Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States

West Virginia

West Virginia is a very short drive from my house, so I went to its section of the Shenandoah River and caught a few smallmouth bass, with the biggest being 13 inches.  This was certainly not one of the more memorable of my trips, but, outside of Virginia, it was probably the easiest. 


So far I have caught at least one trophy fish in 33 states, but West Virginia is not one of them.  Given its close proximity to my house, I intend to return to West Virginia in 2015 in search of a trophy.


Update June 2015:  I first heard of Zetts Fish Farm ( in October 2014.  Zetts is an easy drive from northern Virginia and offers several ponds of differing sizes that contain a variety of fish.  Unfortunately, despite my not hearing about it until relatively recently, it is not exactly a well-kept secret and receives a lot of fishing pressure.  The main trophy pond was so crowded both times I went that I opted for another pond that I was told contained trophy catfish.  I did not have any luck catching a trophy the first time, but, on my second trip, after almost five hours of trying, I finally landed a 25-inch channel catfish, good enough for a West Virginia trophy fish citation.


This citation meant I had caught at least one trophy fish in 35 states.

Welcome to West Virginia

My first West Virginia fish, an 8.5-inch smallmouth bass

The Shenandoah River

Lots of people braving the 90+ degree weather to fish at Zetts

13-inch smallmouth bass

25-inch trophy channel catfish