Smith Lake Fishing Report Guide

Smith Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing enthusiasts! Are you ready to explore one of Alabama’s most cherished fishing spots? Let me introduce you to Smith Lake, a beautiful and expansive reservoir located in north-central Alabama. Known for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty, Smith Lake is a top destination for anglers looking to reel in a variety of fish. Whether you’re planning a relaxing day on the water or an action-packed fishing adventure, Smith Lake has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the details and see why this lake should be your next fishing destination!

Smith Lake Fishing Details

Quick Facts about Smith Lake

  • Water Surface: 21,200 acres
  • Shoreline: 500 miles
  • Average Depth: 65 feet
  • Max Depth: 264 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 510 feet
  • Location: Cullman, Walker, and Winston Counties, Alabama
  • Coordinates: 34.0410° N, 87.1642° W
  • Accessibility: Public access points, boat ramps, and marinas
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, picnic areas, fishing piers, campgrounds, and marinas

Smith Lake, also known as Lewis Smith Lake, was created by the construction of the Lewis Smith Dam on the Black Warrior River. This lake is renowned for its deep, clear waters and is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and other water activities. With plenty of recreational facilities and stunning scenery, it’s a great place to spend a day or a whole weekend.

Types of Fish in Smith Lake

Smith Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it a fantastic spot for anglers of all levels. Here’s a closer look at the types of fish you can catch and where you’re likely to find them:

Largemouth Bass

  • Where to Find: Largemouth bass are commonly found near submerged structures such as fallen trees, docks, and vegetation. They’re most active during early morning and late evening.
  • Best Spots: Shallow coves, creek mouths, and near the dam.

Spotted Bass

  • Where to Find: These bass prefer deeper waters and are often found near rocky points and ledges.
  • Best Spots: Main lake points and along the river channels.


  • Where to Find: Crappie usually gather around brush piles, submerged timber, and boat docks. Spring and fall are the best seasons for crappie fishing.
  • Best Spots: Creek channels and coves with submerged structures.

Bluegill and Sunfish

  • Where to Find: These fish are typically found in shallow waters near vegetation and structures.
  • Best Spots: Near docks, weed beds, and the edges of coves.


  • Where to Find: Catfish inhabit the deeper parts of the lake, especially near the bottom. They’re more active at night.
  • Best Spots: Deep channels and the lower end of the lake.

Striped Bass

  • Where to Find: Striped bass are often found in open waters and are known for their aggressive feeding habits.
  • Best Spots: Near the dam and in the main lake channels.

White Bass

  • Where to Find: These fish prefer open water and can often be found in schools.
  • Best Spots: Near the dam and in the main lake channels.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle for Smith Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait, lures, and tackle can make your fishing trip more successful. Here are some recommendations for Smith Lake:

Largemouth and Spotted Bass

  • Baits: Live bait such as shad and minnows.
  • Lures: Plastic worms, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.
  • Tackle: Medium-heavy rods with 12-15 lb test line.


  • Baits: Small minnows and crappie jigs.
  • Lures: Tiny spinners and tube jigs.
  • Tackle: Light to medium rods with 4-8 lb test line.

Bluegill and Sunfish

  • Baits: Worms, crickets, and small insects.
  • Lures: Small spinners and flies.
  • Tackle: Ultralight rods with 2-4 lb test line.


  • Baits: Chicken liver, cut bait, and stink bait.
  • Lures: Not typically used, but dough balls can work.
  • Tackle: Heavy rods with 20+ lb test line.

Striped and White Bass

  • Baits: Live shad and herring.
  • Lures: Jigs and topwater plugs.
  • Tackle: Heavy rods with 15-25 lb test line.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations at Smith Lake Fishing

Knowing where to fish is key to a successful day on the water. Here are some top fishing spots at Smith Lake:

Near the Dam

The area around Lewis Smith Dam is known for its deep waters and abundant striped bass. This spot is great for those looking to catch larger fish.

Creek Channels

The creek channels, particularly around the upper end of the lake, are ideal for crappie and bass. The submerged timber and brush piles provide excellent cover for these fish.

Main Lake Points

These points are prime locations for spotted bass, especially where there are rocky ledges and drop-offs.

