SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE FISHING REPORT
January 2020
DALE WILSON’S
SML GUIDE SERVICE
PHONE NO: 540-297-5650 / 540-874-4950
www.captaindalewilson.us

Picture: Dave Owens with a huge Smith Mtn .Lake winter stripe bass.

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OVERVIEW: Happy New Year & good fishing! Fishing will be good the next several weeks. Water temperature has fallen. Most species of fish will stay active if the water temperature remains stable. Look for striper fishing to continue to improve! Water temperature will be in the 40’s. The bait fish are shallow in the back of the creeks and deep in the main channel.

Largemouth Bass- Fishing will be fair this month. Best lures will be drop shot rigs, crank baits, shaky heads, spoons, spinner baits, Carolina rigs and Ned rigs. Most largemouth bass will be caught on points, rock piles, brush piles and deep docks. Best depths will be from the 2 to 40 feet deep. Bass will be caught both deep and shallow. Structure close to deep water & ledges are key factors to finding bass this month. Please practice catch and release.

Smallmouth Bass- Fishing for smallmouth is usually great this month for big fish. Best areas will be rocks, ledges, humps and main channel points. Best lures will be floating fly rigs, Ned rigs, hair jigs, drop shot rigs, crank baits, jerk baits and Carolina rigs. Best areas will be in the mid to the lower sections of the lake. Small mouth bass will feed on crawfish & shad this month. Cloudy days are good times to try your luck! Light line will increase your chances to catch smallmouth bass. Night fishing will be fair.

Striped Bass- Fishing will be good. Stripers will be caught in the mid to lower sections of the lake and in
the larger creeks. Best lures will be swim baits, jigging spoons and Zoom flukes fished on 12 to 3/4 oz. lead heads. The best depths will be from near the surface to 50 feet deep. Vertical jigging is a good method to catch stripers this month. Try to find areas with the largest concentrations of baitfish. Fishing at night will be fair this month. Some stripers will surface early morning and late afternoon this month. Live bait fished on planner boards and down lines are also good methods this month.

Crappie- Fishing for crappie will be fair this month. They will be found 10 to 20 feet deep. 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 1 ½ to 2 inch tubes or shad shaped plastic lures fished on 1/16 to 1/8 oz. lead heads will work best to catch crappie this month.

TIP OF THE Month: Fishing will be fair this month! Slow your retrieve during the cold months. Fishing on cloudy days and at night is usually the best time to fish. Make sure you wear your life jacket and never fish alone at night or during the winter! Make sure your running lights are on after dark! You can never be too careful when boating. Remember to please practice catch and release! PLEASE TAKE A KID FISHING!

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