February Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report by Captain Chad Green


By: Captain Chad Green

February fishing is getting hot even though its still cold. The Bass and Striper fishing has been great the last few weeks as the days are getting longer and the baitfish have finally showed themselves. They still tend to be fairly deep but will come shallow during the day. Water temps ranging 42-47 degrees depending on where you are. Use caution when boating this time year. Tell someone when you plan to be back or fish with a friend. Keep blankets in your boat in case you were to fall in. Wear your life preserver. Stay safe and watch for floating debree as well.

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Special Thanks to Brian Carter at the https://thebasscast.com/
Check out Smith Mountain Boat and Tackle Penhook for your boating needs


Largemouth Bass/Smallmouth Bass
The bigger bass have started to show themselves again the last few weeks. The bass are anywhere from 5-30 ft range. Baits that will be producers this month are Jerkbaits, a rigs, crank baits, jigs, swimbaits and plastics. Some bass are relating just to baitfish and moving constantly throughout the day. Other groups of fish may stay fairly dormant and hug the bottom out of sight. The bass have been aggressive at times when feeding during peak times. Pick your bait of choice and search until you find them. This is a great month to catch a trophy bass that resides in Smith Mountain. I would expect to see some 8lb fish and possibly bigger caught this month. The recent rains have produced some cold runoff in the lake and looks to be some threadfin shad to be stunned in some places as I have seen the random diving seagulls. The threadfins can’t survive cold water and they get stunned or can die off in winter due to water temps being lower. This does help with the gizzard shad population in return. Practice catch and release all you can.

Striped Bass
Striper fishing has been great lately with a lot of fish cruising around in different size schools looking for baitfish. They can be a little finicky to catch and you may need to alter you approach to areas and use smaller baits or lighter line to get bites. The night bite has been great as well. Most of the fish are from Indian point to Beaverdam area and mostly near the main lake or mouth of tribuataries and large pockets. WInd blown banks can be very productive too and may produce a citation size fish. The bigger stripers tend to be roamers and travel in smaller numbers. Target main points with deep water near by would be your best bet for larger fish. Jerkbaits or fluke, swimbait type lures are great ways to catch these bigger fish. There are some fish over 20 lbs to be caught as I have done so myself this year. Practice catch and release for those trophy fish over 40 inches. Reminder that we are in a slot limit 30-40 inches. You can keep 2 fish per person under that slot limit. Docks are holding stripers as well and can be a great place to catch some larger stripers. Once you hook one under a dock you better put a lot of pressure on him to get the fish started out as once the fish figures out he’s hooked your chances of landing the fish greatly decrease as they will wrap your line up.

Most of the Crappie have been in the 15-25 foot range. The crappie fishing has been a lot better the last month or so. There are plenty of crappie to be found. Small Jigs and Minnows will be baits of choice.

SML winter trail- water wheel free ramp every saturday 8-4
Feb 17th Fishers of Men state park
Feb 18th Catt trail state park
Feb 25th Rick Tilley fundraiser state park
Bass Federation Feb 24th state park.