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Lake Anna is the second largest lake located entirely in Virginia. With over 200 miles of shoreline and 13,000 total acres, it is easily accessible from Richmond, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. Even though millions of people live within a 90-minute drive of Lake Anna, it is still remote enough that you can really get away from it all.
Complete facilities for a day or a week of enjoyable skiing. Lake Anna has all the resources necessary to make your stay fun-filled. Several first class marinas with excellent launch facilities and dry storage. They also offer boat rentals, food and other provisions. You’ll find beautiful camp sites, waterfront motels and weekly house rentals. Enjoy fine restaurants and then consider all the resources of Lake Anna State Park. Lake Anna basically has it all.
Are they permitted? Yes
Can you swim in the lake? Yes
Average water level variance? 1-2 feet
Are they permitted? Yes
Are they permitted? Yes
Depth of Lake:
70 + feet
Mineral, VA 9 miles Louisa, VA 15 miles
Richmond International, 53 miles, Dulles, 65 miles, Reagan National 70 miles
Many fishermen warm their recliners in December, January and February, recording their favorite fishing shows. Lake Anna anglers are on-the-water, recording memories. This amazing body of water is still one of the best on the eastern seaboard for a lunker largemouth bass, and is attracting a growing number of anglers chasing its hard charging stripers, or fine eating crappie.
Known as a true, four-season fishery, Anna offers angler the unique opportunity to fish even in the middle of winter for active fish. While many fishing destinations boast of their spring and fall prosperity, Anna’s winter time angling sets this lake above the rest. Due to Dominion Power’s North Anna Power Station, water returning to the lake is often seven degrees warmer than normal or ambient temperature. This influx of warm water in the winter makes the entire down-lake region, near the Dike III discharge, a winter haven for baitfish and gamefish.
Want a lunker bass over eight pounds? Try this region of Anna during the cold weather months and you might come back with that fish of a lifetime - it has happened many times before over the years. Lake Anna is often the state leader in largemouth bass citations.
Winter fishing techniques and patterns for largemouth bass typically involve slow presentations around deep water access areas including main lake points, humps and river channel edges. Drop-offs and dike rip-rap are also good winter bass areas. Anna’s winter bass will make periodic shallow water feeding movements, so deep water with access to shallower feeding areas is crucial to a good spot.
Some of the best baits for winter bassin’ on Anna include jig-n-pigs, three and four-inch grubs, jigging spoons or blade baits, slow-rolled spinnerbaits and plastic shads. Live bait anglers can try native baits like blue-back herring, or shad, even store-bought jumbo minnows do well when it¹s cold.
As the seasons change and winter melts into spring, Anna sees an influx of anglers looking for the shallower and more consistent bite that has made the lake famous. Spring bass fishing typically means keying in on spawning patterns. With water temperatures on the rise, bass will “hit the banks” in search of a spawning site and tend to feed aggressively just before going on a nest.
Most of Anna’s citation bass are caught in March and April in the mid-and up-lake region. Spinnerbait fishing is at its best in the upper portions of the North Anna and Pamunkey during this time, as this easy-to-fish lure can provide many memorable moments for even a beginning angler. Shallow water fishing up-lake around rocks, boat docks, stumps and willow grass is also good with jig-n-pigs, Rat-L-Traps, small crankbaits and grubs. In the mid-lake region, anglers will want to try suspending jerkbaits and Carolina-rigged lizards along hundreds of creek points.
Since Anna has no restrictions on fishing for spawning bass, catch and release is strongly encouraged during this vulnerable stage of the season. Remember, the future of this fishery relies entirely on a successful spawning season.
Also on the list of many spring time Anna anglers is the ever-popular “freckle”, “silver perch” or just, plain crappie. This fishery has improved each year to the outstanding level anglers enjoy today. In the spring, fish move shallow and are fairly easy to locate. Try dunking small minnows on slip bobbers or small tube jigs around docks, stumps, beaver huts, large rocks and Fish Structures. Crappie over one pound are common and specimens exceeding two pounds are caught each year.
