December 2023 Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report By Captain Chad Green


By: Captain Chad Green

December is here and the winter fishing is here as the water cools all the fish will start to get in there winter groups and ready to feed. 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.

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Largemouth Bass/Smallmouth Bass
The bass will start their transition this month in to their winter patterns. Look for fish to be in many depth ranges and a variety of lures will be needed with changing weather. Target rocky areas, flat points shallow drop offs. Primary baits in the winter are usually crawfish imitating lures and will produce the most bites. Shakey Heads, Drop shots, ned rigs and Jigs will produce fish anywhere from 5 to 25ft in the winter. Jerkbaits, Swimbaits, A rigs, Crankbaits will also be a player in December. This is a great opportunity to catch some trophy fish. Smallmouth will still be found near humps, shoals and rocky areas using the same lures. Windy, Rainy, or Overcast days are the best in the Winter, if its Sunny you will have to stick with slow moving baits unless you have wind. Target rocky areas with a variety of baits in winter until you find the location and presentation needed for that day. The next day be prepared for it to be a little different.

Striped Bass
Striper fishing will be good this month and look for them in larger schools as they feed in the fall. They will travel in smaller schools searching for feeding opportunities. This jigging in the 30-50ft range will produce fish throughout the day as well and larger fish will show up this month as well at times and may be in smaller schools. The mid to upper end of the lake is where most of the action will be this month. Some fish have been found on the surface feeding early mornings and late evenings on the upper ends of the lake and can be fast and furious action. Look for fish in the mouths of the larger tributaries and large bays this month. Larger topwater plugs can be productive.

Most of the Crappie have been in the 15-25 foot range. The crappie fishing will heat up this month as the water cools