Get ready for a month of good fishing as bass, striper, wiper and crappie get back into more consistent feeding patterns and water temperatures drop into the 50’s. A fall refueling outage that idled one of the North Anna reactors is now over. As Dave Fauntleroy likes to say, “The fall fishing frenzy is here!” Here’s what you can expect on your visit.
Guide C.C. McCotter welcomes your call or email if you’d like to book a fall or winter trip with he and his guides for bass, striper, wiper or crappie.
He says the lake cooled into the 60’s and completed what looked to be an early turnover last month, so anglers can expect fishing to improve greatly in November. The magic 55-degree water temperature makes days of little fish turn into days remembered for big fish.
Largemouth bass have returned to the shallows (mostly just on warm afternoons now), and 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, jigs and spinnerbaits 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. You can expect up lake bass to begin chasing a spinnerbait and small crankbait this month in those same areas.
Mid lake bass are either on bait in the backs of creeks like Pigeon, Contrary, Marshall, Mitchell and Sturgeon or on docks. If you find the bait, you’ll find the bass. If no bait, start fishing docks. Lures like A-rigs and swimbaits are good choices as are small crankbaits when you have bait present. Due to the clarity of the water these fish will chase more. Skipping soft plastics and jigs under docks is another good mid lake pattern.
Hydrilla grew well in certain mid lake creeks and there may be some bass and bait lingering in these weed beds early this month. Spinnerbaits and soft plastic jerkbaits like a Fitt River Darter are good choices in such areas.
Down lake bass have been schooled with striper and wiper on the main lake but should be moving into 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.
It’s been a so-so fall for striper and wiper all over the lake and those massive schools with hundreds of sub-keeper fish schooled from Dike 2 to Dike 3 anglers targeted last year are tough to locate this year. Instead, the better fishing has been mid lake for striper and wiper.
The best area should change to up lake soon, especially in the upper end of the lake from The Splits on up. Fish have moved shallow but anglers were having a tough time finding them last month. 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 around Hellem’s Point in the North Anna.
Yes, down lake will still have striper and wiper, but they are mostly non-keepers and schooled over deep, open water on bait near the dam.
So where will the mid lake fish be this year? Mitchell and Pigeon are the two creeks to check and you never know about Contrary.
Striper and wiper lures to stock up on now include chartruese Capt. Mack’s and Toothache spoons (available at High Point Marina), the CAST Prodigy swimbait, YUMbrella multi-arm rigs and ZOOM Super Fluke Juniors.
McCotter says it’s looking like a good fall/winter crappie fishing season ahead. Bridge pilings loaded up at the end of September 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 8-18’ 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.
McCotter maintains a 10” minimum size limit for crappie on his boat and encourages all anglers to observe that mark to ensure plenty of big crappie for years to come.
High Point Marina is the home of The Lighthouse Inn – the only waterfront motel on the lake. Call now if you want to book one of their rooms for your fall or winter fishing expedition because they do go fast.
High Point’s tackle shop is well-stocked with everything for bass, striper, wiper and crappie, plus live minnows. You’ll find Fitt Lures Riverdarter jerkbaits and swimbaits, CAST swimbaits, Missile swimbaits, Berkley swimbaits, multi-arm rigs, Zara Spooks, ZOOM plastics and 2” crappie jigs.
The Sturgeon Creek Marina Elite Series regular season has come to a close. The Elite Series Fall Classic was held October 8-9.
Congratulations to Matt Clark and Rick Mills who won the October 8-9 Sturgeon Creek Marina Lake Anna Elite Series Classic with a two-day total of 26.52 pounds. Bill Deeds and Matt Seale were a close second with 26.03 pounds over the two, tough days of fishing. Next up is the SCM Winter Series that begins in November. For more information visit www.facebook.com/sturgeoncreekmarina.
The marina is still renting pontoons, weather-permitting and they offer pay-at-the-pump fuel 24-7. The tackle shop is a great place to start your fishing trip.
Over at Fish Tales at Anna Point Marina, Dave Fauntleroy will be on hand this winter to welcome you with a smile. The shop offers an excellent place to catch up on lake news and fishing information as well as 24/7 fuel pumps and great launch ramps.
Congratulations to Dustin Mccumbee and Nate Horner who won the Fish Tails Sunday Morning Series Classic held October 16 out of Anna Point Marina.
Maccumbee and Horner bested 57 other boats with a five fish limit of 16.49 pounds and took home $1,200. Eric Johnson and Timmy Garner were second with 16.25 pounds and won $800. Dave Levesque and Kevin Alonzo were third with 15 pounds and earned $500.
Dee Kidd at Anna’s Marine Center invites you to visit his showroom and lot to see the 2023 Nitro, TRACKER and Skeeter fishing boats he is now receiving. The Nitro and TRACKERS are powered by the reliable Mecury line of outboards including the awesome FourStroke ProXS motors. The Skeeters come with Yamaha HPDI four stroke outboards. The 2023 SKEETER FXR20 and 21 boats are the hottest rigs in the country and difficult for Kidd to keep in stock. All SKEETERs are equipped with Minn Kota and Humminbird electronics.
Uncle Mike’s Bait & Tackle at Elk Creek Country Store is “hotside” fishing headquarters. The shop is stocked with the lures used to catch fish on the private side of Lake Anna. You’ll be able to fuel up your boat and yourself as well as pick up any tackle you might need. The water temperatures on this side of the lake are falling now but remained higher than the main lake at 70-80 degrees by mid-October. Expect 65-75 degrees this month.
Lake Anna Outfitters has several fishing kayaks left including two pedal drives (a Feel Free Lure 11.5 V2 and a Big Fish 105) as well as two Feel Free Moken 10 V2 boats. If you are ready to enjoy access to just about any water give them a call to pick up your new kayak!
The region’s hound hunters will be happy to note Hellems & Son Sporting Goods/Feed & Seed is area headquarters for ValuPak dog foods. There’s a blend for just about any kennel and you can buy in bulk.