Blue Ridge Brawl Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake " Huddleston, Va.

April 15-18, 2010

As a fishery, Smith Mountain Lake may be better known for its giant stripers than for its healthy largemouth population, but this 20,600-acre Roanoke River reservoir is one of Virginia's finest bass lakes. In 2007, then-Elite Series rookie Casey Ashley finessed more than 57 pounds of largemouths from the lake en route to his first career BASS victory.

That was in June. This time the Elites are visiting Smith Mountain in April, and the fishing could be much different. The lake offers more than 500 miles of winding shoreline along its 40-mile length. That means it's full of coves, cuts and drainages along both the Roanoke and Blackwater river arms, and along with the coves are laydowns, stumps and other shallow cover largemouth love.