Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fishing Report


McCotter Lake Anna Guide Service Early Fall Fishing Report

 Lake Anna, Va. - As the lake cools into the 60's and completes what looks to be an early turnover, anglers can expect fishing to improve as we approach November and the magic 55-degree water temperature mark that makes days of little fish turn into days remembered for big fish. Here's what you can expect on a visit in the coming weeks.

 Largemouth Bass - Main lake water temperatures dipped into the 60's late last week and have dropped further into the range where bass are returning to the shallows. A number of patterns are working relative to the area of the lake you fish. Up lake bass are being caught mostly on creature baits pitched to willow grass lines and docks. The fish are shallow but you have to hit them on the head and many strikes come on the fall. Expect up lake bass to begin chasing a spinnerbait and small crank bait soon - same areas. Mid lake bass are on bait in the backs of creeks like Pigeon, Contrary, Marshall, Mitchell and Sturgeon. If you find the bait, you'll find the bass. Lures like A-rigs and swimbaits are good choices as are small crank baits here. Due to the clarity of the water these fish will chase more. Down lake bass are mostly on docks in creeks like Duke's, Rockland, Blount's, Levy and others. Main lake docks (on the Louisa side of the lake) are good as the water cools into the 50s if you can skip a shaky head worm or Ned rig under them.

 Striped Bass & Wiper - Kinda been a slow few weeks but this should turn around soon, especially in the upper end of the lake from The Splits on up. Fish have moved shallow but anglers are having a tough time finding them. Don't be afraid of 2' of water. If you see big baits on flats and sea gulls nearby, break out a swimbait and get to work. Typical good annual areas include Plentiful Creek, the Rt. 522 region in the upper Pamunkey Branch, Rose Valley and Helem's Point in the North Anna. Yes, down lake has striper and wiper, but they are mostly non-keepers and schooled over deep, open water on bait near the dam. Will there be fish mid lake this year? Doesn't look too good at the moment but you never know. Contrary and Pigeon are the two creeks to check.

 Crappie - Looking like a good fall/winter season ahead. Bridge pilings loaded up a couple weeks back with smaller fish with some large specks below the hordes of 5-7" fish. Better fishing can be found on the brush piles you took the time to drop back in February. Underwater wooden structure in 5-18' is where the slabs are found and less fishing pressure. Small minnows on slip bobbers are great now if you don't like fishing with six-pound test and 1/32-oz. jigs.

 Good luck. We'll see you on the water or in one of our boats.

 McCotter's Lake Anna Guide Service



Largemouth Bass - Fair to good fishing when you can find active 
schools, otherwise you'll have to get reacquainted with your shaky worm rig because the crankbait bite is tough. Schooling largemouth can be targeted down lake from the dam up to Dike 1 where ever you find threadfin shad. Dog walking topwaters and soft plastic jerkbaits are best when these conditions present themselves, usually over humps, drop offs and other vertical structure. Mid lake fish will be on shad and herring and take the same lures with a crankbait and multi-arm rig from time to time. Expect some movement into major mid lake creeks like Sturgeon, Contrary, Mitchell, Marshall and Pigeon where you might even be able to catch a few on a Tiger Shad spinnerbait in the afternoons. Up lake fish will be on the crankbait holes (rocks, ledges and brush) but will prefer plastic worms. Keep an eye on the extreme headwaters for big bass on gizzard shad. When this happens, use lipless crankbaits.

Striper - Very good fishing is here for those that like to use lures 
for striper. You can target breaking fish in the morning within a mile either side of the 208 marinas using lures like a Redfin or Super Spook, Jr. Larger fish can be caught below the surface action by vertically jigging Toothache spoons or casting sassy shads or bucktails. There are schools of fish that are staying at or near the bottom in the mid-lake region.  Trolling deep baits is the best for them.  The Bandit Deep will get down to 27’ or deeper and has been very effective catching these fish. Hot zone is mid lake and lower up lake.
Crappie - As soon as the water in the upper Pamunkey Branch and North Anna drops below 80, it's time to hit the docks with casted jigs and minnows on slip bobbers. Fish are on all bridge pilings now, about 15' down.

Lake temps low to mid 80’s
Good luck and see you on the water.

Report generated by McCotter's Lake Anna Guide Service


   STRIPERS:  Summer patterns will continue through this month with plenty of schools roaming the main lake regions of the lake. As soon as the nights begin to cool there will be a bait migration to the backs of the creeks and the Stripers will turn on in very shallow water.  Your depth finder will be the key in locating the schools which are holding primarily over 25 to 35 foot flats. Anglers trolling deep diving Redfins, DD-22 and Bandit Deep are catching plenty of fish. Occasionally in low light times of the day smaller Stripers will chase bait to the surface where top water baits like Spooks, Pencil Poppers and Pop R’s attract vicious strikes. Stripers are moving into the current at the third dike and will also feed on the top water baits well. As the fish move into the backs of creeks swim baits work well especially the Sea Shad and Sassy Shad worked on 3/8 to ½ oz heads. Top water Redfins also will take the larger Stripers waked across the surface.  Still some of the best catches have been on live bait. Stripers are feeding heavily on Herring when they are schooled. When the fish feed shallower Gizzard Shad pulled behind Water Bugz planner boards will produce the larger fish.

   BASS : Fish are relating to deeper structures where bait is present still in a summer pattern. Mainlake points, humps, roadbeds,  brush and rock piles and bridges hold the bass now with numerous techniques catching fish. Deep diving crankbaits are working well along with jigs tipped with worms. Bass are being caught on the top of roadbeds and  ledges in Rose Valley, on top in the mouth of Contrary over schools of small Threadfin Shad,  over the older fish structures that were  put into the lake years ago, and all the uplake  bridges. Marina docks are also holding nice Bass.  Small shallow running crankbaits worked near stumps next to the shallow channels will put nice fish in the boat too. Topwater baits will also catch nice bass in low light times of the day.

   CRAPPIE: Plenty of Crappie holding on all the bridge pilings uplake and on brush piles in 10 to 20 feet of water. Very nice Crappie are being caught on docks that have lights on them at night. Uplake the Crappie are moving back up under shallower docks with structure or brush under the docks.

   CATFISH: The Cats love this water temperature and can be caught basically everywhere there is bait present. Work areas less than 25 feet deep and use your favorite bait. Live bait has been producing some larger than normal Catfish fished near the bottom over 25 foot flats.
Lake Anna Striper Guide Service   540 967 3313