Captain Dale Wilson's
Smith Mountain Lake Guide Service

Fishing Report

January Fishing Report


    OVERVIEW:   Fishing should be good the next several weeks. Water temperature will be in the 40’s. A good “New Years” resolution will be to take a young person fishing! Stripers & largemouth bass will be the best species to fish for this month.

    Largemouth Bass - Fishing will be fair. Best lures will be Alabama rigs, football head jigs, drop shot rigs, spinner baits, spoons and jerk baits. Most largemouth bass will be caught on deep rocky points, creek channel banks, deep brush piles and deep docks. Best depths will be from 10 to 40 feet deep. Most largemouth bass will start to feed more on crawfish. Rocks are a key factor to finding bass this month. Slow your retrieve as the water temps drop.  

    Smallmouth Bass - Fishing should be fair. Best areas will be rocks, humps, ledges and deep main channel points. Best lures will be jig & pig, jerk baits, hair jigs and floating-fly-rigs. Best areas will be in the mid to the lower sections of the lake. Most smallmouth bass will be suspended on or around ledges this month. Cloudy days with light winds are good times to try your luck! Light line and smaller lures will increase your chances to catch smallmouth bass.

    Striped Bass - Fishing will be good. Stripers will be caught in the mid to upper sections of the lake

    and the larger creeks. Best lures will be jerk baits, Alabama rigs, swim baits, and Zoom flukes fished on 1/2 to 3/4 oz. lead heads. The best depths will be from near the surface to 50+ feet deep. Try to find areas with the largest concentrations of baitfish. Vertical jigging with 3/4 oz. Hopkins spoons will work this month. Find the seagulls and you will usually find feeding stripers. Live bait will also work this month.

    Crappie - Fishing for crappie will be fair this month. They will be found 10 to 25 feet deep. Best areas will be in the main creeks around docks, fallen trees, 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.

         Tips of the Month: Dress in layers during the cold months. Use chemical hand warmers to keep your hands warm. It a good idea to always fish with a partner during the cold months. Make sure you wear your life jacket during the winter. You can never be too careful when boating. Remember to be courteous and obey all the boating laws. Please practice catch and release. Take a kid fishing!

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