Smith Mountain Lake Striper Fishing

Of all the things to do at Smith Mountain Lake, fishing is one of the most popular. This lake has earned a reputation as one of the best fisheries in all of Virginia attracting fishing enthusiasts from near and far to cast a line. This 20,600-acre lake is the site of both recreational fishing and fishing competitions. Keep reading to learn more about Smith Mountain Lake striper fishing, including details on where and when to fish, and how to get a license.

Where and When to Fish

kids_fishing_300.jpgWhen it comes to Smith Mountain Lake striper fishing, there are a few things to know in advance. Summer is the most popular time to fish, and it is best to fish early in the morning or even at night to avoid boat traffic. The best Smith Mountain Lake striper fishing can be found in the lower lake areas during both the summer and early fall months. Although striped bass are distributed throughout the lake, the fish tend to be concentrated in the lower lake area. Most striped bass will be found in areas where the water is 10 to 20 feet deep. A local guide will be able to help you find the best places to fish, as striped bass also tend to move depending on water temperature, spawning, and other factors.

Fishing Tips

Over the course of many years, tips have been gathered about successful striped bass fishing at Smith Mountain Lake. For example, it has been found that coves aren't very fruitful when looking for striped bass in the summer months, and it is best to stick to the main areas of the lake. However, the opposite can be true in the spring, fall, and winter months when striped bass can be found in the coves and flowing streams. There are also many theories on the best bait to use. Different types include drifting live bait or trolling plugs.

First Time Visitors

While Smith Mountain Lake attracts serious fishermen and anglers, you might not yet be in that category. If sport fishing for stripers is appealing to you, one of the best ways to get started is to hire a striper fishing guide. Your guide will make all practical arrangements from equipment to the best time and place to fish. Instead of winging it, trusting an experienced guide could make your Smith Mountain Lake fishing excursion even more stellar. Many local tour guides are fully licensed and insured to ensure your safety.

Do You Need a Fishing License?

sebago-lake-fish.jpgSome travelers arrive to fish at Smith Mountain Lake without even asking a basic question: do I need a license? The answer is yes. A Virginia State Fishing License is required before you head out to try your luck at capturing striped bass. It is possible to secure a license online or some local tour guides will assist you in obtaining a license. Do not skip this step in preparation for your trip, as there is strict enforcement of fishing regulations on this popular lake. If you're a serious fishermen, you might be interested in joining one of the local fishing competitions.


If you're planning a fishing excursion to Smith Mountain Lake, you are going to want to investigate Smith Mountain Lake vacation rentals. A lakefront rental is the perfect complement to a getaway to this Virginia lake. After waking early for a day of fishing, you will love the comfort and convenience of returning to a cozy rental at the end of the day. From your own private kitchen to a spacious living room, you will find all the pleasures of home at a rental along Smith Mountain Lake.

Smith Mountain Lake Rentals Near Fishing

2 - 7  Night Minimum Stay
3 BR, 2 BA, 2 HF, Sleeps 6


Book It Now!
2 - 7  Night Minimum Stay
4 BR, 3 BA, Sleeps 9


Book It Now!
2 - 3  Night Minimum Stay
3 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6


Book It Now!
2 - 3  Night Minimum Stay
4 BR, 2 BA, 1 HF, Sleeps 8