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I recently checked out a good place to fish near Washington, DC called Lake Anna, a 9,600-acre impoundment on the North Anna River that is owned by the Virginia Electric Power Company. Lake Anna is a two-hour drive by car south from DC and provides excellent fishing for a variety of species including largemouth bass, stripers, crappies, white perch and red ear sunfish, known locally as ‘shellcrackers.’

Two years ago, Lake Anna led the state of Virginia for producing ‘citation-sized’ bass of over eight pounds, with over 100 such fish. Last year it ranked in the top four with 63, and three to six-pound fish are very abundant. Stripers can vary from one to 10 pounds; they take patterns such as Lefty’s Deceivers and Clouser Minnows. Panfish such as shellcrackers and bluegills get as large as one pound, and strike small surface flies best in the evening. The summer months are the most productive for fly fishing, although action can be good right into fall.

For anglers who wish to fish Lake Anna with a professional, Chris McCotter is a skilled fly fisherman and enthusiastic guide. He welcomes light spin-tackle anglers as well as fly fishermen, and even suggests switching from one method to the other for part of the day if it helps target multiple species. His equipment is topnotch and he’s a pleasant fellow to spend the day with for either a half or full-day outing. Rates start at $95 for a half-day of crappie fishing for two people, and go up to $215 for a full day of crappie, largemouth and striper fishing for two people. These prices include gas, but not lunch or flies. If you want to spend the night, he can help you arrange accommodations around the lake in either motels or bed and breakfasts. For more information, contact Chris McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service. – Gerald Almy.

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