Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fishing Report

McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service
Sept/October Fishing Forecast
Lake Anna, Va. – Get ready for a blaze of color around Lake Anna in the coming weeks and a blazing transition with fishing patterns. Bass, striper, wiper and crappie have begun to switch from summer to fall patterns with water temperatures now in the low 80’s down lake and the lower 70’s mid and up lake. The water level is approximately 1.25’ low and holding steady. Here’s what you can expect on your visit.
Largemouth Bass – Fish the lake sections differently and you’ll better understand the key to success. Down lake bass are schooled over humps and around points with current drawing over each. Use small topwaters, three-inch swimbaits and small, soft plastic jerkbaits when you detect schooling action. At some point these bass will head to the backs of the bigger down lake creeks, following the bait. Mid lake bass are still in summer schools and frequenting vertical structure like channel drops and points. Some movement into creeks like Beaver Pond, Sturgeon, Pigeon, Mitchell and Marshall may occur this month. Afternoon action is best. Fish fast with small crankbaits, a small Tiger Shad spinnerbait and a small swimbait. Some bass will locate on docks later in the month and can be targeted using a shaky head worm. Up lake bass are most plentiful now and can be found feeding in the shallows along willow grass lines in the upper North Anna and around rocky channel bends in the upper Pamunkey Branch. Push into the headwaters of each and Terry’s Run and fish shallower and you might find some big schoolies on big shad. Otherwise, you toss a spinnerbait and small crankbait when they are biting along the grass and a creature bait or jig to entice them when they are not.
Striped Bass – Fish are ravenous now when you can find them active. Schools are in all three sections of the lake with the down lake and mid lake sections the most reliable. Up lake striper fishing can be outstanding in the evenings now but the feed is unreliable. Good areas to target include Dike 3 down lake. The flats across from the marinas mid lake and up to The Splits are decent. Up lake stripers are usually found around Rose Valley and Stubbs Bridge in early October.
Wiper – There was a big school down at Dike 3, however, with the September outage they have scattered out with the bait. Contrary Creek has a school as does the Rose Valley region of the North Anna. These fish will often school with striper but feed longer and more aggressively. Top October wiper lures are small swimbaits like the three-inch Berkley Rippleshad and small topwater poppers.
Crappie – Better fishing awaits as the water dips below 70 but there are some 10”+ slabs beginning to feed now in the upper section of the lake. Deep docks are where you’ll find the schools. Bridge pilings are beginning to draw them as well. Two-inch jigs and slip bobbers with small minnows are best.

Largemouth Bass –  Shorter, cooler nights and the remenants of Harvey
 have helped lower lake temps so thefish are slowly moving into the creeks
and holdingon structure, stumps, and brushpiles  6-10’. Small  poppers or buzz
baits for the topwater  early morning bite are catching good numbers of fish
but not a lot of size to them.  For better quality bass, fish deeper using
soft plastic jerkbaits like the NABZ or Senkos and medium running crankbaits.   
The Rapala scatter lip, Bandit 200 and ½ oz Rattle Traps  have
been deadly on these fish.  Fish are also moving in and out of grassy areas
where spinnerbaits have been producing some nice catches too.

Striped Bass –  Most fish are still in the main lake and mouth of creeks  .They are
beginning to feed on the surface in the early morning and late afternoon
all over the lake using Redfins, Zara Spooks or Storm Chug Bugs.  Most
of the action has been around Day's Bridge in the Pamunkey Branch
and  Rose Valley in the North Anna.  During the day trolling, casting,
jigging and live bait are all working.

Crappie – Plenty of fish on deep structure and bridge pilings.   Use
 jigs or minnows on slip bobbers.  Right now you can target big
crappie with small crankbaits on rocky points in both tributaries.

Lake temps mid to upper 70’s



Typical summer patterns with fish in the mouth of creeks, main lake points, and deep structure.  The upper end of the lake seems to be the most productive and fish are on almost every point that has some type of cover on it.  There still is some topwater action in the early mornings, but  the fish will move deeper as the sun heats up surface temps.  Use deep diving crankbaits that run 12-15', Bandit 300, 400 & 700, work well as do most big billed baits.  Also, use your favorite dark colored worm or shakey head.