As the seasons change again and the heat of summer arrives, fish will move to deeper holding areas with only periodic forays into the shallows during the early morning and late evenings. Some of the best topwater action of the year occurs throughout the early summer during these low light times. Anglers casting Pop-R’s, buzzbaits, Tiny torpedos and Rapalas toward shoreline and shallow structure will incite incredible topwater explosions from strong, aggressive fish. When bass begin to move deeper during the late summer, anglers should pursue them with Carolina-rigged and Texas rigged lizards and worms as well as jig-n-plastic combos. Now is the time to probe deep boat docks, river channel edges, humps, brush piles and main lake points.
As the dog days of summer give way to cooler fall days and nights, Labor Day will signal the end of the official summer season. Boat traffic lessens and September through October can again offer some exciting topwater action.
Largemouth follow baitfish into the backs of creeks and feed heavily in preparation for coming cold weather. Crappie, too will again frequent shallow, spring-time haunts and the action is great through November.
Lake Anna is a proven year-round fishery, so whenever the mood strikes.
With over 200 miles of shoreline and 13,000 total acres, boaters have much to explore.
Pontoon boats and small runabouts, in the 17ft to 22ft range are the most common crafts. Sailing is best below the Route 208 bridge, providing about 8 miles of open water with several long creeks.
Jet skiing is popular in the summer, especially on the weekends. Fishing is popular year-round, but reaches a peak in April and May. There are no major boating restrictions on Lake Anna.
Access to Lake Anna is through several marinas open to the public and the Lake Anna State Park. Check our business directory for listings. Lake Anna is open year round.
The marinas provide the majority of essentials, including gas, food and drinks, fishing licenses and tackle. Visitors pay a day use ramp and parking fee. Some marinas are gated, so be sure to check for hours of operation.
Typically these hours are 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after dark. Boat engine repairs are available for most brand outboards and I/O’s. There are no public marinas on Lake Anna’s private or “warm side.”
Boaters may stay on the lake overnight. Most will anchor out-of-the-way in a quiet, shallow cove for the night. Fishing is allowed at night, and is common in the summer months, mainly for those in search of catfish. Boat and jet ski rental are available. Again check our business directory for listings.
It is hard to imagine Lake Anna without its signature state park of the same name. The 2,300-acre park, with its 8.5 miles of shoreline on the clear waters of the lake, is one of the most popular day-use facilities in the state system, attracting 158,000 people last year.
Foremost among the park’s attractions are opportunities for boating, fishing and seasonal swimming at the park’s sandy beach.
The park, 20 years old next year, continues to undergo improvements, recently expanding by 246 acres and adding a number of new multi-use trails--trails open to both foot traffic as well as equestrian and bicycle travel. There are 11 trails within the park, offering a total of 13 miles of pathways, most of that distance being multi-use. While 11 of the trails are categorized as easy, two offer more strenuous hiking opportunity for those so inclined.
A spokesman for Virginia parks said Lake Anna is relatively new, as the state’s parks go, and will undoubtedly see other improvements in years to come. The park master plan is currently being updated.
Lake Anna is one of 34 facilities in the Virginia State Park system. In October, that system took top honors with a gold medal from the National Sporting Goods Association and National Recreation and Parks Association for the number one system of state parks in the country.
Set on a historic gold mining site, the park takes advantage of its colorful past, offering seasonal interpretive programs and all-season self-guided hikes through the its gently rolling forested lands. In the early 19th century, prospectors discovered gold at the site, which came to be known as Gold Hill. Mining of gold and other metals continued there until as late as the 1940s.
In the summer months, kids can learn from experts about panning for gold. And beginning this summer, rangers will offer guided tours to the site of the Goodwin Gold Mine, which flourished on the park land long ago.
The Lake Anna park is also a popular warm-weather picnic site, offering shelters available to larger groups, by reservation.
A boat launching ramp is available and rentals of a variety of smaller watercraft, pontoon boats and jet skis are available from several commercial operators on the lake.
The park beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and offers a snack bar, bathhouse and lifeguard.
For additional information on the park, its programs and schedules, call the park at (540)854-5503 or go to the state parks website at www.dcr.state.va.us, then click on Lake Anna from the list at the left side of the parks home page.