Shallow Coves

Shallow coves with plenty of vegetation are perfect for bluegill, sunfish, and largemouth bass. These areas are best fished early in the morning or late in the evening.

Tributary Mouths

The mouths of tributaries, where smaller streams feed into the lake, are hotspots for various fish species, including bass and crappie.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Smith Lake Fishing

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your fishing trip to Smith Lake:

Time of Day

Fish are generally more active during the early morning and late evening. Plan your fishing trips around these times for the best results.

Seasonal Patterns

  • Spring: Fish are more likely to be found in shallow waters as they move to spawn.
  • Summer: Fish tend to move to deeper, cooler waters during the heat of the day.
  • Fall: Fish become more active again as the water cools down.
  • Winter: Fish slow down and stay in deeper waters.

Weather Conditions

Pay attention to the weather. Overcast days can be excellent for fishing as fish are more likely to come to the surface. Windy conditions can also stir up the water and make fish more active.

Use Electronics

Fish finders and GPS units can be incredibly helpful in locating schools of fish and identifying underwater structures.

Stay Quiet

Fish are sensitive to noise. Keep your movements and noise to a minimum to avoid spooking them.

Smith Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are some rave reviews from anglers who’ve experienced the thrill of fishing at Smith Lake:

  1. John D. – “Smith Lake is my go-to fishing spot. The bass fishing here is phenomenal, and the scenery is just beautiful. I always have a great time!”
  2. Mary S. – “I’ve caught some of my biggest crappie at Smith Lake. The lake is well-maintained, and there are plenty of good spots to fish from shore.”
  3. Tom R. – “I love fishing for catfish at Smith Lake. The deep channels near the dam are perfect, and I’ve never been disappointed.”
  4. Lisa M. – “The variety of fish at Smith Lake is impressive. It’s a great place for a family fishing trip, with something for everyone.”
  5. Brian K. – “The amenities around the lake are fantastic. Plenty of boat ramps and picnic areas make it easy to spend the whole day out on the water.”

Top-Rated RV Parks and Campgrounds Near Smith Lake

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Smith Lake, you might want to stay nearby. Here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds:

1. Smith Lake Park

  • Distance to Lake: 0 miles (lakefront)
  • Features: Lakefront sites, boat ramps, picnic areas, and restrooms.
  • Amenities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, and a camp store.

2. Hidden Cove RV Resort

  • Distance to Lake: 5 miles
  • Features: Spacious sites, swimming pool, and clubhouse.
  • Amenities: Full hookups, laundry facilities, and a dog park.

3. Cullman Campground

  • Distance to Lake: 20 miles
  • Features: Shady sites, hiking trails, and a playground.
  • Amenities: Water and electric hookups, restrooms, and showers.

4. Deer Run RV Park

  • Distance to Lake: 10 miles
  • Features: Quiet setting, fishing pond, and walking trails.
  • Amenities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, and a laundry room.

5. Houston Recreation Area

  • Distance to Lake: 15 miles
  • Features: Lake access, picnic areas, and playgrounds.
  • Amenities: Water and electric hookups, restrooms, and showers.

CSmith Lake Fishing Summary

Smith Lake is a fantastic destination for any angler. With its clear waters, diverse fish species, and beautiful surroundings, it offers a truly memorable fishing experience. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or just starting out, Smith Lake has something for everyone. So pack your gear, hit the road, and get ready for some great fishing at this Alabama treasure!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Smith Lake Fishing

1. What’s the best time of year to fish at Smith Lake?

The best time to fish at Smith Lake is during the spring and fall when fish are more active. However, you can find good fishing year-round if you know where to look.

2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Smith Lake?

Yes, you need an Alabama fishing license to fish at Smith Lake. You can purchase one online or at local retailers.

3. Are there boat rentals available at Smith Lake?

Yes, there are several marinas around Smith Lake where you can rent boats.

4. Can I fish from the shore at Smith Lake?

Absolutely! There are many accessible shore fishing spots around the lake, including public parks and designated fishing piers.

5. What amenities are available at Smith Lake?

Smith Lake offers various amenities including boat ramps, picnic areas, fishing piers, and campgrounds. It’s a great place to spend a day or even a weekend.

I hope this guide helps you plan your fishing trip to Smith Lake. Happy fishing, and may you catch the big one!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Smith Lake Fishing Report Guide: