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Lake Information for Lake Anna


Lake Anna is a 9,600-acre impoundment located in Louisa, Orange, and Spotsylvania counties, owned by the Dominion Power Company. The impoundment was completed in 1972 and serves as cooling water for the North Anna Nuclear Power Station. Initial stockings began in 1972, with introductions of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. Subsequent stockings of channel catfish, largemouth bass (northern and southern strains), redear, striped bass, and walleye were made to improve and diversify the fishery. Blueback herring and threadfin shad were successfully introduced in the 1980's to provide additional forage for pelagic (open-water) predators. Annual stockings of striped bass and walleye continue in order to maintain these fisheries (other species are self sustaining).

Lake Anna is a reasonable drive from both Northern Virginia and the Richmond area. Outdoorsmen can access Lake Anna at many private marinas, several campgrounds, and at Lake Anna State Park. Reservoir accessibility creates heavy use by both anglers and boaters, especially during summer months.

Fishing Description: 

Largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie are the main species of interest at Lake Anna. Opportunities also exist for anglers to catch bluegill, channel catfish, walleye, white perch, and yellow perch. This fishery is very diverse and offers something for every angler's taste.

Lake Anna is a top largemouth bass fishing destination for anglers residing in central and northern Virginia. This reservoir frequently is host to local and regional fishing tournaments, and for good reason; Anna consistently ranks in the top three statewide for numbers of citation largemouth bass. Intensive fishing pressure is the norm at Anna, but this reservoir maintains very high catch rates and good numbers of fish in the 4-6-pound range.

The striped bass population is maintained by annual stocking. Stripers grow well in Lake Anna, at least for the first few years, and quickly attain the legal size of 20 inches in about 30 months. However, growth of older fish slows due to the lack of good striped bass habitat (cool, well oxygenated water) during summer and early fall months. However, an excellent fishery has developed within the capacity of available habitat. A major winter fishery has developed when stripers can be observed feeding near the surface.

The size structure and growth of crappie in Lake Anna is good. Populations of crappie tend to be cyclical in nature - kind of a boom/bust situation.

A fair bluegill population is available at Lake Anna; however, it would not be a recommended lake for this species. Bluegill populations are usually suppressed in large reservoirs with complex fish communities such as Lake Anna. Fair numbers of bluegill are found in the 5-6 inch range, which provides anglers some opportunity to fish for this delightful panfish.

Channel catfish were first introduced into Lake Anna in 1972, and since that time a naturally reproducing population has developed. Netting data from 2005 suggest that the catfish populations in Lake Anna are now at greater levels than previously documented. Most catfish range from 14-20 inches and average 2-4 pounds.

The walleye population in Lake Anna is maintained by annual stocking.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Largemouth bass typically are found in transition areas between different habitats, particularly around heavy cover and off points. Anglers should concentrate their efforts in these areas, fishing with a variety of lures such as plastic worms, jigs, spinner baits, or crankbaits. Anglers looking to get away from the crowds, especially the heavy boat traffic may consider fishing during winter and summer nights.

Striped bass can be caught with lures (e.g., sassy shads, redfins, bucktails) or live bait (gizzard shad or blueback herring, with the nod going to the latter if you can catch them). The outlook for striped bass is bright, as netting in winter 2005 indicated population density was about average with ample adult fish, and an exceptional 2005 year class was documented.

The key to crappie fishing is to fish where they are. Sometime around mid March to early April, crappie move into shallows (5-6 feet or less) to spawn. Recent angler creel survey data shows that crappie numbers have been good in the Christopher Run area of the North Anna arm. They have also been observed in recent years in late April and early May in coves and creeks along main lake channels in very shallow water along water willow beds. Anglers should concentrate their efforts around structure such as fish attractors, brush piles, boat docks, or bridge pilings. Crappie can be successfully caught by a variety of methods ranging from small jigs, spinners, or flies fished with ultralight spinning gear, or anglers may desire more traditional tactics such as fishing small minnows with a cane pole and bobber. Remember that crappies are a schooling fish, and once a fish is caught, it is likely that several more will be caught within close proximity.

Many anglers pursue channel catfish during summer months when fishing success decreases for other species. Catfish anglers usually bottom fish using a slip-sinker-rig offering live bait (shiners, nightcrawlers), cut bait (herring, shrimp), or dough baits. Chicken livers are also an excellent choice here.

Many anglers target walleyes in the Pamunkey River Arm of Lake Anna from February through April. During this time of the year, fish are found along the red clay banks and drop-offs from the old DGIF boat ramp downstream to Terry's Run. They may be very shallow even during the middle of the day. Walleye can be caught utilizing a variety of techniques. Some folks use medium action spinning gear to cast plastic grubs or crank baits, while others may troll lures or spinners. Many anglers still prefer to fish with live bait such as minnows, leeches, or night crawlers.

White perch are caught in good numbers during late fall and winter. Angler creel survey data collected by Department biologists has shown that November is the best month to catch white perch at Lake Anna. Night crawlers and bloodworms are effective baits for this small member of the striped bass family.

Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Perch
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Lake Anna
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

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    Bruce's Boat Supplies & Service
  • 8045 Jefferson Davis Hwy - Richmond, VA
  • (804) 743-8200

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