Among the perks of living or vacationing at Smith Mountain Lake is one that fishing enthusiasts can get very excited about. SML is one of the best striper bass fisheries on the east coast. Its striper bass habitat is so good, in fact, that ESPN Bassmasters has made it a regular lake in their competitive tours, stopping in almost every spring for the past several years. Ask any fishing guide around here and they’ll tell you that the bass fishing is good, but the striper bass is really the highlight.
The lake has proven its capability to produce quality and quantity in striped bass but some biology experts think there’s even more potential where SML’s prime fishing is concerned. A recent article in the Roanoke Times details one biologist’s aim at changing regulations to encourage bass to grow bigger than the average 20-26 inches, which would return the habitat to previous glory days when it was producing much larger, record-breaking stripers before a crack-down in 2003.
The fishing scene at Smith Mountain Lake is vibrant, healthy and well attended to by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Their constant efforts to protect and enhance the wildlife habitats and gaming capacity has produced results, and given SML yet another reason to boast in its benefits.