Striper fishing bait tips

Smith Mountain Lake contains the 3 most popular live baits for Striper Fishing:

Smith Mountain Lake Striper Fishing Gizzard ShadGizzard Shad
Smith Mountain Lake Striper Fishing Threadfin ShadThreadfin Shad
Smith Mountain Lake Striper Fishing AlwifeAlewife

A durable cast net is a must for catching your own live bait

Using Gizzard shad on Smith Mountain Lake in the March-April Timeframe can produce large Smith Mountain Lake Stripers. A large Gizzard shad post spawn (Late May) can be ticket for prime-time Striper Fishing after the Spawning period.

The Smith Mountain Lake striper prefers the Alewife bait fish in the heated months of summer on Smith Mountain Lake. The alewife baitfish tends to come to a dock light; marina light; or just about any light at night (after 9pm or early in the morning before 5am). Just because you do not see them doesn’t mean they’re not there!

There are 3 good ways to find bait fish here on Smith Mountain Lake:

  • Under a dock light at night can be the most effective
  • Seen on you depth finder as a Bait Ball
  • Bait that flips on the surface and then cast into them. Look in the shallow flats and the back of coves for flipping bait

Remember to let your cast net sink to the bottom before retrieving it most of the time the bait fish are on the bottom!

  • 3/8 Mesh net is recommended for Alewife /Threadfin Bait Fish
  • 5/8 Mesh net (at least 1.5 Lbs/Ft) is recommended for Gizzard Shad

There are 100 ways to hook a Smith Mountain Lake baitfish we prefer to hook all bait fish trough both Nostrils see Bait Rigging.

Tight Lines and Screaming Reels
Capt’ Travis