February 2021 Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Report by Captain Dale Wilson


February 2021
PHONE NO: 540-297-5650 / 540-874-4950

Captain Dale with 2 nice winter stripers!

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February is a fan-fishing-tastic month for fishing. Most species of fish will start to feed heavily in preparation for the spawn. As the water temperature rises, it makes a good time to catch a large fish. Water temperature will be in the 40s to low 50s.
Bass and striper fishing will continue to improve.

Largemouth bass
Fishing for largemouth bass has been fair. Best lures will be jerk baits, jigs, spinner baits, spoons, blade baits and crank baits. Main channel points, brush piles, rocky areas, ledges and deep docks will be the best areas to try your luck. Best depths will be from 2 to 25 feet. Remember to take care of the bass and release them. Bass fishing will continue to be good in the weeks leading into the spawn. Crawfish are a big part of their diet during the late winter. Baitfish will be constantly on the move as the water temperature changes.

Smallmouth bass
February is a good month to catch a large smallmouth bass. Best areas will be ledges, humps and rocky points. Best lures will be tubes, jig and pig, hair jigs, drop shots, blade baits, floating-fly-rigs, Ned rigs and medium running crank baits. Best areas will be in the mid- to lower sections of the lake. Cloudy days with light wind are good times to try. Look for isolated rock piles near deep water and areas with rocks and ledges close to deep water. Smallmouth bass feed heavily on crawfish this time of year. They will also suspend around schools of baitfish.

Striped bass
As the water warms, fishing will continue to improve this month. Stripers will be caught in the mid- to upper sections of both rivers and in the large creeks. Best lures will be swim baits, buck tails, spoons, Alabama rigs and Zoom flukes fished on 1/4- to 3/4-ounce lead heads. The best times to fish are cloudy days, early mornings and late afternoons. Night fishing will be fair. The best depths will be from the surface to 40 feet. Live bait fished on down lines and planer boards will work well. Stripers can be caught trolling this month. The stripers will constantly be on the move. Look for large schools of stripers with electronics. Some schools will surface this month. The seagulls will help locate feeding stripers.

Fishing for crappie will be fair this month. The best depths will be 10 to 20 feet. Crappie will be found around deep docks, brush piles and fallen trees. Docks with brush piles are usually good areas to find crappie. Small live minnows and 1½- to 2-inch tubes or shad-shaped plastic lures fished on 1/16- to 1/8-ounce lead heads will work best to catch crappie this month. Best areas are the main creeks and the upper sections of both rivers.

Tips of the month
The blue back herring has changed the feeding habits of the stripers and the largemouth bass. They stay suspended and deeper than most other types of baitfish. As water temperature increases, baitfish will move toward shallow water.
Wear a life jacket and never fish alone at night or on cold winter days. Keep running lights on after dark. Remember to practice catch and release and take a kid fishing.


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