Smith Mountain Lake: Stripers: Fish are well into they're summer patterns. Scouting with your sonar before fishing will increase your success on catching. Look for schools or scattered active fish. Once found, downlines and light weighted flatlines baited with alewives behind the boat are producing. When dropping downlines, a line counter reel really comes in handy and several models are available for all budgets. Generally I like to stop my bait 5 ft. above the fish I am marking. But don't be afraid also to drop a bait into the middle of a passing school... look for stripers to be in the mouth of creeks and large coves in the mid to lower sections of the rivers.
Artificial: It's jigging time and we've had some really successful trips. It's hard to beat a fluke on a 1/2 to 3/4 jig head this time of the year. Same principle as mentioned above when dropping baits as to dropping a jig. When fish. are located on the bottom, I like to jig just over the bottom to where my jig barely will tick the bottom on the bottom end of a fall... As for colors, I always prefer to go with natural colors.
Catfish: Action remains good for both flatheads and channels. Cut and live bait fished in shallower depths will work. Raw shrimp is also an excellent bait for channel cats. Look for points and shallow flats with baitfish present as well...let's remember to release catfish over 10 lbs. for our lakes' future.
Smith Mountain Lake: Lt. Burnette of SML Bass Masters reports on bass. Bass fishing continues to be a mixed bag of success as the dog days of summer hang around. Drop shots and football jigs in deeper water around rocky main lake points and deeper docks have been catching a few bass. Top water for schooling bass will also be effective if there are shad in the area. Making long casts will help keep from spooking the fish and will result in more bites for you. The night bite has been the most reliable time of day to catch fish. Big worms such as Zoom Ol Monsters in brushpiles and deep rock is a tried and true technique this time of year. Rig the worm either Texas or Carolina style and drag it slowly around the rock and brush. There are also fish shallow and shaky heads and drop shots can catch these fish as well. Good luck!!