Important Notices for this Waterbody
|DWR Removes Dike 3 Fishing Platform at Lake Anna Due to Safety Concerns|
The Dike III Fishing platform and associated concrete pathway located off Moody Town Road (Bumpass, VA – Lake Anna) is a favorite fishing location for many anglers in the area. The facility, however, was in a deteriorated condition and did not meet current safety standards.
While the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) promotes public access whenever possible, due to the age and continuing deterioration of the fishing platform and concrete pathway, DWR has removed it.
The site continues to be available for shoreline fishing.
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. 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 Hybrid Striped Bass continue in order to maintain these fisheries (other species are self-sustaining).
Prior to 1985, Largemouth Bass were managed with a 12-inch size limit (five per day). That minimum was changed to a 12 to 15 inch protected slot in 1985 in an effort to help restructure the population. In recent years, as the popularity of catch-and-release bass fishing became prevalent, creel data indicated over 99% of bass caught at Anna were released. Thus, the need for any type of restrictive harvest restriction is moot, and the slot was dropped on July 1, 2006. Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass are currently managed under a 20-inch minimum size limit and a creel limit of four per day (aggregate).
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.
Maps & Directions
Lake Anna is located midway between Fredericksburg and Richmond but to the West. The lake borders three counties of Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania.
Access Site: Map
Maps: Check your local bait & tackle shop for commercial maps.
Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass and Black Crappie are the main species of interest at Lake Anna. Opportunities also exist for anglers to catch Bluegill, Channel Catfish, White Perch, and White Catfish. This fishery is very diverse and offers something for every angler’s taste.
Winter Fishing for Striped Bass on Virginia’s Lake Anna
Lake Anna is a winter hotspot when it comes to fishing for inland landlocked striped bass and hybrid striped bass. In the video below, join Alex McCrickard, Aquatic Education Coordinator, and Scott Herrmann, Fisheries Biologist, as they team up to show you tactics and techniques for catching stripers and hybrids even in the dead of winter! Additionally, John Odenkirk, Fisheries Biologist, highlights Lake Anna from a management perspective. Learn about the trends in this unique fishery and why John thinks Anna is currently in its “heyday.” Furthermore, John outlines how license dollars allow DWR to establish and maintain striped bass and hybrid striped bass fisheries across the state!
Lake Anna is a top 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 excellent numbers of fish in the 4–6-pound range.
Routine population sampling conducted by fisheries biologists provides the Department with information pertaining to the status of the fishery. Comparisons can be made between electrofishing samples conducted during different years, which allows biologists to assess changes to the fishery. One index used by biologists is the CPE-P or catch per effort of preferred fish. The CPE-P for largemouth bass is the number of fish 15 inches or larger that are collected per hour of electrofishing pedal time. Lake Anna, with a CPE-P of 48, ranked third in the District (out of 17 reservoirs surveyed) in 2020. This CPE-P was a record for Lake Anna. These data suggest the population was composed of predominately larger fish. Spawning success has been very stable with the resurgence of aquatic vegetation likely resulting in record recruitment in 2019 and 2020 record catch rates. Anglers should experience consistent, good bass fishing for years to come. Lake Anna is one of several large reservoirs in Virginia under evaluation for supplemental F1 (original cross between Northern and Florida) Largemouth Bass stocking. Variable stockings over the next five years will occur in efforts to determine if abundance or size structure can be further enhanced.
Heavy fishing pressure and boater use combined with abundant forage may make it difficult to consistently catch fish at Lake Anna. Patience is the key, and anglers willing to try different techniques and lures to match the prevailing conditions should find success. 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 and Hybrid Striped Bass
The Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass populations are 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. These fish 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 2020 indicated population density was above average with ample adult fish, and exceptional year classes recently established were nearing harvestable size.
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. Netting data from winter 2020 suggested that crappie abundance was average, while size structure was good. Anglers interested in pursuing this tasty fish should have no problem catching a mess of them at Anna. 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.
Saugeye are a hybrid species resulting from a cross of male Sauger and female Walleye. Approximately 90,000 Saugeye fingerlings were stocked into Anna in 2014 as a result of surplus from hatchery production. While no additional cohorts have been stocked since, some Saugeye can still be found in the late winter months around Dike III.
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. Bream fishing does not have to be complicated. Anglers may use live bait such as worms or crickets with hopes of enticing a strike. Some anglers prefer to use ultralight spinning gear or fly fishing gear to present small lures or flies. Pound for pound, there’s not a fish that fights any harder than a scrappy Bluegill. Bream are easy to catch which makes them ideal for introducing young children to the sport of fishing. Best of all, if you’re at the lake and nothing else seems to be biting, you can normally count on catching a few Bluegills.
Channel Catfish were first introduced into Lake Anna in 1972, and since that time a naturally reproducing population has developed. Most catfish range from 14-20 inches and average 2-4 pounds. 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. A potential state record (and possible world record) Channel Catfish was caught and released by biologists in a gill net in December 2002 during a routine survey near Dike III. Anna also has a large population of White Catfish as well as two species of bullheads. Blue Catfish have been documented in Lake Anna, but current abundance is low and the source of this population is unknown.
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.
