Most of you who fish in Smith Mountain Lake have likely been fishing at Leesville Lake as well. But I found it interesting to read about some of the differences between the two. The Official Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Guide has a lot of interesting information for the avid or hobby fisherman or woman. Take a gander at its overview of Leesville Lake and the fish population there.
Located just below Smith Mountain Lake this 3,400-acre impoundment is used for pump-back water storage. The discharges from Smith Mountain create cooler water temperatures and dramatic water level fluctuations in the upper lake. This reduces the fish habitat and makes the lower portion of the lake a more productive fishery, so anglers should concentrate their efforts on the 5 miles of water above the dam.
All of the species in Smith Mountain are also found in Leesville Lake. There are limited numbers of smallmouth bass in this reservoir but the largemouth bass population is very good. Leesville also has a good catfish population with channel and white catfish as the dominant species. Large flatheads and nice blue catfish are also caught quite frequently. This reservoir has received annual stockings of striped bass and walleye for several years and the state record striped bass was caught there several years ago. The walleye population is good and the fishery consistently produces nice-sized fish. Walleye are generally caught using deep diving crankbaits, bottom bouncers, and worm harnesses, often off deep-water points, especially at night. Yellow perch, a cousin of the walleye, are also abundant and Leesville Lake provides some of the best perch fishing in the area.
Thanks to the Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Guide for this information.