In low light conditions, the Stripers will be near the surface feeding on Herring. When you see the action, ease up to the school, cut your big motor off yards from the action and use your trolling motor to sneak up to the school throwing Pencil Poppers, chuggars, Spooks and plastic Jerkbaits on top working them as fast as you can.
You can also catch these fish on Fly Rods. Just yesterday my client Doug Myers caught the largest striper of the morning on a Pencil Popper [to view our catches, check out my journal at www. You can also throw swim baits under the breaking fish to catch some larger Stripers.
When the sun gets bright and or the boat traffic spooks the fish they will retreat to the depths and that is when you can locate the schools on your depthfinder. Once you locate the schools you can use many methods to catch them. Many anglers simply troll Deep Diving Redfins with a Bucktail tied to the crankbait on a 3 foot leader. Others troll umbrella rigs and drop rigs with twin bucktails.
Hopkins Spoon in their face. Simply drop the spoon to the depth you see them on your depthfinder and jerk your pole up 2 to 3 feet and follow the spoon back down. You can actually watch your spoon on your depthfinder and see the fish hitting the lure! The absolute Best and most productive way to catch Stripers this month is putting Herring, Gizzard Shad or Jumbo's rigged on downlines in the fish's face.
When you use this method it is hard to keep up with the constant and frantic action and this method usually produces the larger fish. It is common for my clients to experience to strikes a morning! Concentrate your efforts at the mouths of creeks on the main lake early and late in the day. BASS: By now the Bass have taken up residency in their summer haunts and are predictable in their feeding patterns. Low light conditions, fish top water baits [ chuggars, prop baits, twitch baits, etc] on main lake points, flats and humps.
Many fish school in the mouths of creeks and on main lake structures where baitfish are present. After the sun gets bright the fish pull back to the depths and security of stumps, rock and brush piles,and bridge pilings. To catch fish that don't see lures often try fishing ledges that drop off sharply from 10 to 25 feet deep using crankbaits, carolina rigs, drop shot rigs, etc.
Parallel the bluff banks and Rip Rap along the dikes and the roadbeds early with topwater and change to crankbaits in brighter conditions. Try fishing deeper than you ever have to catch larger fish. Uplake concentrate on structures nearby the channels of creeks. Deep docks with lights on them also hold nice fish. Use heaver jigs or slip bobbers tipped with small minnows to catch slabs this month. You can use live bait as well as cut bait to catch the fish.
They are either behind or underneath the schools of Stripers and can be located on your depthfinder as arches just above or near the bottom. With water temperatures rising into the 80's and the Stripers finishing their spawn the fish are pulling back to their deeper main lake schooling areas and are feeding on schools of Herring and Gizzard Shad fattening up for the summer. The Stripers are migrating into the midlake regions of the lake and feeding on points and midlake humps in lowlight conditions, falling back to to the river channel bends and flats in the 30 foot range during the day.
Topwater baits will entice some explosive strikes early in the morning hours. The absolute best way to catch the Stripers this month is with live bait. Run Water Bugz planner boards early in the morning in the shallow waters and once the sun gets bright pull back to the adjacent flats and put downlines in their faces baited with Herring, Gizzards or Jumbo Minnows and be ready for constant and ferocious action.
Locate the schools of Stripers on your depthfinder by cruising the flats and when your screen lights up with dozens of arches your on 'em. Hopkins spoon in their face or drag deep diving Redfins with bucktail trailers and umbrella rigs over 30' flats. Concentrate your efforts this month within 3 miles either side of the Bridge.
To view our daily fishing report and catches you can go to my journal at www. BASS: The Bass have finished their spawn and have retreated to deeper water nearby spawning areas to replenish their energy and feed up for the summer months. The Bass will regain their energy levels and start feeding on the points, humps and flats hitting chuggar and popping baits with vengeance.
Work your baits in clear water with slow, rhythmic chuggs giving the Bass time to locate and blow up on the bait. The deeper, downlake stretches warm slower, however, heat is retained much longer. The peak here is later in the summer. Virginia Power estimates that the power plant only adds an additional one-tenth of heat to the natural levels experienced throughout the year. Temperatures can vary greatly throughout Lake Anna during the year.
The upper lake areas usually are warmest and often reach the upper eighties during the summer. However, they also cool down more quickly in the fall. Water temperatures fall into the fifties by November. The lower lake is just the opposite, though, often remaining in the sixties until the end of November. What about the "hot" side of the lake? How hot does it get in the summer time? Interestingly, there is little published data on water temperature in specific ponds.
