Chickahominy Lake and River Resource Page

Information gathered from Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries

Chickahominy Lake

This is a 1230-acre water supply reservoir located along the New Kent-Charles City county line. The low-head dam of this reservoir (known locally as Walkers Dam) was completed in 1943 and incorporates twin Denil fish ladders to allow for the passage of anadromous fish such as blueback herring and striped bass. Surveys in 1989, 1990 and 1992 indicted that river herring were passing through the ladder in tremendous numbers and spawning both within and upstream of the reservoir. There is a manually operated boat lock at the dam, which allows boat traffic to move between the reservoir and river.

This cypress-laden lake provides spectacular scenery, and is great for bird watching. In addition, it just happens to be one of the best all round fisheries in Virginia. The cypress trees, water lilies and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) provide excellent habitats for aquatic organisms and are undoubtedly one of the reasons for the consistently good fishing at this lake over the years.

Chickahominy River

With broad expanses of open marshes, cypress trees dotting much of its shoreline, and a diversity of fish species choose from, the Chickahominy River provides the angler with tidal river fishing at its finest.

This river has supported a nationally recognized largemouth bass fishery for many decades. Although in recent years bass fishing was off somewhat, the largemouth population in the tidal Chickahominy has improved.

Blue catfish are the most abundant catfish occurring in the tidal Chickahominy, and can be caught throughout the year in the Chick and its tributaries. Although the Chickahominy doesn’t yield as many citation-size blue catfish as the tidal James, each year the Chick ranks as one of Virginia’s top blue catfish waters and typically provides anglers with abundant catches.

The river herring run continues to draw a number of anglers to the tidal Chickahominy at Walkers Dam each spring. During the peak of the run, armed with bare gold hooks or small spoons, anglers can land an abundance of these unique fish. Anglers are reminded that all river herring caught above Walker’s Dam must be released.

Striped bass occur throughout the tidal Chickahominy, and are available to anglers during both the spring and fall seasons.

In the tidal Chickahominy River, regulations setting season and creel limits for American shad, Hickory shad, river herring, and striped bass are set by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). For information regarding these regulations contact VMRC in Newport News at 1-800-541-4646 or on the web at:

The tidal Chickahominy River can be accessed at the following public landings: Chickahominy Riverfront Park (formerly Powhatan Resort) 757-258-5020; the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area ramp on Morris Creek; and Brickyard Landing west of Toano, off Route 610. Private (fee) ramps include: Rock-a-Hock Campground 804-966-2759; Riverside Camp 804-966-5536; Colonial Harbor 804-966-5523; and River’s Rest 804-829-2753. Walker’s Dam, accessed through Rock-a-Hock Campground, is located off U.S. Route 60 on Route 649, west of Lanexa


The largemouth bass fishing at this lake has been consistently good over many years. The results of the 2003 survey show that the largemouth bass population is in good shape overall. Structural indices were in line with that expected for a balanced fishery. Physical examination of the fish showed them to be in good condition and this was supported by an index of relative weight. The largest fish caught in our sample was 21 inches in length and weighed almost 5 lbs. The data compares favorably with the results of the previous survey conducted in 2000. The main difference being a slight reduction in the proportion of larger fish (greater than 12 inches in length) and an increase in the number of younger fish (less than 8 inches in length).

Bluegill were very abundant, especially those under 6 inches in length. Having said that, the catch rate (number of fish caught per sampling hour) for larger fish (6 to 8 inches in length) was relatively good and considerably higher than that recorded during the 2000 survey. Our sampling indicates that the redear sunfish population is also developing well.

Our survey indicates that the black crappie population is in decent shape, with the largest fish in our sample topping out at 14 inches. The overall population structure was similar to that recorded in the 2000 survey, but the condition of the fish was better.

Angling enthusiasts will enjoy the fact that this is a diverse fishery. Chain pickerel, bowfin, gar and carp are present in sufficient numbers and size to provide alternative quarry.

For some time now, the reservoir also has provided a popular catch-and-release fishery for anadromous (sea run) striped bass that have passed through the fish ladder at Walker’s Dam (see the Regulations section for more information).




