservoir, VA
  • Occoquan Reservoir, VA
  • Philpott Lake, VA
  • Smith Mountain Lake, VA
  • South Holston Lake, VA
  • Western Branch Reservoir, VA

The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, and the species found in each lake. Claytor Lake, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Gaston, Smith Mountain Lake and South Holston Lake are the most popular places for fishing in Virginia, offering anglers the chance to pursue a variety of fish species.

Virginia is home to a diverse range of fishing lakes, offering anglers a variety of fishing experiences and fish species. The state boasts both warm water lakes and cold water lakes, each with its own unique characteristics and species.

Warm water lakes in Virginia provide excellent opportunities for anglers targeting species such as largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie, and catfish. Lakes such as Smith Mountain Lake, Lake Anna, and Lake Gaston are known for their warm water conditions and diverse fish populations. Anglers can enjoy casting topwater lures for bass, trolling for striped bass, or targeting crappie and catfish using a variety of baits. These lakes offer ample boating and fishing opportunities throughout the year, with peak seasons typically occurring during the warmer months.

On the other hand, Virginia's cold water lakes are known for their trout fisheries. Lakes such as Lake Moomaw, Lake Shenandoah, and Lake Thompson are regularly stocked with trout species such as rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. These lakes offer anglers the chance to enjoy fly fishing, spinning, or bait fishing techniques to catch these prized game fish. Spring and fall are prime seasons for trout fishing in these lakes when cooler water temperatures create ideal conditions for trout activity.

The warm water lakes in Virginia also support a wide variety of other fish species, including sunfish, perch, and carp. These lakes provide excellent opportunities for anglers seeking a diverse fishing experience. Sunfish, including bluegill and redear sunfish, are abundant in warm water lakes and are often targeted by anglers, especially those fishing with lightweight tackle or introducing young anglers to fishing. Perch species such as yellow perch and white perch are also common in these lakes and offer additional angling opportunities.

Virginia's fishing lakes, both warm water and cold water, provide anglers with a range of fishing experiences and opportunities. Whether targeting bass, trout, panfish, or other species, these lakes offer scenic beauty, abundant fish populations, and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors while pursuing the joy of fishing. With numerous lakes to choose from, anglers in Virginia are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding their perfect fishing destination.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Virginia

Bass

Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Moomaw, Leesville Reservoir, Occoquan Reservoir, Philpott Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Reservoir are considered the best options for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. More...

Catfish

Claytor Lake, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Gaston, Philpott Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Lake are favorite options for channel, blue, white and flathead catfish. More...

Crappie

Claytor Lake, Flannagan Reservoir, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Gaston, Occoquan Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake are the most popular for black and white crappie. More...

Sunfish & Panfish Lakes

Carvins Cove Reservoir, Claytor Lake, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Drummond, Lake Gaston, Leesville Reservoir, Occoquan Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Reservoir are popular spots to fish for bluegill, bream, perch and other sunfish. More...

Walleye

Claytor Lake, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Chesdin, Lake Gaston, Leesville Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake, South Holston Lake and Western Branch Reservoir are considered the top locations for walleye fishing. More...

Trout

Lake Moomaw and South Holston Lake are favorite lakes for rainbow, brook and brown. More...

Striped Bass

Carvins Cove Reservoir, Claytor Lake, Flannagan Reservoir, Kerr Reservoir, Lake Anna, Lake Gaston, Leesville Reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake and Western Branch Reservoir are the best options for striped bass and hybrid striped bass. More...

Visit the Virginia fishing page for links to information covering a wide variety of fish species and destinations in the state. Visit the Virginia map to identify your best route to these top fishing locations.

 

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