Fishing is a favorite pastime of Smith Mountain Lake locals and visitors year-round, but spring is the beginning of serious angling season. Avid SML fishermen are drawn to the lake’s challenging waters to catch perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, carp and one fish species in particular - the striper bass. Smith Mountain Lake is known for its plentiful striper bass population, a fish breed difficult to support and sustain in many freshwater lakes. In fact, fishing enthusiasts considering a guided fishing expedition will notice most of the fishing experts here emphasize finding and catching stripers.
In addition to being an excellent striper bass fishery, Smith Mountain Lake boasts great smallmouth and largemouth bass. Varying in depths and large in overall size, Smith Mountain Lake offers a range of fishing locations. Its manmade origin gives fish the kind of habitats they thrive on including flooded buildings and deep holes. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries works to prioritize SML’s fishing scene, ensuring fishermen can count on it being a great place to drop a line every year.