This little fish is making a big impact!

Outdoors Bound

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WFXR) — Finally, some love for the little guys.

We’re talking about a small fish called the alewife. They don’t get very big. They’re spawning right now down at Smith Mountain Lake. They go on the spawn when water temperatures reach the mid-60s.

So, why is a little fish such a big deal?

Because they are a huge part of the forage base. They provide food for other Larger game species like bass and stripers. That helps to support those sport fisheries that are vital to the local economy.

You’ll see alewives used as bait because they are a favorite forage of nearly every sport fish in the region.

It’s also good to know when they’re spawning because you can target bass and stripers in those areas. Alewives use rocky shores and rip rap to spawn, especially after dark.  Stripers and bass will move in on those huge numbers of spawning fish for an easy meal. 

You’ll want to use swimbaits or jerkbaits to go after those fish.

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