Seasonal movements of Smith Mountain Lake Striped Bass Dec 13, 2019 17:04:06 GMT
Post by Ghost Comanche©® on Dec 13, 2019 17:04:06 GMT
Seasonal movements of Smith Mountain Lake Striped Bass
by Virginia Striper
Early spring action starts around late February, as water warming above 45 degrees draws bait and stripers to the shallows. Most fish are found above Markers R22 and B12; prime spots include Indian, Beaverdam and Gills Creeks and Three Quarters Point. Focus on prominent points. At dawn/dusk, cast a 1/4 ounce feather jig or topwater plug in 5-to-10-foot depths; during daytime, locate schools of stripers and camp over them with live shad.
By mid-April some pre-spawn stripers are converging on the major spawning site in Cedar Keys. At dawn/dusk and especially at night, hit shoreline points from Marker R2 to Cedar Keys with bucktail jigs, Rat-L-Traps or other mid/deep running crankbait lures. Spawing usually peaks on the full moon in May.
From late May through July, alewife/shad swarm to the banks at night to spawn, and the stripers follow. Work major points in the lower part of both river-arms (Marker R12 to around to Marker B10). Waking a "Redfin" or "Rapala Vampire" on topwater can be devastating. Stripers can also be caught on "Zoom Super Flukes" fished shallow or mid depth. Surface "breaks" can pop-up anytime/anywhere, but particularily at dawn between Vista Point and the Dam. Move in quietly and cast a bucktail jig, Sassy Shad, Fluke or other topwater crankbaits..
Striped bass spread up both river arms in August and September, to the "S-Curve" sections (Markers R12 to R22 and B-10 to B-22. Key areas include the Islands at B-13 and lower Walton Creek. Baitfish suspend near the top of the thermocline (20 to 30 feet deep) for much of the day, often near standing timber. Locate bait/stripers and troll flutter spoons like Sutton 88's from downriggers. If you prefer casting, go with 1/4 or 3/8 ounce feather jigs or bucktails.
From mid-October to mid-December, large schools of bait and hungry stripers move to the upper parts of the river arms (above MarkersR-36 and B26) and feeder creeks like Beaverdam, Indian and Standiford. At dawn, dusk, and at night, beat the banks with a Redfin, flukes or bucktail jig. In daytime, use live shad in 10 to 25 feet of water.
During the coldest weather of January/February, the stripers drop to 30-50 foot depths on major points, humps, and around submerged timber, especially in the "S-Curves" section and main creeks like Gills, Bull Run, and Craddock. Vertical jig a 3/4 ounce Hopkins "Shorty" spoon or Zoom Super Fluke, or cast/countdown a 3/8 ounce feather jig or bucktail jig.