Bobby Wells from Bedford

Bobby Wells from Bedford caught this striper while fishing at Smith Mountain Lake recently.

Bass fishing, as well as fishing overall, has been good for the past several weeks. The water temperature will be in the upper 40s, but has been dropping and will continue to make fishing better.

The best times to fish will be early morning, late afternoon and cloudy days. Striper fishing will also continue to be good.

Largemouth bass

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good. Best lures will be jerk baits, jigs, spinner baits, spoons, blade baits and crank baits. Main channel points, brush piles, rocky areas, ledges and deep docks will be the best areas to try. Best depths will be from 6 to 30 feet. Remember to take care of the bass and release them. Bass fishing should continue to be good during the cold months into the spawn. Crawfish are a big part of their diet during the late winter. Baitfish will be constantly on the move as the water temperatures change.

Smallmouth bass

Fishing will be fair. Best areas will be ledges, humps and rocky points. Best lures will be tubes, jig and pig, hair jigs, drop shots, blade baits, floating-fly-rigs and medium running crank baits. Best areas will be in the mid- to the lower sections of the lake. Cloudy days with light wind are good times to try. Look for areas with rocks and ledges close to deep water. Look for isolated rock piles near deep water. Smallmouth bass feed heavily on crawfish this time of year. They will also suspend around schools of baitfish.

Striped bass

Fishing will continue to improve this month. Stripers will be caught in all sections of the lake and in the large creeks. Best lures will be swim baits, buck tails, spoons, Alabama rigs and Zoom flukes fished on 1/4- to 3/4-ounce lead heads. The best times to fish are cloudy days, early mornings and late afternoons. Night fishing will be fair. The best depths will be from the surface to 40 feet. Live bait fished on down lines and planer boards will work well. This is also a good month to troll as the stripers can be shallow. The stripers will be constantly on the move. Look for large schools of stripers with electronics. Some schools will surface this month. The seagulls will help locate feeding stripers.


Fishing for crappie will be fair this month. The best depths will be 10 to 20 feet. Crappie will be found around deep docks, brush piles and fallen trees. Docks with brush piles are usually good areas to find crappie. Small live minnows and 1½- to 2-inch tubes or shad-shaped plastic lures fished on 1/16- to 1/8-ounce lead heads will work best to catch crappie this month. Best areas are the main creeks and the upper sections of both rivers.

Tips of the month

The blue back herring has changed the feeding habits of the stripers and the largemouth bass. They stay suspended and deeper.

Fishing will improve as the water temperature changes.

Wear a life jacket and never fish alone at night or cold winter days. Keep running lights on after dark. Remember to practice catch and release and take a kid fishing.