RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources has released its latest survey of the top trophy largemouth bass waters in Virginia.

They are:

  • 1.) Sandy River Reservoir
  • 2.) Smith Mountain Lake
  • 3.) Hunting Run Reservoir
  • 4.) Briery Creek Lake
  • 5.) Western Branch Reservoir

The list is based on the number of citation bass reported caught from those lakes. A citation largemouth in Virginia must measure at least 22 inches and weigh at least eight pounds.

“Smith Mountain Lake sets up really well for producing big bass because of the variety of habitat that’s there,” said Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Aquatic Education Coordinator, Alex McCrickard. “Combine that with the excellent forage base and you’ve got not only good numbers of largemouth bass, but also good numbers of big largemouth bass.”

Another factor playing into the big bass situation at Smith Mountain Lake is that it is one of the lakes in Virginia being stocked with F1 Hybrid Largemouth Bass. F1 hybrids are a cross between a Florida strain largemouth and a northern strain largemouth. Florida strain largemouth are genetically predisposed to growing larger.

Five year old Brooklee Lindsay holds up a trophy largemouth.

Sportfishing generates hundreds of millions of dollars for Virginia’s economy every year, and largemouth bass fishing is a major draw for anglers to visit and fish the commonwealth.