- 5 per day in the aggregate
- No length limits
Bluegill / Sunfish
- 50 per day in the aggregate
- No length limits
Striped Bass / Hybrid Striped Bass
- 4 per day in aggregate
- 20” minimum
- 20 per day
- No length limits
- 25 per day
- No length
- 5 per day
- 18” minimum
- No Creel Limits
- No Length Limits
2021 Lake Anna Fishing Forecast
Anglers at Lake Anna should find 2021 Largemouth Bass action as good as ever based on evaluations of over two decades of sampling data. Spring electrofishing catch rates in 2020 were nearly at record highs, suggesting there is currently the most bass in the lake as there have been in the last 25 years with a commensurate number of larger fish. Size structure was excellent (record setting) suggesting the population was composed of predominately larger fish. Spawning success has been very stable with the resurgence of aquatic vegetation likely resulting in record recruitment in 2019 and 2020 record catch rates. The positive trend was likely a function of increases in primary productivity and habitat improvements related to the return of aquatic vegetation (both submersed and emergent). Recent creel surveys estimated very high voluntary release of Largemouth Bass – over 99%, which undoubtedly is helping keep mortality rates low (about 24%). Bass up to age-16 were found in 2019 in an age study prior to F1 supplemental stocking. Lake Anna is one of several large reservoirs in Virginia under evaluation for supplemental F1 (original cross between Northern and Florida) Largemouth Bass stocking. Variable stockings over the next five years will occur in efforts to determine if abundance or size structure can be further enhanced. Some of the best bass fishing should be found along edges of water willow beds in the area of the State Park – especially around Rose Valley, Ware Creek and Plentiful Creek. Fish biomass (in addition to bass catch rate) is much higher up lake, so it’s a good idea for anglers unfamiliar with the lake to stay above the splits (or at least upstream of Route 208).
After years of variable stocking rates for Striped Bass, an annual minimum stocking rate of 10 Striped Bass and 10 hybrid Striped Bass per acre began in 2019 and will continue unabated. Striped Bass catch rate (combined with hybrid Striped Bass catch) was above average in 2020 based on winter net samples. Several cohorts have moved into the fishery following several poor years and should provide increases in “typical” Anna keeper stripers of 20-25”. This good fishery for medium-sized stripers should continue to produce limits in 2021. Maintained by stocking, these fisheries provide great potential despite slow growth in this thermally enriched reservoir. There are now four cohorts of hybrids at-large, and survivors of the original group stocked in 2014 are getting quite large and could give Claytor Lake a run for the hybrid Striped Bass state record soon. Stripers will be moving around the lake following forage as temperatures change. Don’t overlook early season action in extreme upstream shallows in areas such as Henry’s Point (Pamunkey arm) and Route 719 Bridge (North Anna arm).
Black crappie numbers have recently been very cyclic (a trait this species is known for). Catch rate in nets was near average in 2020 after an above-average spike in 2019. The Black Crappie population is currently riding a “big-fish” cycle. There was a near-record number of crappie over 12” in 2020 samples, but numbers of very large fish were slightly down. Crappie fishing should still be good in 2021 – maybe better for numbers, but probably not as many slabs as recent years. Look for crappie to be transitioning from bridge pilings and docks during April to water willow edges and natural wood. Once again, upper lake locations should work best: Christopher Run vicinity on the North Anna arm, and Terry’s Run vicinity on the Pamunkey arm.
Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions
- Fee ✔
- Parking ✔
- Handicap-Accessible ✘
- Food Concession ✘
- Picnic Tables ✔
- Grills ✔
- Restrooms ✔
- Hiking Trails ✔
- Bike Trails ✘
- Viewing Blinds ✘
- Observation Platforms ✘
- Fishing Pier/Platform ✘
- Boat Ramps ✔
- Motorboat Access ✘
- Horsepower Limit ✘
- Electric Motor Only ✘
- Paddle Access ✔
- Camping ✔
- Primitive Camping Only ✘
The boat ramp located off of Rt. 522 has been closed since the Department lost its lease. Efforts are currently underway to establish another free public access to the lake.
A number of private marinas, campgrounds, and the Lake Anna State Park offer boat-launching facilities. The following list may not be all-inclusive and inclusion on this page does not provide any endorsement of any sort by the Department.
Anna Point Marina
13721 Anna Point Lane
Mineral, VA 23667
Christopher Run Campground
6478 Zachary Taylor Hwy
Mineral, VA 23117
Duke’s Creek Marina
3831 Breaknock Road
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
High Point Marina
4634 Courthouse Road
Mineral, VA 23117
6320 Belmont Road
Mineral, VA 23117
Lake Anna Marina
4303 Boggs Drive
Lake Anna State Park
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
349 Pleasant Landing Road
Bumpass, VA 23024
Sturgeon Creek Marina
5107 Courthouse Rd
Spotsylvania, VA 22551
Additional information about Lake Anna and the surrounding area can be obtained from the following sources:
Dominion Virginia Power
One James River Plaza
701 E. Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3932
Louisa County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 955
Louisa, VA 23093
Orange County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 146
Orange, VA 22960
Spotsylvania County Department of Tourism
4704 Southpoint Parkway
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
1320 Belman Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22401