Maps can also be purchased from:


Additional Information

Woods and Water Magazine Article on Fishing in Chick Lake

Lake Chesdin Resource Page

Information gathered from Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries

Lake Chesdin is a 3,100-acre water supply reservoir on the Chesterfield-Dinwiddie County line administered by the Appomattox River Water Authority. Chesdin is a very productive lake that offers excellent largemouth bass fishing, good crappie fishing (both black and white) in spring and fall, and a great channel catfish fishery. For experimental reasons, walleye stocking has been reduced in recent years. Even so, numerous walleye up to 7 pounds were collected in gill net samples in 2004. As a result, the Department has decided to increase walleye stocking beginning in 2005. Striped bass have been stocked for many years, but none were harvested by anglers who were interviewed for the creel survey in 2003, and very few have been collected in gill net samples. Consequently, striped bass stocking is being terminated.
Due to the opening of a fish lift in Brasfield Dam (AKA Lake Chesdin Dam) during spring, 2005, anadromous fish will have access to the upper Appomattox River for spawning for the first time in many years. Although relatively few shad and herring are expected to use the lift during this first year of operation, a good spring fishery may develop in the upper river if spawning runs improve over time.

The public boat ramp and handicap-accessible fishing pier are open 24 hours a day. There are three private marinas with boat ramps, rental boats, bait, tackle, camping, and picnicking.

Lake Chesdin Maps

Maps for Lake Chesdin can be purchased from the following companies


Fishing Hot Spots

Buggs Island / Kerr Reservoir Resource Page

Information gathered from the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries

Buggs Island Lake is about 48,900 acres at full pool and has one of the best largemouth bass fisheries in the country. Surveys on largemouth bass indicate high rates of reproduction and growth. Largemouth bass in the 2-4 pound range are typical, however, trophy bass greater than eight pounds are rare. The best fishing is on the upper end of the lake and the lower end creek arms. Structure is important, and water levels affect how much structure is available. When water levels rise into the willow and sweet gum trees in spring, anglers should be sure to fish the backs of coves and the points. Channel catfish have traditionally been the most sought after catfish at Buggs Island; however, flathead and blue catfish have become popular as well.

The striped bass population is in fair condition and should be similar to the last couple of years. During spring, striped bass may be found in the upper end of the lake and in the river above the lake as fish travel upstream to spawn. During summer, habitat (combination of temperature and dissolved oxygen) forces striped bass to be found in the lower end of the lake (the dam to about Buoy 9 and in the mouth of Nutbush Creek). Fishing during the fall and winter is typically best from Goat Island to the Clarksville Bridge, although fish may be found throughout the lake. Striped bass caught during the summer suffer high mortality rates when released (approximately 75 percent). Therefore, we ask that anglers fishing during the summer retain their legal-size fish (20 inches or over) until they are done fishing for the day, or reach their limit (four/day) rather than continue to catch fish and cull smaller individuals. During the cooler months (October-May), striped bass are less stressed and do not suffer high catch-and-release mortality.

Buggs Island Lake is also one of Virginia’s best places to catch crappie. Fishing for crappie is typically best from February through April (pre-spawn and spawn); however, many anglers enjoy high catch rates year-round. Buffalo, Grassy, Bluestone, and Butcher Creeks are very productive for crappie. White bass used to be a real favorite at Buggs Island Lake. However, white bass populations are down in many Virginia reservoirs. White perch have recently become established in the lake and may have contributed to the decline of white bass. White perch are quickly becoming popular with anglers because they are abundant and can reach weights of nearly two pounds.

A portion of Buggs Island Lake is located in North Carolina, but Virginia fishing licenses are legal lake-wide. Disabled anglers are encouraged to visit the North Bend Park pier, which is designed especially for their needs. The end of the pier is located over 17 feet of water. Fish attractors, constructed of discarded Christmas trees, have been installed around the pier to enhance the fisheries habitat. Buggs Island Lake is located on the border of North Carolina, mainly in Mecklenburg County, and has numerous campgrounds, boat ramps, and recreation areas around it. For facilities information, call 804-738-6143 or visit the web at For information on lake levels, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 804-738-6371.