Local Area Businesses
Newcomers to the Lake Anna area often say, "Well, we love the lake and surrounding area and would really love to live here, but we're used to being involved in different activities. What is there to do here besides boating and fishing?" The answer is, plenty!
At last count there were more than 230 organizations and clubs in the Lake Anna/Fredericksburg area ranging from historical, cultural, fraternal and political to sky diving and quilting. There is a club or organization for just about everyone's taste. Does protection of property values, boating safety, emergency services or pollution control interest you? Then the Lake Anna Civic Association is a good place to start.
The Association is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization. Membership is open to all Lake Anna area property owners, businesses and organizations. A quarterly newsletter communicates happenings around the lake to the membership. In the past year the Association has contributed to the safety of the lake by paying for hazard buoys to be placed in the lake. The Association also provides input to Federal State and County governments, and to Virginia Power to provide sound management of Lake Anna.
Is gardening your cup of tea? There are a number of gardening clubs in the area. The closest ones are the Lake Anna Garden Group and the Lake Anna Federated Garden Club.
The LA Garden Group's membership averages 35 and is diverse in terms of gardening experience. Their events and meetings are usually planned for Monday evenings or Saturday mornings, depending on the time of the year. There is something for everyone with an interest in learning or sharing garden knowledge. Some of the activities enjoyed during the year are: plant swaps, house and garden tours, visits to local nurseries and landscape design. Speakers provide information on a wide range of topics including dried flower arranging, installing ponds and waterfalls, nature photography, and information on the Master Gardeners program.
The Federated Garden Club of Lake Anna has only been in existence for two years. They are a member of the Federated Garden Club of America and of Virginia in the Piedmont District. They have more than 20 members who meet the second Thursday of each month. In addition to learning about gardening., they also provide bulbs and seeds to the Virginia Highway Department to beautify the State's highways. They also support a scholarship fund for a post-5th grade nature camp located near Skyline Drive.
For the adventurous, Skydive Orange, might be what you're looking for. The Club is a United States Parachute Association Affiliated Center and has been in existence since the late 1970's. About 10,000 freefall parachute jumps are made annually and the number of skydives has been growing steadily. The only restrictions are in age and weight. Anyone over the age of 18 and less than 240 lbs may jump. "The only restriction for senior's would be that they be in reasonably good physical condition," said Ned Wulin of the Skydive club.
Many organizations in the area are looking for volunteers. Local Fire and Rescue squads are always in need of drivers and emergency medical technicians. Here again the only age restriction is a minimum age of 18.Volunteers need only to be physically capable of handling their duties and fulfilling the needed hours per month. "There is a Statewide 800 number that acts as a referral agency," said Bill Welsh of the Spotsylvania Courthouse Rescue Squad. " They will refer you to the nearest squad based on where you live," he said.
Historical organizations, including the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation and the Fredericksburg Area Museum, together with the National Battlefield Visitor Centers, also need volunteers.
"It's a great way to learn the history of the area and to meet people from all over the world," said Nancy Guerin, a volunteer at the Museum. "We only ask volunteers to donate three and a half hours a week," she said.
For more than forty years, the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation has purchased, stabilized and restored many of the historic buildings that are an integral part of the areas history. In addition to physical preservation, the Foundation also plays an active advocacy role in preservation issues. Each year the Foundation sponsors several festivities.
In order to maintain the community's link to the past they protect more than 36 historic properties, allocate 15 percent of the net proceeds from their annual Christmas Candlelight Tour and provide technical assistance for the restoration and maintenance of historic properties. They educate members and the community by: Recognition of historic properties through the historic Marker Program, feature speakers as monthly member forums,. interpret the area's culture and history for local citizens and visitors, and publish an annual Journal of Local History.
The Spotsylvania Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is another example of the diversity of Associations in the area.. Members meet the third Saturday of each month, September to June. They are an educational, historical and patriotic association. They are presently active in restoring the obelisk of James and Dolly Madison. They also support a number of historical homes in the area.
The organizations mentioned are but a sampling of clubs and associations waiting to be discovered by new residents. Whether you are a retired executive, Scottish, or bulldog fancier, you are sure to find a club that will meet your needs. A full listing of clubs is printed in the Free Lance Star's "Guide to Living for 1999-2000."