The fish are in the main lake from the splits down to the Power Plant.  Some schools are in the mouth of Sturgeons and Pigeons, but most are hanging in the main lake 25-35' deep.  Trolling is the best method to catch fish now.  Run Redfins, DD-22, or XPS LEC-15,  25' deep.  Also troll lime green umbrella rigs.  You may also cast pearl or pearl blue sassy shads or jig  spoons.  Live bait anglers are having great success now too.  Catch your own or drift jumbo minnows 20-25’ deep .  There is some limited topwater action in the early mornings, but by 8am the fish are heading to deeper, cooler waters.


 Deep structure and bridge pilings are holding most of the fish now.  Use 2" grubs or small minnows 15-20' deep.

Water temps mid 80’s



STRIPERS:  Stripers have migrated to the mid  lake regions of the lake and are aggressively feeding on 25 to 30 foot flats gorging themselves on 4 and 5 inch Herring.  In low light conditions they are feeding heavily in the upper water column.  Early and late in the day fish topwater with Redfins, Zara Spooks, Chug Baits and Pencil Poppers.  When the fish move deep start trolling with the Redfin CD  9 series or the Mann’s Stretch 25, 917 color.  You can also use  umbrella and drop rigs. Another great method to catch Striper  is to use live bait rigged on downlines putting the baits at the exact depth the fish are using to maximize your catches.
BASS: The largemouths are in post spawn and summer patterns now and have retreated to deeper water to replenish their energy. They also are feeding aggressively and suckers for top water baits.  Bass will rise out of 20 feet of water to hit a Pop R, Whopper Plopper, or your favorite topwater plug, especially in clear water. The deeper the water you fish over the slower you should work your bait giving the Bass time to locate and blow up on the bait. Spooks also work well fishing parallel to bluff banks like those in Contrary Creek. Carolina rigs tipped with your favorite Lizzard or worm also work well. Use heavy sinkers and cover water quickly till you feel structure then hold on! Another good technique  is to throw Swimbaits counting them down using a slow retrieve.
CRAPPIE: The slabs have pulled out and are being caught on deeper points with brushpiles and on the deeper bridge pilings in the 10 to 20 foot ranges. They continue to hit small minnows and jigs . The fish are also stacking up on ledges in the rivers in the 8 to 15 foot depths. Crappie rigs [two hook rigs] tipped with minnows are deadly now too.  Simply lower your offerings to the depth of the fish and once you start catching doubles mark your line at that depth and fill your cooler up.
CATFISH: Cats are very plentiful this year and are feeding everywhere on the lake. Catfish are feeding aggressively on 4 and 5 inch Herring using the lower third of the water column to feed. If you can not catch Herring try large minnows rigged on downlines or use on fish finder rigs.
 water temps upper 70’s
 Jim Hemby, Lake Anna Striper Guide Service

The first batch of spawner has finished as the females have pulled off the beds and are feeding heavily, especially from mid lake and down and the extreme upper end.   The males are staying in shallow water protecting the fry.  Fish aggressively covering lots of water from 2-12’ deep.  Suspending jerkbaits (hard or soft body) and slow sinking Spro swimbaits along with Senkos are working well.  Very good topwater action early and late in the day using buzzbaits, poppers and Whopper Ploppers.  The upper end still has spawners so use creature type baits in spawning areas 3-12’ deep, hula grubs, baby brushhogs and crawfish.  Grass beds at the Splits and up lake in the North Anna have been producing some great catches.

Fish are still scattered all over the lake, but the best producing areas are from the splits to the bridges.  Pull planner boards rigged with the largest live bait you can find over flats, points and humps in water less than 20 feet. As the water warms to above 75* the fish will convert to smaller baits and also retreat to deeper flats where they will school in large numbers. Now is a good time to catch fish on top water (in low light conditions) on lures like Pencil Poppers, Redfins , Spooks and chuggars. Hit main lake points early and late in the day for explosive strikes. Trollers will start to catch more fish as the water warms later in the month.
CRAPPIE: Crappie have spawned and are headed for deeper waters [10 to 20 feet]. Rock ledges, brush piles and bridge pilings will hold catchable fish. Crappie may not be as easy to catch when they were shallow but once you locate them they will be schooled in larger numbers. Traditional small jigs tipped with small tubes and grubs long with small and medium minnows work well.
Water temp in the low 70/s