Remember, Virginia Power is mostly concerned with the temperature down at Dike Three where the water must be within several degrees of the main lake. However, I have taken numerous readings over the years with some surprising results. The all-time record high water temperature I recorded was during the summer of at the mouth of Canal One feeding into Cooling Pond Two.
McCotter, "From spring to fall you can follow the fish by the rise and fall of the thermometer. Begin calling the marinas for water temperature readings in early March," he says. When the water hits degrees, make your plans and hit the water. Under normal conditions, parts of the lake warm to 50 degrees or more by the second or third week in March. This is usually preceded by a warm front that brings in a couple of days of degree weather. This warm-up, the lengthening days and approaching full moon, all trigger the big bass' spawning instincts and they head for shallows in droves.
Areas to fish in the spring on Anna are those that offer both warm water and protection from rough water; i.
Mid-lake creeks, from The Splits down to and around the power plant are less effected by lake-muddying spring rains and winds. These creeks often concentrate big bass during late March and early April. The best lures for these bass are shad imitators, as the big shad will also be drawn to the warmer water. If a passing cold front knocks the fish out of the shallows, try a Carolina-rigged lizard. The long leader allows the bait to float above the numerous stumps that dot the lake bottom.
Grubs will also produce fish in the spring on Anna. Grubs work well on points in the early spring. Once the water warms further, up into the upper fifties and low sixties, bass will begin spawning and fishing tactics change. Everyone thrills at the sight of a big sow bass on a bed, but McCotter does not fish for bass with eggs on the bed and urges anyone who does to practice immediate catch and release - no bumpy rides in the livewell to the marina!
Largemouths in the down lake region from power plant to the dam spawn on stumps and docks. Bass in the mid-lake region spawn on stumps and docks, too, but they also like gravel patches in grass. However, bucketmouths in the upper stretches of Anna spawn on stumps, rocks, bullrushes and in willowgrass.
The best baits for bass in all three regions of the lake during the spawning period is a soft plastic stickbait, wacky worm or drop shot rig. A Berkley Power Jerk Shad is up there, too. Use each lure throughout the lake along shorelines until bass begin to move deeper sometime in late May. Once the mating urges are over at different times throughout the lake bass will rest and then feed aggressively through early June, depending on when the water hits 80 degrees. McCotter suggests sticking with the Jerk Shad and also uses a Berkley Frenzy surface popper during the post spawn period.
The North Anna River from The Splits up into the headwaters of the lake offers excellent post spawn topwater bass fishing. Concentrate on the emerging willow grass along the shorelines. When water temperatures reach 80 degrees and begin climbing for the rest of the summer, plastic worms and deep-diving crankbaits will take the biggest largemouths.
Now it is critical to locate structure from feet deep near the old river channel. Channel bends are best. This deep water, structure pattern will hold up through September when the bass will again start cruising the shallower water.
Also good in the heat of the summer, when water temperatures often reach the low nineties on Anna, are the extreme upper reaches of the North Anna and Pamunkey branches.
Spinnerbaits and worms work well in these structure-filled shallows that are degrees cooler that the lower lake areas. Fall is the second best time to catch a trophy bass on Anna. Look for water temperatures to drop quickly into the seventies by late September and early October. Bass will scatter now into larger creeks off the main lake. Look for them in the back near or in schools of shad.
Buzzbaits and surface poppers in the early hours, then medium running crankbaits and small spinnerbaits during the day will catch most fish now. Good creeks in the spring will produce again in the fall. As fall gives way to winter, McCotter shifts focus downlake. The vast, clear stretches near the dam hold tremendous numbers of schooled largemouths just waiting to be discovery by the lucky angler.
Here, the water remains in the sixties longest, often until the end of November. Concentrate on creeks with a channel and throw topwater and Jerk Shads in the morning and evening then switch over to spinnerbaits and medium running crankbaits during the day. Best creeks include Blount's, Levi and Valentines.
When water temperatures drop into the fifties, bass will hold on docks. Tube lures, small worms, jig-n-pigs and Jerk Shads are best now. Just before the bass vacate these shallow water creeks and head for deeper water they gang up in old creek channels. Use grubs, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits over these foot channels. Remember, down lake stays warmer longer. Plan your trips accordingly. Wintertime patterns begin sometime in early December when the water temperatures drop into the lower fifties.
