Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report January 2017 by Captain Dale Wilson


January 2017
PHONE NO: 540-297-5650 / 540-874-4950

Picture: Chris Wilson from Apex, NC with an 20 lb. stripe bass, caught in December while fishing with Captain Dale Wilson.


OVERVIEW- Start the New Year off by going fishing! Fishing has been good this past month! Water temperature will be in the 40’s to low 50’s. Best times will be early morning, late afternoon and cloudy days. Striper fishing has been great at times this month. Depending on the weather, fishing should be good all of the month of January.

Largemouth Bass- Fishing for largemouth bass will be good this month. Best lures will be jigs, jerk baits, drop shots, medium running crank baits, football head jigs, Carolina rigs and spoons. Most largemouth bass will be in their winter patterns. Rocky points, ledges, creek channel banks and deep docks will be the best areas to try your luck. Best depths will be from the 2 to 40 feet deep. Crayfish and shad will be the main forage for largemouth bass this month. Remember to slow your presentation of your baits when the water is cold. Warm days will bring the water temperatures up slightly in the afternoons, making for a good window to catch a large bass in shallow water.

Smallmouth Bass- Fishing should be good. Best areas will be humps, ledges, rocky areas and long main channel points. Best lures will be tubes, jigs, jerk baits, hair jigs and floating-fly-rigs. Best areas will be in the mid to the lower sections of the lake. Cloudy days with wind and at night are good times to try your luck! Look for areas with rocks on ledges and points next to deep water. Look for humps and isolated rocks near deep water ledges. Most smallmouth bass will suspend near ledges with steep drops this month. They also feed heavily on crawfish.

Striped Bass- Fishing will be good this month. Stripers will be caught in the upper sections of the lake and in the large creeks. Best lures will be swim baits, spoons and Zoom flukes fished on 1/2 to 3/4 oz. lead heads. Sea gulls will help you locate schools of feeding stripers. Best time to fish is cloudy days, early morning and later afternoon. The best depths will be from the surface to 80 feet deep. Live bait fished on down lines and planner boards will also work this month. Most fish will be caught in 30 to 60 feet of water. They will constantly be on the move. Find the largest concentration of shad. Night fishing will be poor this month.

Crappie- Fishing for crappie will be fair this month. They will be found 10 to 25 ft. deep. Crappie will be found around deep docks, brush piles, and fallen tree tops. Deep docks with brush piles are usually good areas to hold crappie. Small live minnows and 1½ to 2 inch tubes or shad shaped plastic lures fished on 1/16 to 1/8 oz. lead heads will work best to catch crappie this month.

TIP OF THE Month- Remember to always wear your life jacket when the water temps are cold. Try to find the areas with the largest concentration of bait fish. Slow your retrieve of your lure in cold water. You can also hear reports about local fishing on the website: THE BASS CAST RADIO SHOW each month. Make sure your running lights are on after dark! Remember to TAKE A KID FISHING!