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Smith Mountain Lake Report

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I went to Smith Mountain Lake on Friday, March 29. The week prior I was there fishing the VA college championship and personally had a terrible day of fishing. My co-angler and I netted 3 fish for 10.5 pounds. This is mostly thanks to my partner capitalizing on good fish. Myself, on the other hand, could not land a fish to save my life. I had a 5lb Smallie, an absolute stud, come off right at the net. It bent the hooks out of my Vision 110 and even snapped one of the hooks on the front treble clean off. I horsed the fish towards the boat instead of playing it out(stupid). It was pretty devastating and set the mood for the rest of the day. We shoulda, coulda, woulda, cashed a check that day if we executed clean. Hindsight is 20/20.

  The rest of the week I was pretty ticked with myself as I went to work and classes. I decided to head back out to SML the following weekend to clean up my mistakes, and what a beautiful day it turned out to be.

 

It didn’t take long to get a bite. At first I threw a 110 in the middle of the backs of main lake pockets and picked off a 4 pounder who absolutely crushed it. I made my way further in to the pocket and threw a jig on the backside of a dock in the shade line, and crack, it took the jig under the dock. this one weighed just under 3lbs. I was feeling myself with the 7lbs of fish racked up in 15 minutes, lol.

 

There was a brief pause in action for 30 minutes or so. I made my way around to the next main lake pocket working the Vision 110 and got bit on the back side of the point leading in. This one was a chunky two pounder. After working the next few pockets and not getting bit I found something that looked similar on the graph and changed locations.

 

Next set of pockets had more chunk rock and set up well for cranking. I Cranked all the way back to the first pocket and saw two bass 3lbs or so cruising the bank. They weren’t interested in anything and eventually swam off in to the depths. As I worked my way out of the pocket cranking my bait got crushed, I thought it was a striper, “no way this is a bass” I kept saying out loud. One flash of green near the surface and I had a “oh ****” moment. After a solid two minutes of peeling drag and me free spooling the line I eventually landed the beast weighing just under 6.5lbs.

 

At this point I was thinking this is gonna be a really special day, I kept cranking around the same area and produced nothing. I picked up a 8 inch swim-bait and on my 3rd cast I got whacked, set the hook reeled down hard as my line swam right and then… nothing. “Man, f***me” I said out loud. I wasn’t mad like I typically would be though, because I knew at any point another giant could bite. They were chewing.

 

My fifth fish came doing something completely different. Same type of area, but different strategy. I found a dock in the back of a pocket with four different buck bass. All of them sitting really high on the dock pilings. I skipped a little swim-bait under the dock gave it a few reels and about a two pounder hit it. I managed to fish cleanly in those five hours of fishing I had, besides the random big swim-bait fish that popped off almost as soon as it hit the bait. I had approximately 18.5 lbs. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely felt really good but it still stung that I couldn’t fish cleanly a week before.

 

I’ll be back on SML this weekend and give another update, but right now the jerk bait and crank bait bite is on fire. If it’s warm enough, you should be able to catch a few decent bucks off docks in the backs of calm pockets. I believe this time of year bait choice is less important, location is everything, as you read above I caught fish on three different baits but all in the same type of areas. I also found that where there is one fish there is a bunch more around the same area right now.             

 

 

Color of baits: Jig Green pumpkin Watermelon trailer.

 

Jerkbait: Vision 110 in the trout pattern.  I don’t think SML bass eat trout for what I know but this just shows that super specifics don’t always matter as long as it looks close enough to the real thing when they’re feeding.

 

Crank bait- craw pattern in the dirtier stuff, and ghost shad pattern in the clear stuff.

 

Hope this helps!   

bass resource sml.jpg

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Well done! I had a trip to SML last year about this time and we really didn't get the measure of them. Presumably you were fishing down lake in the clearer water? We spent nearly all our time up lake more.

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17 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

Well done! I had a trip to SML last year about this time and we really didn't get the measure of them. Presumably you were fishing down lake in the clearer water? We spent nearly all our time up lake more.

Yes I was fishing Mid Lake and Down Lake areas 

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