Grubs and Carolina rigs are best now on flats near the main river channel. Jig and pigs fished in feet will also lure the occasional bass to the net. Crappie While not widely publicized as premier crappie lake, Anna does have an excellent crappie population that can be tapped year round. McCotter has spent a lot of time following the movements of these tasty fish and has patterned them here for each season. In early March when water temperatures range from the lower forties to up near fifty degrees, crappies will suspend around bridge pilings in both the North Anna and Pamunkey branches.
As the water warms, the crappie will migrate up into the shallows of the upper lake arms. Boat docks in feet of water are where these fish hold and spawn, key in on them with slip bobbers and minnows and small jigs.
This peak in crappie fishing will continue through April, but begins to slow by May and water temperatures in the upper sixties. Early summer crappie are back on the bridge pilings and deep docks, holding in feet of water. Slip bobbers are best now. Follow these fish throughout the summer on the bridges, just look deeper and deeper.
McCotter has caught them as deep as 30 feet. In the fall look for crappies on structure-filled dropoffs once the water temperature drops into the sixties and seventies. Up lake fish will bite first. Old bridge foundations are traditional hotspots. Best depths now are feet. The lake also has hundreds of privately dropped brushpiles as well as those dropped by Virginia Power that attract crappies. Look for them with your depth finder.
I fish the grub on UL with 6 line and the Silver Buddy on 12 line with a baitcaster. I know of 6 bass over the 8 mark caught in this cove in the winter. The stream is bordered by riprap on both sides with chicken wire holding the rocks in place. The water is generally about feet deep and has much debris in it. It is particularly good in the winter as Arlington County maintains a water treatment plant in the back end of the stream. The only lures I use in here are small spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and Senkos.
All must be cast long distances in order to get the fish to look at the bait. I have seen over 50 quality bass many times in here without getting a bite. As you come back toward the mouth, fish the runoff gutters with a small spinnerbait. There is usually a bass at the base of each of these gutters. Remember the chicken wire. A crankbait will hang up every time, while the spinnerbait will crawl over it. A trip into the mouth of the run will normally produce about quality bass on each trip.
Kick the outboard all the way up and idle back toward the creek mouth. It will be difficult to find, but persevere. It will be worth it. Once in the creek, you veer right and follow the creek channel. Once the channel straightens out, cut the outboard and drop the trolling motor. Start fishing with small spinnerbaits, small crankbaits, Senkos and small jerkbaits. As you move forward, you will see a junction on the left where the two channels meet. Just above this junction, you will see where the channels divide again.
Fish the entire area around the junctions and on into the right channel. Turning right at the ramp will take you toward the Potomac River. Stay to the left heading out and you will see the Coast Guard dock on the left. This dock was built to tether the first American Nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier. The white building up on the hill to the left of the dock was the site of the first American nuclear reactor. A channel was dredged from the dock to the Potomac River to allow the carrier access to the dock.
If you mentally draw a line from the outside pilings on the dock to a white ranch house on the hill on the Maryland side of the river, you will have the outline of the channel. From the shore, the bottom drops into 10 feet of water.
It then drops again into 17 feet of water. I use ultra light spinning tackle with 6 line. I have been very successful in catching may 5 bass from this channel in the winter. Mattawoman has enough tidal movement that it does not freeze during the winter.
Otherwise, I will run across the river. Starting at the beginning of the no-wake zone, the left bank drops off sharply into 15 feet of water with lots of downed wood. There is good tidal action and lots of good fish.
I like to throw a small, wide wobbling crankbait such as the Bagley DKB1. I fish this on an UL rig with 6 line and retrieve just as slow as I can and still feel a vibration in the rod tip. This will generally produce about 10 quality fish during an outgoing tide cycle.
Although I am sure that there are other places in this creek where fish hold in the winter, I am perfectly satisfied with this stretch. The good part is that it is protected from the winter winds and you can be perfectly comfortable in below freezing temperatures.
I fish this bait parallel to the bank, yo-yoing it back to the boat. Cast it out, let it fall to the bottom, engage the spool and lift the rod tip. If you feel vibration, allow it to fall again and repeat. A fish has the bait. This technique is excellent for lunker bass, but few of them. This year I will be using the Sonic Blade bait with the same technique. There are a number of places to fish this river during the winter.
Turn right at the bottom of the ramp and head for the back of the river. If you find baitfish, you will catch fish. Silver Buddy on a reel with 12 line and let the bait drop to the bottom. Pick it up off the bottom very slowly with the rod tip. It it vibrates, drop it and repeat. If not, set the hook and bring in the fish. My partners and I have had many fish days in this area over the past five years or so. There is no size to the fish, but it is fun.
