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Smith Mountain Lake

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I've already done a search and didn't find a lot of information other than the fact that the lake is big, can be heavily fished and can be good fishing or tough fishing, depending on conditions.  OK, here's why I ask.  I have a brother who lived for a number of years in West Virginia who's considering retiring to West Virginia and he's inquired as to whether I'd have interest in purchasing some land near Smith Mountain Lake, I presume to be used as a camp or hunting land.  I'm also going to be retiring, probably between 1 year from now and 8 years from now (I know it's a wide swing but it really does depend on a few factors), and I had already been considering the purchase of a lake home on SML. 


Aside from general thoughts about the quality of the fishing, I'm also interested in the area, tax burden, real estate for lakefront homes or homes near the lake and marinas, the qualities of the area in general for a guy who loves to fish but also likes his privacy, etc..  I'd greatly appreciate any and all thoughts from you folks who may live in the area or who use the area frequently.  I'd also be interested if there are other "secret" spots that would be more to my liking as a quiet, retirement home.


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Gang, SML seems to be the "hot spot" for Richmonders to relocate when they retire and to invest in property for future retirement.


Lake is very big with way too many places to fish to give you any input.  In addition, when you fish SML one usually has their honey holes or fishes within a smaller area as opposed to running up and down the lake. And you can throw anything you want on any presentation and do well.


Not easy getting to SML. And once you get there is not much to do. Ladies can do a little shopping and the guys can fish or go hunting/camping.


If you want to return to civilization you can venture down to Roanoke.  All other destinations from SML are far away.


As for the bass fishing, it can be outstanding. Then again, it can be tough.  Just like any body of water.


You probably have a GMCO map of SML so you know how big it is. You will need a nice size bass boat or other watercraft to maneuver around the lake. And gasoline prices are not low in the area so check out the gasoline prices inland and on the water.


As for hunting, since I don't hunt anymore I can't help you on that topic.


With so many people moving to SML land prices will be on the upswing so make your move, soon.


Good luck and repost letting us know what you did.

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I think you should definitely go down and spend a weekend there.  I was intrigued about the lake, location, etc enough to put it in the mix for retirement destinations.  We went down earlier this year and spent a weekend there after having driven through months earlier.  We spent one day on the lake and a day and half driving around, talking to locals, playing tourist, etc.  We both knew by the time we left that we had little desire to live there.  Pretty hard to put my finger on why --- and a weekend may not be a fair shake....but we've got a lot of other places on the list to cross off yet before we return.  It is a strange combination of isolation and mayhem --- nothing around, and dead in the offseason.  Totally nuts on the water on a summer weekend.  Home prices seemed good when compared to here in DC; but still, waterfront was more than I expected considering how many miles of waterfront there are and how isolated it is. 

    So....I guess none of that means much except that you need to check it out for yourself before committing, even in your mind a little, to putting a stake in the ground. 


    I, too, am all ears for those 'secret' spots.  I've 'narrowed' my search to VA, NC, TN, KY, and...maybe even AR, or MO....:)  I've got a lot of lakes to check out over the next few years.

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Thanks for the info guys, it was precisely the type of first hand information that I was interested in.  Typically, I don't mind the hard to get to, nothing going on spots but I'm not a huge fan of the crazy weekend crowds, though I suppose the winter months where you have the place to yourself probably balance it out well enough.  I'll try to get down this year and see what I think.

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