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Lake Anna, Va. - With water temperatures in the mid to low 60s throughout the lake and dropping we are poised to enter the next phase of annual fishing patterns here on Lake Anna. Once the water drops into the 60s you see a lot of fish movement. There will be vast areas of no fish and small areas of big schools of fish. You'll have to pay close attention to find these "Hot Zones" and you when you find them, the fishing can be excellent!
Striper - Striper are moving into the upper portion of the lake to feed on massive schools of threadfin shad. The "Hot Zone" will soon be
above the second bridges in both branches. Currently, however, the schools are from The Splits up to the first two bridges. We are catching keepers on Toothache spoons under breaking smaller fish that will take a variety of small, plastic swimbaits. Multi-arm rigs with 3" baits are working well now, too.
Largemouth Bass - Largemouth bass are less prone to be caught in the shallows when the water drops into the 60's, though they will be feeding heartily in the shallows for part of the day - usually in the mid afternoons. The backs of mid lake creeks often hold herring then and the bass school up and corral them for a buffet style smashing. You can also catch fish in the upper, flats sections of the lake using baits that allow you to cover a lot of water like a spinnerbait or lipless crankbait. The biggest limits/catches come when you slow down and pitch creature baits or jigs to willow grass lines in the upper portions of the North Anna and Pamunkey Branch. Currently, you can consistently catch bass pitching worms and creature baits to docks in the mid and up lake regions and along willow grass lines in the upper sections.
Crappie - Crappie have been on docks, shallow brush piles and rocks in the upper section of the lake since late last month. The average size will get larger and the fish will slowly move toward deeper and deeper holding areas, including bridge pilings until the water falls into the low 50s when they will begin to school off shore and follow threadfin schools.
Report furnished by McCotter's Lake Anna Guide Service
McCotter's Lake Anna Guide Service Fishing Forecast
Fish have been moving from deeper water into coves and creeks and continue to move towards the backs. Fish stumps, brush, docks or any other structure with medium running crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, shakey worms and Missle baits. Even some fish caught in very shallow water using spinnerbaits. Great topwater action in low light conditions using Pop R, Chug Bugs and buzz baits.
Plenty of fish being graphed above Rose Valley and above Stubbs Bridge. Some schools have even been found all the way into the S turns. Cast sassy shads, Spoons, troll Redfins and DD-22 or float live bait all through the main lake. For topwater use Zara spooks or Redfins. Multi bait rigs with sassy shads and sea shads will begin to be productive very soon.
Action has been very good with schools being found at various depths. They will move from shallow to deep as the sun gets brighter. Holding on bridges and very deep structure. Small minnows and 2" grubs are working best. Many anglers report great catches.
Lake temps in the mid 80’s
Now that the new moon has past the rest of the spawn is now pretty much over. Fish are off the beds, but because of the cooler weather they are staying in fairly shallow water gorging themselves with small bait and spawning blue gills. Now is the time to be throwing poppers, buzzbaits or any type insect bait will work. Bass are also chasing faster moving baits such as crankbaits and swimbaits and shakey worms. Duo Shad #59, Paycheck Repo Man, and Mega Bass lures are all working well.
Most of the fish have settled from the power plant up past the splits to the next set of bridges. Fish shallow in low light, deeper in bright light. Most fish will stay in the upper water column 5-12' early then move deeper in the afternoon. Fish have been found as deep as 25' in some areas. Sassy shad, sea shad, toothe-ache spoons, as well as live bait are producing many nice fish. Trolling has also been very effective, using rigs and Cordell Redfins or DD-22.
Their spawn is over too, but bluegill/sunfish spawn is beginning. Live worms and very small poppers will do the trick around boat docks and bulk heads. Crappie are reschooling and moving to deeper structure and bridges. Minnow and 2" grubs will produce some nice slabs.
Water temps in the upper 70’s to low 80’s
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. The males are staying in shallow water protecting the fry. Fish aggressively covering lots of water from 2-10’ 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 and poppers. 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 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.
The upper and lower ends are producing the most fish right now. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and deep suspending jerkbaits seem to be the bait of choice for anglers. Some fish are moving up to warm surface waters and feeding on bait in the afternoons, however because of the colder than normal weather most have been staying deep. Tr y to fish points, flats, and dropoffs 8-15’ deep, don't worry about structure, docks, etc. Big fish and good numbers 4 fish over 5 lbs; 2 over 6 lbs and one 7 lb
Schools all over the lake, but just like the bass the best areas are the upper and ower ends. They are sporadic, but patient anglers are catching fish. You will need to move around a bit as the schools are small and constantly moving. Fish are in all depths, but the best ones are hitting around 8’. Sassy shads, Sea Shads, Tooth Ache spoons and live bait all are producing fish.
This is the time to get out and catch the big ones up to 2 lbs. They've fed and grown all winter and are gorging baits, preparing for the spawn. Schools are still deep, but will move into shallower waters as soon as we get a warm trend. Use 2" grubs, small and meduim minnows 1/8 or 1/4 oz spoons.
Water temps in the upper 40’s to very low 50’s
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