While Smith Mountain Lake is well-known among fisher-folk for its population of
striped bass (stripers), catfish, and large and small mouth bass, catching them can be a challenge for those not familiar with the lake or familiar with the techniques and baits that are working any given week.
So newcomers to the angling scene here do well to enlist the services of an expert
fishing guide to show them the ropes and ensure a satisfying outing.
Connecting with a knowledgeable, experienced guide is easy. The SML Regional Chamber of Commerce lists Chamber Member guides in the fishing section of Visitor Guide. You can request a by-mail copy at www.visitsmithmountainlake.com or check page 18 of the publication on-line. Laker Media also publishes an annual “Laker Guide” to Smith Mountain Lake which offers a full page listing of guide services plus extensive listings of marinas, lodging, dinning and other water sports options. Copies are available in red racks positioned at many area retail shops and restaurants. You can also find the listing in the free May/June issue of Laker Magazine, in racks those months or digitally throughout the year at www.smithmountainlake.com.
SML’s guides typically fish several times a week and network with one another, so
they’ll be up on where the fish are biting. Rates are typically $100/pp for a half day
excursion and $200 for a full day, but may vary with captain and number in your party. Rates include top notch equipment and bait appropriate to whatever fish you hope to catch. On a good day with a guide, you might reel in a trophy striper, bass or catfish; on an average day, catching your limit of hard-fighting, good-eating fish is likely. Regardless of the catch, you’ll enjoy being on the water amid SML’s picturesque shorelines and quiet coves…and learn tips for fishing SML from a real pro!
Captains will expect their guests to have a Virginia fishing license, available
locally or on line at VDGIF.virginia.gov/fishing. Resident children under 16 and non-
residents under 12 may fish without a license.