Maps for Kerr Reservoir / Buggs Island

Maps can be purchased from the following companies.


Kingfisher Maps

Fishing Hot Spots

BC Fishing Maps

Briery Creek Resource Page

Information gathered from Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries

Briery Creek Lake is an 845-acre lake that is owned by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is within the Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area in Prince Edward County. The dam was completed in 1986 and the lake was open to fishing in 1989. In 1986 and 1987 the lake was stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass, northern strain largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish (also known as shellcrackers), channel catfish, and crappie. Timber in the floodplain was left standing or felled and drumchopped resulting in an abundance of fish habitat. Biologists hoped that the presence of Florida-strain bass and the complex habitat would produce a high quality largemouth bass fishery.

Initially, the largemouth bass regulation was an 18-inch minimum length and 2-fish/day creel limit. Early production of largemouth bass was excellent and in 1991, this regulation was changed to a 12 – 15 inch protected slot limit (5/day) to allow anglers to harvest the abundant smaller bass. Briery Creek Lake quickly began producing trophy largemouth bass and recognized as one of the state’s premier bass fisheries. To help protect this fishery, the regulation was changed to a 14 24 inch protected slot limit on January 1, 2001. The daily bag limit is still five bass per day, but only one may be longer than 24 inches.

Briery Creek Maps

Briery Depth Map

Briery Topo Map

More Maps

BC Fishing Maps

Articles on Briery

Article from
Profile of a Trophy Fishery, Briery Creek Article on Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society website
Another Article from
Old Virginia Pilot article on Briery (you will need to be registered for the site to see the article)


Briery Creek Lake is one of the most important fisheries in the state and biologists certainly treat it as such. Not only are annual electrofishing samples conducted, but since 1999, creel surveys have been used to gather information as well (angler effort, catch, harvest and attitudes and opinions on the fishery). Spring creel surveys (March thru May) are an effective method for following trends in fishing, particularly for trophy bass (> 22 inches). The five years of creel data have given biologists the best information in evaluating this fishery and the trophy slot limit that went into effect on January 1, 2001.

Overall, angler catch rates (number/hour) have remained remarkably consistent since 1999 (about 4 fish/10 hours of fishing). This is a very good catch rate, particularly for the spring. What has varied is the catch rate of trophy bass. Since 1999, there have been three very good springs (1999, 2000, and 2002) and two average ones (2001 and 2003). The average springs were cool and wet in March and April, which likely had the big fish hanging in deeper water more than usual. Conversely, during the great springs, the weather was more normal and warmed up gradually so when the big fish came shallow to spawn, they stayed for a week or two. The big bass are most vulnerable when they are shallow. For one, anglers can see them. But perhaps just as important, there is a lot less water to cover when they are hanging in 3-5 feet as opposed to 12-18 feet. Finally, the warmer water has them feeding a little more aggressively. When the water temps are less than 60, the big largemouth at Briery are mainly caught on big minnows or jigs. The creel data shows a similar trend to the citation data but is much more reliable.

Therefore, the prediction for 2004 is watch the weather! The sooner the lake gets to 60 degrees, the sooner the fishing gets good. But it has to stay fairly constant. Anglers planning trips to Briery to target citation bass would be well served to shoot for the last week of March through April, but if it gets warm early, shoot for early-mid April. Anglers are welcome to call the Farmville office or Worshams grocery for more information.

Early results on the regulation change are very promising. Prior to the change, more than 100 citation largemouth bass were harvested per year. That has been reduced dramatically (which was needed). Will that result in more years like we had in the mid 90’s when Briery first emerged as the hot spot for trophy bass? Time will tell. What biologists do see happening with the new regulation is that we can ride the so-called good times for a much longer time than we could have under the former 12-15 inch slot limit. The new regulation has already changed the size structure of the fishery-we are collecting more 15-20 inch fish than ever before. It will be exciting to follow these fish and see if we can continue to recruit new trophies each year. But for now, Briery is still the best water in the state to chase 10 pound bass. But for those anglers who are not lucky enough to get a linker, they should have a blast with 2-4 pound fish.

