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Cast a line in Mercer County

Ishmael had Moby Dick. What about you?

Maybe “the big one” is waiting for you in Mercer County. From manmade ponds to forest streams, you’ll find some of southern West Virginia’s most popular fishing holes right here. Get ready to bait your hooks and reel ‘em in!

Reel Catch | Princeton

Owner Winfred Shrewsbury knows the joys of fishing, particularly when it’s shared with others. His manmade pond ensures a satisfying time for all. More than 15,000 pounds of catch-and-release catfish live at Reel Catch every season, including 70-pound behemoths.

It’s a comfortable place, too. More than 100 benches line the pond, guaranteeing a lazy afternoon. Reel Catch also has a short-order grill and bait shop, so everybody— even the fish— has something to nibble.

What’s more, you don’t need much to get started. That’s why Reel Catch is great for families and beginners. No fishing license required! Poles are available for rent as well.

Once you get into the swing of things, try a tournament. Kids and adults can compete for divisional prizes every Friday and Saturday. Otherwise, the pond is open Friday to Sunday, May through September. (Weather conditions may shorten or prolong the fishing season, so call Reel Catch for current information.)

Glenwood Recreational Park and 4-H Camp | Princeton

Prefer natural settings? Head to Glenwood Recreational Park. Its 55-acre lake is a serene place to bait catfish and bass. Canoes and non-motorized craft are allowed, too.

Glenwood also takes care of your landlubber family. There are playgrounds, tennis courts and 18-hole putt putt, plus picnic shelters and charcoal grills. It’s an outdoors treat that nobody can refuse— particularly if you pack some marshmallows and hotdogs.

Brush Creek Falls | Athens

Famous for its magnificent 33-foot cascade, this forested area is worth a trip for any reason. The lively water attracts wildlife like bobcats, deer, and— you guessed it— fish. In fact, rangers at Pipestem Resort State Park stock the area with trout and smallmouth bass.

Because Brush Creek Falls belongs to the state park system, fishing is allowed. This seems obvious, but the nearby Brush Creek Preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy. You don’t want to confuse the two!

For information about camping permits and fishing licenses, call Pipestem.

Camp Creek State Park and Forest | Camp Creek

Restful and picturesque, Camp Creek State Park and Forest offers hours of quiet meditation. It’s an ideal habitat for trout, too. There are waterfalls and streams, which rangers stock in February and spring.

What’s more, Camp Creek makes weekend fishing trips a snap. There are 4 campgrounds with hook-ups and heated bathrooms, plus room for horses. You can also make reservations for “pack in, pack out” sites. Located in more remote corners of the woods, these areas are rustic but get you closer to nature.

To fish at Camp Creek, you’ll need a West Virginia license with a trout stamp. Visit the park office for official documentation and supplies like ice and firewood.

What’s your Mercer County fish story?


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