Hungry Mother Lake

Hungry Mother Lake is a 108-acre impoundment located in Hungry Mother State Park in Smyth County.

The lake supports a host of sport fish including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, crappie, channel catfish, carp, sunfish, rock bass, muskellunge, and walleye. Channel catfish, walleyes, and musky are stocked annually; all other populations are self-sustaining. Alewives are the primary forage fish.

Don’t let the lake’s proximity to the Town of Marion and the Interstate 81 corridor discourage you. Hungry Mother Lake is a really peaceful place to spend an afternoon, a weekend or your entire vacation. The countless Virginia State Park amenities make it a great family destination. So get out the calendar and start planning your trip!

Fishing Opportunities

Walleye Fishing Forecast

Walleye Tagging Study

All three species of black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted) are available in Hungry Mother Lake. Largemouth are the dominant bass species and spotted bass, which first appeared in the 1995 sample collection, are now a close second. There are not very many smallmouths in Hungry Mother Lake, but there are some large ones in the 18 to 20-inch ranges.

Hungry Mother also offers a very good opportunity to fish for walleyes in a small lake setting. The best time to catch walleyes at Hungry Mother is during the months of April, May and June at night. Alewives, the primary forage fish, move shallow to spawn. Walleyes feed heavily on the spawning alewives, and this can create some very exciting fishing.

Crappie fishing can be good at Hungry Mother. In late spring some really nice crappie are caught near shoreline brush. At night during the summer, anglers catch big numbers of small crappie (less than 8 inches) under lanterns and floating lights.

This lake also offers anglers a chance to catch a trophy muskie. Annual stockings maintain good numbers of fish in the population. Some trophy fish are landed each year. Biologists have collected muskies in excess of 48 inches total length.

Channel catfish fishing has been very good the last couple of years. The Department’s new catfish stocking protocol has resulted in much better survival of stocked fish. Anglers are catching catfish by a variety of methods, but night fishing in the glow of lantern light seems to be most popular technique. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers and prepared baits are all productive offerings.

Biologist Reports

Regulations

Bass

  • 18 inches mimimum
  • 5 fish/day

Muskellunge

  • 42 inches minimum
  • 2 fish/day

Hybrid Striped Bass

  • 18 inches minimum
  • 2 fish/day

Walleye

  • 18 inches minimum
  • 5 fish/day

Catfish

  • 18 inches minimum
  • 5 fish/day

Grass Carp

  • Illegal to possess any size

Other Species

  • Statewide Limits ApplyGasoline Motor Use and Trotlines are Prohibited.Castnets May be Used to Collect Alewives for Bait.IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STOCK ANY SPECIES OF FISH INTO INLAND WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES.

Facilities

Hungry Mother State Park offers camping and cabin rentals on the 2,180-acre park. Boats can be rented during the day and a boat ramp is available for launching private boats. A universally accessible fishing pier and ample bank fishing access is available for anglers who do not want to fish from a boat. A hiking/biking/walking trail encircles the lake, and a very nice playground is situated near the swimming beach. The Visitors Center has both interpretive and interactive displays, and special programs and activities are scheduled during the summer months.

News

Hungry Mother Lake Walleye Tagging Study – 2010 Summary

View Hungry Mother Reward Poster

Walleye Fishing Forecast

More Information

For more information about the lake’s fisheries contact the Marion office.

For more information about the State Park contact Hungry Mother State Park (276) 781-7400 or the Department of Conservation and Recreation.