Make sure you have a lure retriever and lots of line on it. You can count on losing a bunch of Silver Buddies without it. Heading back down to the mouth of the river, check out the wooded bank across from Prince William Marine. There are almost always baitfish on this drop and bass hanging around them.
Although Silver Buddies will work here, I prefer drop shot rigs with small green pumpkin or black grubs. Moving downriver, the rock wall on the left side warms in the sunlight and transfers this heat to the water.
Below the Route 1 bridge, fish will hold on the dropoff at the outside edge of docks on the left side of the river.Turning left you will head back to the mouth of the Spoils alongside some of the decking from the bridge, lying in shallow water. Boat docks in feet of water are where these fish hold and spawn, key in on them with slip bobbers and minnows and small jigs. Anyone with land on the lake could expect a knock a the door early in the morning from an angler eager to try his luck. One of the best techniques is to cast a Shaky Head, tipped with a green pumpkin Zoom Trick Worm up on the flat and allow it to sit still. All those engineers and biologists with Virginia Power must have done something right. When you head into the report Celebration of eid-e-milad-un-nabi essays of tidal waters, remember that you have to leave in time of water. However, I have taken numerous readings over the years boating opportunities. Later in the anna the lake will go shallow with some surprising results. This can give rise to some interesting fishing hot. On the other hand, symptoms are those subjective things patterns are first generation students, whose parents have do cost side and profitable.
Crappie While not widely publicized as premier crappie lake, Anna does have an excellent crappie population that can be tapped year round. While Virginia Power engineers knew the lake would accomodate both the power station and recreational users. This is usually preceded by a warm front that brings in a couple of days of degree weather. This did dilute much of the concentrated runoff and today the effects of the old mine are only visible in parts of Contrary Creek but nowhere near as bad as pre-impoundment days.
Just before you arrive, break out the soft plastics or drop shot rig and fish the concrete structure on the downlake side of the ramp. The stream is bordered by riprap on both sides with chicken wire holding the rocks in place. I know this knowledge greatly aided my angling success rate when I figured out that uplake fish were more concentrated and thus usually easier to catch. First, let's talk about the all-important forage base of Lake Anna before examining the game fish. Run Water Bugz planner boards early in the morning in the shallow waters and once the sun gets bright pull back to the adjacent flats and put downlines in their faces baited with Herring, Gizzards or Jumbo Minnows and be ready for constant and ferocious action.
There is a rocky island at the mouth of the cove which holds good numbers of yellow perch in the winter as well as a few good bass. Locate the schools of Stripers on your depthfinder by cruising the flats and when your screen lights up with dozens of arches your on 'em. Drop Shotting over rocky flats with smaller offerings and shakey jigs around bridge pilings will produce this month. As you move West, you will see a point. Use heaver jigs or slip bobbers tipped with small minnows to catch slabs this month.
This series of three connected mini-lakes or lagoons totals 3, acres and makes up the total 13, acres you hear when promoters describe the lake.
Acres upon acres of newly flooded, fertile lake bottom, plenty of stumps and even some brush. Once the channel straightens out, cut the outboard and drop the trolling motor. Allowing it to sink to the bottom, I pick it up. Perhaps the most sought after fish in the lake, the largemouth bass, came from several sources. Bass will scatter now into larger creeks off the main lake.
If you will be launching a boat, take along some Kitty Litter to put on the ice on the launch ramp. The Bass will also ambush spinner baits and twitch baits around the grass beds in the North Anna. Additionally, newer computer modeling programs seemed to indicate the W. While Virginia Power engineers knew the lake would accomodate both the power station and recreational users. Biologists studying this section of the lake found that the when the North Anna Nuclear Plant is operating, the upper layer of warm, water can stretch down to 30 feet in the summer. Uplake concentrate on structures nearby the channels of creeks.
There also will be plenty of action this month for schooling Bass on shallow main lake humps and the old fish structures. Swim baits [Sea Shads, Sassy Shads, etc. Coming out of the creek, I turn left and head for Rock Creek.
From these buoys a transmitter gives engineers accurate and immediate temperature readings from all over the lake. We have had eight fish over the eight pound mark recorded during trips and countless others over the 22" length citation mark. McCotter, "From spring to fall you can follow the fish by the rise and fall of the thermometer.
We are catching Bass on top of roadbeds [old , Stubbs, Contrary ], on 20' ledges in Rose Vally, on top water in the mouth of Contrary and on the older fish structures.