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If you’re looking for good old-fashioned fun the whole family can enjoy together, cast your line in the waters of Smith Mountain Lake, one of the top fishing destinations in the Mid-Atlantic.


We're the Reel Deal

Anglers of all ages and abilities can reel in a variety of species, including muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, sunfish, crappie and our prized catch, striped bass. Experienced local guides are ready to hook you up with half-day or full-day excursions with equipment provided.

To fish at Smith Mountain Lake, you will need a valid Virginia fishing license, available at local marinas, tackle shops and other retail stores. They’re also available online through the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources at

You may also fish from the shore and piers at several public locations (no license necessary), including Smith Mountain Lake State Park (Bedford County) and SML Community Park (Franklin County).

Related: Smith Mountain Lake Fishing blog post

Tournament Fishing

Fishing isn't just a casual weekend pursuit at Smith Mountain Lake. Our waters are a magnet for competitive amateurs and seasoned professionals.

It's not uncommon to see fishing boats gathered at local marinas in the early hours of the morning ready to depart in search of award-winning catches. In addition to largemouth and smallmouth bass, SML is the premier striped bass fishery in the state, and many consider it to be among the best on the East Coast.

A number of national fishing tournaments have taken place at Smith Mountain Lake, including those affiliated with LW Outdoors, ESPN Bassmasters Elite, and B.A.S.S. Federation of Virginia. In addition, high school and college tournaments have become increasingly popular here.

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