Lake Anna Warm Water 12-29-2010

29 12 2010

I hadn’t fished with my buddy Chuck from KBF for several months, so we decided to get together this week while I had some time off. Given that it’s been insanely cold this week, we knew we’d have to fish a hot water discharge somewhere if we were fishing for bass. Luckily for us, Chuck is an employee of Dominion Power so he (we) have access to the warm water side of Lake Anna. I have never fished Lake Anna before and was actually pretty excited about this trip. As I’m heading out of the door, I drop my battery power supply to my fish finder and it shatters on the floor. I try to repair it with some duct tape, but I won’t find out if the repair works until I get out on the water.

I meet Chuck at 7am at I-64 and Route 522 and follow him up to the security check-in. If you’re not a Dominion employee nor a guest of one, do not bother trying to get in. This is a high security facility and a full vehicle search is performed before entering the property. You are also given a badge that must remain visible all day as well as instructions provided of where you can and can’t fish. It takes us bout 15 or 20 mins to get through security, but we finish up and head down to the launch.

I take note of the 20F air temps and all the steam coming off the lake as I get out of my truck. I quickly unload my truck, load my kayak and get into the water. Doh! The battery repair doesn’t work so I’ll be blindly fishing a bit. Chuck informs me water temps are 60F. It actually feels good to put my hands in the water; they don’t feel so good when I pull them out. We immediately head for a cove one of the security guards pointed out and start to fish. I catch a small, 12″ LMB within my first 20 casts, caught on a chartreuse and white 3/8oz spinnerbait, in about 4 feet of water. We continue scouting and fishing this cove. I’m alternating between the spinnerbait and a 5.5″ Strike King Shadalicious swimbait. I’ve never fished a swimbait before but figured now was as good a time as ever to start. I catch another LMB on the spinnerbait, this time a 16″-er on a point with a brush pile near a steep drop off. Perfect spot for a bass…

We continue fishing several coves with not a lot of luck. The water is down quite a bit, probably 3 feet or so. When the water is up, I’m sure this place is AWESOME to fish as there are lots of shoreline structure, lay downs, and tons of undercuts. We fish some docks and while Chuck is picking blips and bait balls on his depth finder, we’re not having much luck. I see a few fish but no takers. We make a bee line across the main channel, heading to the rip rap. The water gets deep here across the channel, down to 40 feet. Chuck sees plenty of blips on the depth finder but neither of us are interested in fishing that deep.

We hit the rip rap and start fishing here. Chuck is throwing a small 3″ paddle tail on a jig head and I’m throwing a DT 6′ Rapala crank in a perch pattern. Chuck gets into a few cats and largemouth bass here. Given the steep dropoff from the rip rap and the depths here (15 to 20 feet about 10 yards off the rip rap according to Chuck), I decide to finally tie on the DT 20′ crank I’ve had in my box for the last year that I’ve never used. I’m hoping for a big pig but instead get nothing but bottom muck on my crank. We fish a good portion of the rip rap and decide to fish the mouth of the discharge one last time. A few casts here and we call it a day on the kayaks. Chuck tells me we must fish the water right in front of the discharge, so we pack load up our stuff and head up to the facility.

Now, I can’t tell you that much about this facility for fear of someone coming and snatching me out of my bed at night and throwing me in jail, but let me tell you…it’s friggin awesome. I’ve never seen so many LARGE largemouth bass in one area…that I was actually able to see from the bank. I also spot tons of large bluegill and a shad or two. The current is very swift here and is reversed near the banks, so the largemouth actually face “downstream” a lot of the time here, waiting for food to be brought back on the current conveyor belt. It was weird seeing LMBs acting like smallmouth. When we initially set out, we intended on only fishing for 30 or 45 minutes. We ended up fishing for 2 hours. It was a lot of fun sight fishing, particularly when you see very large fish. I caught 2 or 3 LMB here, none of great size, the biggest running 12″. Chuck lands several more LMB and a couple of channel cats. The blue gill here are voracious. They are attacking the paddletail I was using but the hook was just too big for their mouths. If I would have had more time I would have given them a shot with my ultralight rod.

Around 2pm, we call it quits and head home. Not as active as a day as I had hoped, but it was an interesting and fun experience none the less. I’m fairly certain when the water is up this is a fantastic place to fish. How can it not be? Water temps 60F year round and not a lot of pressure. If you don’t own land or are not a Dominion Power employee (or a guest), you can not fish these waters as there is no other way to get on the warm water side. Now I just need to get a job with Dominion…..

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