Smith Mountain Lake December 2022

by Chris McCotter

Smith Mountain Lake level was 794.59’ and rising slightly by the middle of November. This is slightly higher than at the end of October.  Keep in mind normal pond is 795’ so the lake was in very good shape at the start of winter.

    Water temperature was 50-55 degrees on the surface from mid to down lake by the mid-November W2 deadline. Expect the lake level to rise slightly in December and watch the water temperature begin to drop into the upper 40s by the end of the month. 

  December on Smith Mountain is normally a month where this deep, clear lake offers excellent fishing for striper while fishing for smallmouth, largemouth and crappie slows down a bit but it’s still good at times of peak activity.

      The best lures for green bass will be drop shot rigs, crankbaits, shaky heads, spoons, spinnerbaits, Carolina rigs and plastic worms. 

   Most December largemouth bass will be caught on points, rock piles, brush piles and docks. Best depths will be from the surface to 25 feet deep. Points, rocks, stumps and brush are a key factor to finding bass this month. 

    The lake’s smallmouth bass will hold on rocks, ledges, humps and main channel points. Best lures will be Ned rigs, hair jigs, drop shot rigs, crankbaits and Carolina rigs. Focus efforts on the mid to the lower sections of the lake. 

   Visiting anglers can target striper in the upper section of the lake this month, especially in larger creeks.

   The top striper lures for December on SmithMountain are swimbaits, jigging spoons and ZOOM Flukes fished on 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jigheads. The best depths will be from near the surface to 60 feet deep. Wilson says to  fish areas with the largest concentrations of baitfish. 

   Fishing for crappie will be good on SML this month. They will be found 10 to 25 feet deep. Best areas will be in the main creeks around docks, fallen trees, stumps 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 1/32 to 1/16 oz. lead heads will work best. 

    Spike and Kathy Francescini operate Spike’s Prime Time Fishin’, one of the longest continuously operated guide services in Virginia.     

   They note striper have moved up the rivers and into the creeks and were breaking on the surface and feeeding down to 30 feet deep. The fall fishing season has been very good with double digit stripers and largemouth up to nine pounds. 

    This month you can fish planers with no weight for those fish on top.  You can also fish planers with 5/8 split shot 10 feet deeper than you see the fish.  You can also fish down rods with 2 oz. sinkers exactly where you see the fish. Fish are biting both small and large bait.  Remember, you can now keep two fish per day under 30 inches or over 40 inches.  

   Give them a call if you want to trying fishing the lake this coming season. Spike and Kathy are heading out west until April and thank all their 2022 customers for a great year!

   Hidden Gem Trout fishing in nearby Blue Ridge has plenty of trout in their private stretch of stream if you prefer fly fishing. Call to make your appointment now.

Not only do the Franceschini’s offer guided fishing trips but they also rent lodging they own at the lake. Kathy’s Place, 3 br/2b, sleeps eight with game room.  The other rental is is a 2 br/1 bath, sleeps four with kitchen in the great room.  Both have flat screen tvs and wifi and fully equipped kitchens. Guests enjoy use of the  docks and also water, electric, cleaning stand and room to park boats. You also get use of a golf car with each rental to use to and from the docks.  The listing #s are 218590 and 282712 on VRBO.

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