Lake Anna December 2022

by Chris McCotter

 Even though Lake Anna has cooled to more seasonal temperatures, anglers can still expect to encounter roaming schools of voracious fish throughout the lake during certain key feeding periods. Water temperatures in much of the lake dropped quickly into the upper 60s and 50s late last month and will fall further into the 40s this month except for at Dike 3. 

   According to guide C.C. McCotter, all these lower water temperatures mean striper, wiper, bass, white perch, crappie, even catfish are schooled up and can be found feeding heavily at times, while other times you cannot buy a bite! The key to finding these schools of active fish is three-fold: 1) locating the hot zone of baitfish and gamefish, 2) watching birds and 3) fishing during feeding periods. 

   Here’s what you can expect for a December visit and some news from around the lake’s marinas.

  McCotter says some bass are schooled and others are not this month. Decide what you want to target and seek them out. Up lake bass are leaving willow grass lines and beginning to follow schools of threadfin and gizzard shad on their annual down lake migration.   

  Most of the better action is still coming off main lake points early in the morning where bass ambush shad and will take a spinnerbait. Later in the day, the fish move deeper to rocks and brush and can be pursued with crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, even blade baits and fluttered spoons. The fish sometimes return shallow again in the late afternoon for a brief feed on the points, again where they find baitfish. 

   Hot bass zones in the up lake region include between the two bridges in both the North Anna and Pamunkey Branch and just above and below them. 

   Mid lake bass tend to school in creeks due to clearer water. Hot zones here can include the mouth of Marshall Creek, the mouth of Pigeon Creek, Mitchell Creek, the mid section of Contrary Creek and the mouth of Sturgeon Creek. Using swimbaits, hard and soft plastic swimbaits can be effective when fish and bait are in the area otherwise go deep with spoons and blade baits. 

  Keep in mind the schools of bass are moving throughout the day, so if your depth finder shows fish in 28-32 of water at the mouth of a creek where you caught them shallow in the morning, don’t doubt it. 

   If you cannot find any fish, try pitching a Neko worm or shaky head worm to docks in the first third of creeks. 

   Down lake bass fishing is bait dependent. Creeks like Sturgeon, Beaver Pond, Dukes and Rockland often have bass feeding on bait that can be targeted with everything from small crankbaits to swimbaits, jerkbaits to spoons. Docks will hold fish once the water drops to 50-55. The Dike 3 region has yet to turn on consistently as the herring are not there but should change in December.

   Good fishing is available now for Lake Anna’s striped fish, mostly in the up lake region. Fish began feeding in the upper portion of the North Anna Riverlate last month. Some striper and wiper finally migrated up lake toward baitfish and you might also find schools right around the 208 marinas. It’s been a mid lake year again. Evening fishing at Dike 3 can also be productive in December. 

   Look for the best concentrations to posssibly take up residence from Big Ben Flats up to around the Harris Bridge in the North Anna side and from Jetts Island of Plentiful Creek up to the mouth of Terry’s Run in the Pamunkey Branch. Some fish might remain in The Splits region, too. Don’t overlook the mouths of Contrary and Pigeon Creeks either in December. 

  Yes, there are again a lot of non-keeper striper and wiper (under 20”) in the lake, but there are still some bruisers out there, so don’t give up! A 13-lb. + wiper is coming this winter!

   You can also often catch white perch in the same areas when the striper won’t bite. The 1/4-oz. Capt. Mack’s Super Spoon is deadly on all three and a Crazy Blade is a lot of fun to fish for perch.

  The lake’s crappie are schooled around docks and bridge pilings near the main river channel. Brush piles are good, too, if you can find one that hasn’t been fished too often. Up lake rock piles can hold fish until the water drops below 50. Two-inch jigs on 1/16-oz. jig heads and small minnows on slip bobbers are best.

  Congratulations to Stephen and Bobby Campbell on successfully defending their 2021 title by winning the Fish Tales/Anna Point Marina Angler Appreciation Tournament on October 22. Anna Point Marina’s annual tournament drew 64 teams and paid nine places. 

  When all fish were weighed something happened that had never occurred before: last year’s champs had successfully defended their title. 

  The Campbells won with a five-bass limit weighing 19.93 pounds, earning them $2,600 and the chance to put their names once again on the Angler Appreciation trophy. 

  Mike Fletcher and Sue Stramel were second with 18.40 pounds and took home $1,000.Dave Matthews and Jerry Boutchyard were third with 16.53 pounds and won $700. The event big fish went to Wayne Snow at 5.99 pounds, earning him and teammate George Herring eight place and $805.

  Tournament Director Dave Fauntleroy wanted to thank all who participated and invite anglers to visit the new Anna Point Marina in 2023.  

  High Point Marina and The Lighthouse Inn welcome winter anglers looking for a warm room and great access to the lake. The tackle shop is well-stocked with guide-selected items (including a restock of spoons and blade baits) and all the waterfront motel rooms offer an outstanding view and dockage for your boat.  This marina also sells non-ethanol fuel both on and off the water.

   Over at Sturgeon Creek Marina the annual Winter Series bass tournaments have begun. Gone are the days of gentle summer breezes and warm evenings on the lake. This series is for serious diehards and some outstanding limits over 20 pounds are expected. The Winter Series will run through January.    

     Anna’s Marine Center wanted to thank all their customers for patience this year – as getting in boats took longer than usual but delivery times have improved over last year. Dee Kidd an Wil Vickery also wanted to point out two of their new SKEETER owners have continued to win some series SKEETER Reel Money as a result of winning tournaments out of their SKEETERs. Clay Gatewood and Matt Martin each tourney’s this year and earned $5K of SKEETER Reel Money for each win.

   All of their new SKEETER boats have Humminbirds standard and the Helix MEGA Chirp+ units offer incredible resolution. The new Humminbird MEGA Live real time sonar and MEGA Live Target Lock have been popular options on the new SKEETERS. Solix units are also available if you want to step up the product line. Stop by for a look as well as to see the new Nitro Z Series and TRACKER rigs.

   Elk Creek Country Store is where to find fuel and Uncle Mike’s Tackle Shop on the way to fishing the warm side of the lake this month.Mike notes bass and perch are schooled in Elk and Millpond Creeks and moving toward warmer water every day. Swimbaits, dropshot and spoon are all good now.

  Lake Anna Outfitters at High Point Marina still has several fishing kayaks in stock. They have a 3 Waters Big Fish 103 and a Big Fish 105 with pedal drives. They also have a Feel Free Lure 11.5 V2 with pedal drive and two Feel Free Moken 10 V2 paddle-powered boats. Chrissie McCotter

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