SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE FISHING REPORT
January 2022
DALE WILSON’S
SML GUIDE SERVICE
PHONE NO: 540-297-5650 / 540-874-4950
www.captaindalewilson.us 

Chris Wilson from Apex, North Carolina with a nice striper that he caught and released Dec. 31 while fishing with his father, Capt. Dale Wilson

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Happy New Year and good fishing. The water temperature will be in the 40s. Most species of fish will stay active if the water temperature remains higher than 40 degrees. Most baitfish have moved very deep. Look for fish to be around large schools of baitfish.

Largemouth bass
Fishing will be fair. The best lures to use will be football head jigs, jigging spoons, jerk baits, Carolina rigs and Alabama rigs. Most largemouth bass will be caught in deep water on rock piles, brush piles and deep docks. The best depths will be from 15 to 45 feet. Ledges and deep water structures are key factors to finding bass this month. Practice catch and release.

Smallmouth bass
This is a good month to catch a large smallmouth. The best areas will be rocks, ledges, humps and main channel points. The best lures will be floating fly rigs, Ned rigs, hair jigs, drop shot rigs, Alabama rigs, jerk baits and Carolina rigs. The best areas will be in the mid- to the lower sections of the lake. Smallmouth bass will feed mainly on crawfish this month. Cloudy days are the best days to try. Light line will increase chances to catch smallmouth bass.

Striped bass
Striped bass fishing will be fair. Striper can be found in the mid- to upper sections of the lake and in the larger creeks. The best lures will be Alabama rigs, swim baits, jigging spoons and Zoom flukes fished on ½- to ¾-ounce lead heads. The best depths will be from 20 to 60 feet. Vertical jigging is a good method to catch striper this month. Try to find areas with the largest concentrations of baitfish. Diving seagulls will help to locate feeding fish. Live bait fished on planer boards and down lines are also good methods.

Crappie
Fishing will be fair. Crappie can be found in depths from 15 to 25 feet. The best areas will be in the main creeks around docks, fallen trees, stumps and brush piles in the mid- to upper parts of the lake. 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.

Tips of the month
Most fish feed all winter but their metabolism slows down which causes them to feed less often. Slow the retrieve during cold months. Cloudy days are usually the best times to fish. Wear a life jacket and never fish alone 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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