James River Resource Page

Information about the James River gathered from the Virginia Games and Inland Fisheries Dept.

Upper James River

From the confluence of the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers in Alleghany County, downstream to Richmond, the James River offers a wide range of angling opportunities and settings. Smallmouth bass are the dominant game species, but spotted and largemouth bass can also be caught. Smallmouth bass fishing should be good in 2002, with decent numbers of 11-14 inch fish. The numbers of smaller fish may be down a little from the past two years, but should be good enough to provide plenty of action.

Bass fishing will be good throughout the river. Both the mountain sections (upstream from Lynchburg) and the piedmont sections (between Lynchburg and Richmond) should have lots of fish. There is not a lot of difference in the fish populations from one spot to another, it is simply a matter of finding the particular locations where the fish are holding and using whatever bait or lure they might want that day.

Other species are also plentiful in the James River, including channel catfish, flathead catfish, and various sunfish species (redbreast, bluegill, and rock bass). Flathead catfish appear to be more numerous upstream from Lynchburg, and channel catfish are more numerous below Lynchburg. In the past few years, many large flathead catfish have been caught in the river, although numbers are lower this year. Sunfish numbers have been low over the past several years, but angler reports and Fisheries Division samples indicate that these species are rebounding. Sunfish should be more abundant in 2002, at least compared to the previous five years. Muskies are also annually stocked in the James. These fish are scarce, but some very large fish can be caught. Most of the muskies are found upstream from Lynchburg.

Overall, the James River offers an excellent fishing opportunity for whatever you might want. Canoeing is the best way to access the river, and a map showing access points is available from the VDGIF. Small boats (such as john boats) can also be used at some access points. Bank and wade fishing access is also available throughout the river.

From Scottsville throughout the fall line in the City of Richmond, anglers may find fewer bass than on many other sections of the river, but those caught tend to average much larger. An 11-14 inch slot limit regulation is in effect on smallmouth and largemouth bass. Anglers may keep small and large bass but must return all bass that are 11-14 inches in size. A good panfish population, predominately redbreast sunfish, also exists on the James River. Catfish are abundant, especially channel cats, and large flathead catfish can now be found in the fall line of the river in the City of Richmond. Access to the river is good, with many public boat ramps on the river from Scottsville to Richmond. The river is open to the public 24 hours a day.

Lower James River

The tidal James River and its tributaries support a nationally recognized largemouth bass fishery. The tidal James system was the site of previous Bass Master Classics and the FLW Tour Championship is scheduled to occur on the tidal James in September 2003. Upstream from Hopewell, fishing for largemouth is best in old river channels and abandoned gravel pits connected to the main stem. Downstream from Hopewell, largemouth fishing is most productive in larger tributary creeks, the main stem James River having very limited shoreline structure below Hopewell. The creeks between Hopewell and Hog Island provide excellent largemouth habitat, with abundant shoreline structure, such as old pier pilings and downed trees, adjacent to channel drop-offs as well as large expanses of vegetated tidal flats.

James River Maps

GMCO Maps for Virginia waters Probably the best available fishing map.

Navionics Nautical Charts and GPS Software Excellent Navigational charts as well as having chips available for use in GPS plotters.

James River Articles

Virginia Game and Fish Magazine James River Articles

Boat Launches

Upper James River Boat Launches

For the Upper James (above the fall line in Richmond) the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries website has good maps that show the locations of all boat landings and ramps.  You can click the link below to get to that page
Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Upper James Launch maps

Lower James River Boat Launches

For the Lower James boat launches are listed below:

Ancarrow Landing (public)

In Richmond off Route 5

Osbourne Landing (public)

Henrico County, 9680 Osbourne Turnpike


From 64 take the Laburnum Avenue Exit. You will want to take the Laburnum south exits. On Laburnum Avenue cross over Williamsburg Road, Charles City Road, Darbytown Road and Route 5/New Market Road. Laburnum becomes Burning Tree Road after crossing route 5. Take to the end and make a left on Osborne Turnpike. Go 3.5 miles and the entrance is on the right.

