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Zippyduck Krimm

Forage In Smith Mountain

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I am going to SML in April for the first time and I am having trouble finding much info on th lake. I want to know what kind of forage and is there any shallow weeds or all wood and rock?

Any info would be greatly appreciated as I only have two days to fish.

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Zippy, you name it and SML has it.

From humps to tire fields to docks to rocks to marinas to bridges to grass to creeks to coves to a dam...you name it and SML has it.

So what to throw in April?

With the water temperature probably in the 50's I would suggest:

1.  Jerkbait

2.  Carolina Rig

3.  Drop Shot

4.  Lipless Crankbait

5.  Spinnerbait

6.  Senkos - Wacky

7.  Shaky Head

8.  Topwaters

9.  Squarebill Crankbaits

Now, what will work for the two days you are on the water is up to you to find out and set the pattern.

The bass will be waking up from their winter nap and getting ready for the spawn. But it will be too early for them to start making their beds and in some areas too cold to start their spawn migration.

But with a lake so big and with so many targets you have so many options to consider.

And if the winter is not as bad as predicted they may be starting their spawn migration in April.

If you are going with a guide he will put you on the fish.

If you are going by yourself please get the GMCO  map of SML and note your launch site and places that look like they would hold the bass.

As for forage, the lake is loaded with all kinds of food from crawfish to bream to bluegills to shad.

Red lipless crankbaits and your Carolina Rig may be very productive.

Shad colored squarebills can also produce strikes.

Pitching and flipping your plastics may be the key.

Try Goggling Smith Mountain Lake and see if any fishing sites pop up.

Good luck and be safe.

And remember, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is looking for your safe boaters' certificate, your PFD for everyone on the boat and at least one throw cushion in the open on the deck or by your feet. Those throw cushions have made a lot of money for local counties in Virginia this past year.

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And to answer your query about the grass and weeds, they may not be starting to replenish themselves in April so if you do see any weeds or grass they may be dead or just starting to grow.

But you will find all sorts of things to attack so don't be concerned about the grass and weeds in April on SML.

Just be sure you have fresh line and a nice net.

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thanks guys

I was planning on using swimbaits and c-rigs on points and wacky rigs, dropshots and t-rigged lizards around cover.

We will be staying on long point way up the roanoke river is there good fishig near there or should we rundown the lake?

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Zippy, it looks like it only me.

You do not have to go far or run all over the lake.

Pick a five-mile radius and go from there.
Remember, if  you do not have the GMCO map of SML you will be lost.

And be sure that your tracking line is on for your GPS/Sonar unit so you can get back to the launch site.

One can get lost on SML if you are not familiar with the body of water.

Swimbaits will work. The plastic ones can be very productive.

Just remember, the water temperature will be in the 60's, if not the high 50's, depending on the snow and ice melt-off so be ready to fish cold water.

Get that GMCO map and start studying it.


Good luck and let us know how you do.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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I would suggest you fish the Craddock Creek area that time of year and concentrate your efforts just in that creek or within 5 miles of there. The smallmouth will be active (typically) and that end of the lake is their home. They don't like the dirty water in the rivers.

A 5# smallmouth is FUN to catch.


A 3/16 to 3/8 oz chartreuse tandem spinnerbait with chartreuse blades will get your wrist/arm tested with how hard they hit. 

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Totally agree with Wayne about the smallies up river in April.

I do continue to suggest getting a map of the lake and studying it before you venture out.

Have fun and be sure to let us know how you do.

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my navigation on the boat will get me anywhere and back. I fish Lake Erie and two big river impoundments like SML and have never been lost. When I say I fish erie I mean 13 miles out where you can't see the shore.

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