Lake Anna Fishing Report for February by Lake Anna Striper Guide Jim Hemby

Up lake 38* and Stained,  Mid lake 42* and Clear,  Down lake 51* and Clear

Fishing in January was poor due to weather conditions but with the lake full and a bait kill up lake fishing will improve dramatically this month. Slower and more vertical presentations of baits will produce more strikes in the colder water under 50* and slow horizontal retrieves will work in warmer water. February is the month to catch big fish and many citations should be recorded this month.

STRIPERS: Concentrate your efforts on the main lake wherever bait is present. Gulls will guide you to the schools of bait and the Stripers will be nearby. Your depth finder will also identify the areas you need to fish by showing large clouds of bait [usually in 15 to 30 feet of water] with the Stripers showing up as arches around the bait. There are schools of Stripers all over the lake now but the largest concentrations up lake are from Christopher Run up to Tim’s and Terry’s up to the S turns. Here the fish are feeding primarily on 2 to 3 inch Threadfin Shad. Below the 208 bridge good schools can be found from the mouth of Sturgeon over to the power plant, the mouths of major creeks and from the third dike to the dam. These schools have been found in depths of 25 to 40 feet and are easily seen on good depth finders. There is so much bait in the lake the Stripers are always full making them difficult to catch, especially with artificial baits. Artificial techniques for catching Stripers this month will be to use small baits such as ¾ oz. Hopkins Spoons , Silver Buddies, etc. vertical jigged over pods of bait and fish. Sea Shads , ¼ and 3/8 oz. Road Runners and Stump Jumpers and 3” Sassy shads cast on light line and counted down with an extremely slow retrieve will also catch fish this month. The multi-rigs will work well all over the lake but rig them with 3 inch swimbaits which match the size of the bait the fish are eating. Down lake,  Redfins waked over long points in low light conditions will draw huge Stripers up to explode on the bait, maybe resulting in the fish of a lifetime. Another great bait to throw is a Suspending Jerkbait like Smithwicks Suspending Rogue. Make long casts and use a jerk, jerk  jerk  pause retrieve to catch not only Stripers but Bass as well. As for live bait fisherman, being versatile will be the key this month. Start out pulling points and flats in the low light times of the day with planner boards and free lines  and back off to nearby deeper flats as the sun gets high , maybe running downlines at the depth where you see bait and fish on your depth finder. Also as the sun warms up clay banks up lake and rip rap in the afternoons the Stripers will move up on the banks and can be caught using planner boards. Use Herring or Large and Jumbo minnows for best results.  Outboard motors will spook fish this time of year so be cautious when approaching birds or other fisherman, shut your motors down at least 100 yards away and use your trolling motor to sneak up on the fish.

BASS:  Favorite patterns this month will be to fish in clear water with Jerk Baits. Suspending baits work best fished on primary and secondary points and flats down lake. Hit as many points as you can, making a dozen casts on a point, if you don’t get bit hit the next point. Once you catch a fish, work the point thoroughly with the jerkbait,   maybe slow down and throw a grub and if you see stumps or rocks try a jig. The fish are easy to pattern and the larger fish bite this month. Swim bait work exceptionally well this month making long casts with steady retrieves. There are many points around Dukes Creek with ‘bowling ball size’ rocks on them that hold lunkers. A great way to catch a Citation Bass this month is to pull a Jumbo minnow 30 yards behind your boat 10′ under a bobber, keeping your boat in the 15′  depth range. Great places also to try are short guts or creeks off the main lake like Hackneys Creek. Many fish structures and brush piles hold Bass this time of year. Rip Rap and boulders heat up in the afternoons and attract schools of fish. Also this month a good “deep bite” takes  place . Find schools of bait near the bottom and jig Silver Buddies or spoons to catch these fish.

CRAPPIE: The fish are schooled up now and are on deeper drop offs in the 15 to 25 foot range. Main lake primary points with major breaks are holding  nice fish, especially if  boulders or rocks are present. Points around Christopher Run and Terry’s Run are good as well as the Bridge Pilings in the rivers. The docks in front of Tim’s are full of keeper Crappie. Large slabs are also hanging on channel breaks and are always nearby schools of Threadfin Shad. They are easy to locate on a good depth finder, showing up as dozens of small arches grouped tightly together nearby clouds of bait. Dropping small jigs, spoons and small silver buddies will catch limits quickly. Try deeper brush piles also if bait is present.