From 95 take exit 67 Rt. 895 towards the airport. Go over the bridge and through the toll plaza then take the first exit for Laburnum Avenue. Take the first left turn off the exit ramp. This will lead you to Burning Tree Road. Take to the end and make a left on Osborne Turnpike. Go 3.5 miles and the entrance is on the right.

From 295 take exit 22 Route 5 towards Williamsburg. Go to 2nd or third right turn Kingsland Road and make the right. Follow for several mile. Kingsland will run into Osbourne Turnpike and boat ramp will be right there on the left.

Dutch Gap (public)

Chesterfield County


From I-95 north or south, use Exit 61A, East on Rt. 10 to first stoplight, North on Rt. 732 to Rt. 615, Right on Rt. 615 follow signs to boat launch.

From 295 take the route 10 exit towards Chester. Go until just before you get to Rt. 95. Take a Right turn on Rt. 732 Stage Road and follow signs to the boat launch.

Deep Bottom (public)

Henrico County


From 95 take exit 67 Rt. 895 towards the airport. Go over the bridge and through the toll plaza then take the first exit for Laburnum Avenue. Go to the first traffic light and make a right on Route 5 towards Williamsburg. Take route 5 past where 295 crosses it then take the 2nd or third right turn for Kingsland Road then take your first left for Deep Bottom Road. Follow this to the boat launch.

From 295 take exit 22 Route 5 towards Williamsburg. Go to 2nd or third right turn Kingsland Road and make the right then take your first left for Deep Bottom Road. Follow this to the boat launch.

Hopewell City Marina (public with fees)

Hopewell City


From 95 use Exit 61A, East on Rt. 10. Follow Rt. 10 all the way to Hopewell. You will cross a long bridge over the Appomattox River. Immediately after crossing the bridge take the right turn exit. Follow to bottom of the hill and make a left and then the ramp is located on your right.

From 295 take the route 10 exit towards Hopewell. Follow Rt. 10 all the way to Hopewell. You will cross a long bridge over the Appomattox River. Immediately after crossing the bridge take the right turn exit. Follow to bottom of the hill and make a left and then the ramp is located on your right.

Jordan Point (fee ramp)



From 95 use Exit 61A, From 295 use exit 15, then go East on Rt. 10. Follow Rt. 10 all the way to Hopewell. Go through town and then follow signs for Rt. 156 to Benjamin Harrison Bridge. Jordan Point is located just before you get to the bridge.

Chickahominy Waterfront Park (fee ramp)


From 95 take exit 67 Rt. 895 towards the airport. Go over the bridge and through the toll plaza then take the first exit for Laburnum Avenue. Go to the first traffic light and make a right on Route 5 towards Williamsburg. You will be on Route 5 for some distance (at least 15 – 20 miles). You will then cross a long bridge that goes over the Chickahominy River. Immediately after crossing the bridge make the first left turn into Chickahominy Waterfront Park.

From 295 take exit 22 Route 5 towards Williamsburg. You will be on Route 5 for some distance (at least 15 – 20 miles). You will then cross a long bridge that goes over the Chickahominy River. Immediately after crossing the bridge make the first left turn into Chickahominy Waterfront Park.

Lake Anna Resource Page

Information gathered from the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries

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. Subsequent stockings of channel catfish, largemouth bass (northern and southern strains), redear, striped bass, and walleye were made to improve and diversify the fishery. 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 walleye are generally made to maintain the fishery. Prior to 1985, a 12-inch size limit was in effect for largemouth bass. Since that time, a 12 – 15 inch protected slot has been in effect to restructure the largemouth bass population. The current regulation allows harvest of fish less than 12 inches and larger than 15 inches. Fish between 12 and 15 inches must be released. Striped bass are currently managed under a 20-inch minimum size limit.

