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Lake Information for Philpott Lake


Philpott Reservoir is a 2,880-acre impoundment located near Martinsville Virginia. This reservoir is situated in the mountains of Patrick and Henry Counties, which is a picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts. Philpott Reservoir is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is managed primarily for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. There is no residential development along its shoreline but there are numerous facilities scattered throughout the reservoir such as boat landings, a campground, and picnic areas.

Fishing Description: 

Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) are the most sought after species by anglers at Philpott Reservoir. According to Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) electrofishing samples, the largemouth bass comprise the bulk of this fishery outnumbering smallmouth at least five to one. However, smallmouth are a very popular portion of the fishery and this reservoir does produce many quality smallies.

Philpott Reservoir has one of the better walleye populations in Virginia. This fishery does not contain many large fish but does support good numbers. Most adult walleye average 16-21 inches.

Black crappie are present in Philpott reservoir but this lake does not contain high densities of crappie. While crappie abundance is not high when compared to many other Virginia reservoirs, the size structure is very good.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Good largemouth bass fishing can be found throughout the reservoir but smallmouth bass densities appearing to be greater in the lower end, particularly along the main lake channel. Anglers should look for bass along jagged rock structures, weed bed edges (when available), structure on underwater flats, and around fallen trees. Clear water, especially in the lower half of the lake, can make fishing a challenge and anglers may need to go deeper in clear water. Night fishing can be productive in shallow water, as bass tend to come up shallower after dark.

In March, walleye can often be found in less than 10 feet of water due to spawning. Most walleye spawning concludes by the end of March or first week of April. The headwaters of the reservoir from mile marker 11 up into Smith River, Runnett Bag Creek arm, and from mile marker 3 to the dam are all areas walleye congregate during the spawn. After spawning, walleye begin to feed heavily for the next couple of months. Since water temperatures remain cool through April and most of May, walleye are attracted to shallow water to capitalize on food sources.

White catfish are the most abundant catfish at Philpott Reservoir. The highest densities of this species are in the lower regions of the reservoir primarily where the water stays very clear most of the year. Channel catfish are present but not very abundant in comparison to other Virginia reservoirs. Channel catfish can be found throughout the reservoir.

Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Catfish Family
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Philpott Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Bridgewater Marina Boat Rental
  • 16410 Booker T Washington Hwy - Moneta, VA
  • (540) 721-1639
    Smith Mountain Lake State Park Boat Rental
  • - Huddleston, VA
  • (540) 297-3642

Vacation Rental

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