September Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report by Captain Chad Green


By: Captain Chad Green

Fall is upon us and some great fishing ahead. Time to enjoy great weather and relaxing days on the water. Get out on the water when you can and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. Practice catch and release as much as possible to preserve our great fisheries out there. As always, just make one more Last Cast as it could be the next trophy fish.
Visit Captains Quarters Marina at Hales Ford Bridge for any tackle that you may need and they will fix you up.
Special Thanks to Brian Carter at the

Largemouth Bass/Smallmouth Bass
As early fall is arriving the bass tend to go back to school also and can be found in large groups feeding on baitfish and traveling to their fall areas for the cool months. Look for rocky points, and brush piles, docks, shoals, humps and long points. Mornings can be a great time to find schooling fish on topwater baits. Look for bait to start gathering in the mouths of the tributaries this month with an abundance of different types and sizes of bait and they all can be in different water depths. Later in the morning the fish will move offshore into deeper water and deep docks. September offers a variety of lures and tactics to target topwater lures, jigs, shakey head, drop shots, Texas rig worms, crankbaits, and Carolina rigs. Depths of water would be most productive in’ throughout 5-20 ft through most of Sept. As the shorter days and cooler nights approach fishing will be on a fast-paced change. We still have warm water temps for Sept so be mindful for quick release back to the water. Be informed of how to care for fish in the warmer months as this is very critical to the survival in live-wells. Bass that are caught deep in the mouth that may bleed can increase its survival rate by pouring sprite or 7up on the injured area that will stop the bleeding. Rejuvenade is also a good additive to your live-wells. I have had many years of success with these procedures and very rarely lose a fish. Reach out if you have questions.

Striped Bass
Look for stripers to start to school from mid to lower lake as they follow schools of baitfish around. They can be found in the mouths of larger pockets and larger tributaries around standing timber in early morning as they work out to the main channel. Depths of 20-40’ should be a good location to look for schools along with baitfish presence. Bait rods in the 25’ depth should produce bites in any of these areas. Look for bait to start gathering on the surface this month. Occasional schools may be seen feeding on the surface this time of year around shoals and or islands on cloudy or rainy days. As we still have warm water temps please use caution, releasing stripers quickly as stress under the warm conditions can be fatal to stripers. Practice your 2 fish limit per person to avoid releasing fish that could possibly die due to heat stress.

Sept crappie fishing tends to slow a little but they will start to move towards their fall locations before long but can still be found in brushpiles and trees located in 15-25’ of water. Small jigs and minnows will always be the baits of choice

Tournaments September
Basscast Sept 24th crazyhorse marina 7-3
Region 4 Sept 10th SML state park

Special Thanks to Brian Carter at the