Lake Anna is a reasonable drive from both Northern Virginia and the Richmond area. Outdoorsman can access Anna at nine private marinas, several campgrounds, and at Lake Anna State Park. Reservoir accessibility creates heavy use by both anglers and boaters, especially during summer months. A 2000 creel survey indicated that fishing pressure was around 24 hours/acre. The most popular species fished for included largemouth bass (69 %), striped bass (15 %), and crappie (12 %). Crappie (70%) were harvested at the highest rate, followed by striped bass (29 %) and largemouth bass (1 %). Surprisingly, almost 99 % of all largemouth bass caught were released!

Hydrilla vertricillata, an exotic aquatic weed, became established into Lake Anna during the late 1980’s. Abundance increased from 96 acres in 1990 to 832 acres in 1994. Triploid (sterile) grass carp were stocked into Virginia Power’s Waste Heat Treatment Facility in 1994 to control Hydrilla, and Hydrilla abundance is now quite low in both impoundment’s.

Lake Anna Area Information Sources

Lake Anna Online

Lake Anna Va. Site

Lake Anna Maps

Topo Map

Outline Map

More Maps

Maps for Lake Anna can be purchased from the following map companies (Note click the name to go to their site):


Kingfisher Maps

Fishing Hot Spots

BC Fishing Maps

Lake Anna Articles

List of additional reading on Lake Anna fishing I have found.

Chesapeake Angler Magazine on Spring Striper Fishing on Lake Anna

VaBass website

Game and Fish website on Fall Stripers at Anna

Game and Fish website on Winter Stripers at Anna

Fishing Information

Largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie are the main species of interest at Lake Anna. Opportunities also exist for anglers to catch bluegill, channel catfish, walleye, white perch, and yellow perch. This fishery is very diverse and offers something for every angler’s taste.

Largemouth Bass

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 good 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 effort. Lake Anna, with a CPE-P of 19, ranked eighth in the district (out of 20 reservoirs recently surveyed) in 2003.   This CPE-P was slightly above average but lower than record values observed during 2001, suggesting that bass size structure recently shifted downwards slightly.   Overall, catch rate of bass was at a record high in 2003 thanks to above average catch of fingerlings and fish within the slot.

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

The striped bass population is 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” 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 2003 indicated population density was above average with lots of 4- and 5-year-old fish.

Black Crappie

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. What this means to anglers is that the quality of fishing may vary from year to year. Anglers interested in pursuing this tasty fish should have no problem catching a mess of them at Anna. The key is to fish where the fish are. 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. 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.


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

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.   This monster was released and should still be swimming the depths of the old quarry near the dam.   Anna also has a large population of white catfish as well as two species of bullheads.


Many anglers target walleyes in the Pamunkey River Arm of Lake Anna from February – April. During this time of the year, fish are found along the red clay banks and drop-offs and may be very shallow even during the middle of the day. Walleye can be caught utilizing a variety of techniques. Some folks use medium action spinning gear to cast plastic grubs or crank baits, while others may troll lures or spinners. Many anglers still prefer to fish with live bait such as minnows, leeches, or nightcrawlers. During summer, many successful walleye anglers fish at night. One popular area is around the Rt. 208 bridge.

The walleye population in Lake Anna is maintained by annual stocking. A walleye study was recently completed on Lake Anna, which provided Department biologists with important information on the habits of walleye within this reservoir. Adjustments to the stocking program improved the fishery during the past several years, and catch rates of walleye in gill nets reached record levels in 2002 and 2003.   Despite stockings throughout the reservoir, fish still are overwhelmingly found in the Pamunkey Creek arm in the vicinity of and above the “S curve”.   Target Henry’s and Bennett’s Point in the upper Pamunkey and Rose Valley in the North Anna arm.

A special walleye section was published in the June 2001 issue of Virginia Wildlife , which included the findings of a recently completed research study at Lake Brittle and other state waters. Anglers looking to enjoy this unique fishery should obtain this handy reference from a local DGIF office to add to their fishing library.

White Perch

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. Nightcrawlers and bloodworms are effective baits for this small member of the striped bass family.