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Fishing in February

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  • Fishing in February

    Uplake 38* and Stained, Midlake 42* and Clear, Downlake 51* and Clear
    With cold weather finally setting in the baitfish and fish have been driven out of the creeks and up river locations retreating back to the main lake regions taking up residence in their usual winter locations . 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 will 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 are from the 208 bridge up to Christopher Run on the North Anna side and up to Terrys Run in the Pamunkey. Here the fish are feeding primarily on 3 to 4 inch Threadfin Shad. Below the 208 Bridge Stripers are roaming the mouths of the creeks feeding more on 4 and 5 inch Herring. In the current at the 3rd Dike and the adjacent flats there are tremendous schools of Stripers feeding on Herring and as of this date they are primarly smaller fish but that will change toward the end of the month when the larger fish move in for pre-spawn. We are seeing large schools near the bottom in 20 to 35 feet of water and Stripers suspending over huge schools of bait in 40 to 60 feet of water. There is so much bait present downlake that the fish feed only for short periods of the day making it discouraging to see all the fish but not being able to catch but a few and mostly the smaller fish out of the schools. Artificial techniques for catching Stripers this month will be uplake 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 a lot of fish this month. Downlake, 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 depthfinder. My client Steve Gross caught a 18 1/2 pound Striper on a board on Jan. 26th. Also as the sun warms up clay banks uplake 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 sneek 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 downlake. 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 throughly 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 baits [Sassy Shads, Sea Shads, etc.] 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. Large slabs are also hanging on channel breaks and are always nearby schools of Threadfin Shad. They are easy to locate on a good depthfinder, 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 brushpiles also if bait is present.

    WALLEYE: Fish are being caught around the 3rd Dike Rip Rap and current. Anglers are using 2” white grubs on ¼ oz. heads worked near the bottom. These fish will try to spawn later this month. You can use the public fishing area and fish off the bank there for Walleyes and Stripers.

    Fishing Report furnished by Jim Hemby
    Lake Anna Striper Guide Service
    540-967-3313 [email protected] www.JimHemby.com


    18# striper from Jan 26


  • #2
    Nice fat striper Jim - way to go
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