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Anna, 19-22 MAY 2021

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  • Anna, 19-22 MAY 2021

    Made my way back up to NOVA for our penultimate FoM event of the regular season. Always look forward to going to Anna, just not when the weather is warm. It's a neck-and-neck race when it comes to which lake is the worst for boat traffic - SML or Anna. Anna didn't disappoint in that regard. It was a freakin' zoo. I mean dangerous. There were quite a few times I was nervous about getting on plane and running. Boats and PWCs running every which direction and no one looking where they're going. Had a number of close encounters, only to be given the usual hand-and-arm signal.

    Practice (WED-FRI). My partner and I spent quite a bit of time going thru old journal entries as we prepared for this event. Some of what we saw/learned at Kerr earlier in the month kinda helped but we all know lakes and rivers each have their own personality. We banked on a majority of the fish being in a post-spawn mode and mapped out our practice as such. I started out w/ a bunch of rods on the deck - moving baits, top water, jigs, soft plastix, you name it. Based on my journal entries, I started off on main lake points. Nothing doing on top water or moving baits. After marking a number of fish holding tight to the bottom I switched to slower presentations. Hooked up almost right away on a jig and a c-rig. Repeated this approach on secondary points and ledges with the same result. No big fish, just lots of solid keepers. As the first day of practice progressed I began to see a pattern where better fish were holding on specific types (shapes) of points. I made some notes (before senior memory failure) to help prepare for the next day. We spent the next 2 days working new water and places we hadn't fished in a while. The wind picked up a bit on FRI - that helped the moving bait bite a little. Managed a couple of solid keeps on a 2.5 and DT-6. The majority of the fish were still hugging the bottom tho'. Slow presentations (jig, c-rig, t-rig, and shakyhead) easily outproduced the moving baits. We finally got into some better fish THUR and FRI. With 3 days of practice to reflect on, it took us little time to finalize our plan for TX day. We were going to run-n-gun points w/ slow presentations.

    TX day. We drew boat #8 and was one of very few to head down lake. We pulled into our first stop - a long, complex main lake point - and worked it quickly w/ no results. We jumped to our next planned stop and bagged a short keeper. We cycled thru our third planned stop without a sniff. Before motoring a bit to our next planned stop we decided to hit our first stop one more time. We hooked up on keeper #2 after a couple of casts. Keepers 3-5 followed in quick succession. We had a small limit in about an hour. Not bad for a lake as stingy as Anna. We continued to work this point to the main lake end. It did not disappoint. We managed to hook up on two small upgrades before calling it on this stop.

    From there, we probably fished a total of 30 or 40 main lake and secondary points on the lower end of the lake using the same approach. We caught fish everywhere we went but most did not help our cause. We did manage a couple of small upgrades in the back of one creek and off of a main lake point nearby but that was it. Our best fish (caught around 10:30), as our practice taught us, came off of a main lake point. By that time the main channel was nearly unmanageable. If it wasn't the incessant wakes and rollers it was the goofball rec boat drivers who stopped right on top of our lures to tell us there was a lot boat traffic out that day. Nice. Thanks, dood. I have to confess lost my cool after the third or fourth run-in w/ rec boat drivers. It also became busy to a point where fishing the main lake simply wasn't safe. We called an audible and moved into the backs of some of the midlake creeks. We found fish but none of them helped. Wed called it a day with an hour left in the TX. Our 5 weighed 8.61 lbs.

    Observations: 1) WTs ranged from 71 on WED AM to 77 late SAT afternoon. Water did not cool off much THUR-SAT. Overnite lows were pretty warm. 2) Water clarity ranged from stained (2-3' of viz) up in the rivers to clear (7-8' of viz) down lake. 3) Clarity up in the rivers was perfect for me but the fish just weren't interested in anything I threw. Bite was way more aggressive and consistent in the cleaner water. 4) Magic range was 2-6' on WED and early THUR; 6-12' late THUR thru SAT. We had no trouble seeing where and how the fish were moving as the air temps got warmer. 5) The bites were a mixed bag. Some fish would absolutely slam it while others snuck up on it. No twitch in the line, no thump, nothing. It just loaded up. 6) Rocky points were better than clay or sandy points. Points w/ a long taper and sharp drops on the sides were better yet. This kind of point close to the channel was money. 7) We fished a number of long points that had crowns (raised areas) on the end. The saddles between the crown and the shoreline were very productive. We caught lots of fish in saddles. You're not going to see these on any printed map. You gotta zoom in on your electronix to see this kind of detail. 8) CNR works. A number of our fish over the 4 days had been caught previously and released alive. 9) C-rig did the most damage for us on TX day. No surprises on baits - creatures and lizards in greens.

    In retrospect, my practice period for this event was incomplete. I accounted for most every condition or situation I could anticipate save for one - boat traffic. I should have dedicated some time to working on ways to better control boat position, leverage my spot-lock, and manage the wakes and rollers. A little bit of effort may have opened up some insights as to how to be more effective in these kinds of conditions. Something to ponder as I fish thru the summer. Finding the balance between productive learning and safety is the key. Nothing trumps safety.


  • #2
    fished there yesterday...remember why I never go :)
    Make VAO Great again


    • #3
      I fished with my daughter Sunday. I was given a crush project wednesday and worked straight until saturday night at 7pm. Met her at High Point at 730, launched at 8, fished above Tim's for 4 hours. Had 6 fish for 8-9lbs, including her catching a chunk which made me feel good. Lunch at Tim's at 12, home by 4. I saw lots of fry in the grass, tons of Bluegills at Tim's. It was bass and they were about 3/4's to 1 inch. I had not fished above Tim's in years. Best bites were on wind blown points (surprise)... Wind felt GOOD as it was 90's....and out of the wind was HOT. I wished I would have had some time to come down and visit B....

      2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
      Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.



      • #4
        Great report B!