Do You Need a Fishing License at Smith Mountain Lake?

Do you need a fishing license to fish in Smith Mountain Lake? The answer is yes!

Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600-acre reservoir located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. It is one of the most popular lakes for recreational fishing in the state.

There are numerous types of fish that can be found in Smith Mountain Lake, including largemouth bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye and panfish. It’s also a great place to catch trophy-sized fish.

In order to fish in Smith Mountain Lake, you must have a valid Virginia fishing license. The cost of a non-resident license is $23 for 10 days and $50 for an annual license.

Resident licenses are cheaper and can be purchased at local bait and tackle shops or online from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Residents must also have a Trout License if they plan on keeping any trout that they catch.

In addition to having a valid fishing license, anglers should familiarize themselves with the regulations set by VDGIF. These regulations cover such things as size limits, daily creel limits and bait restrictions. It is important that anglers adhere to all regulations as violators can be subject to hefty fines.


A valid fishing license is required to fish at Smith Mountain Lake. Licenses can be purchased from local bait and tackle shops or online from Virginia’s Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. Anglers should also familiarize themselves with VDGIF regulations regarding size limits, creel limits and bait restrictions as violators may incur hefty fines.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet