West Point Fishing Report April 2013

GON Staff | March 27, 2013

West Point: Level: 1.7 feet below full pool. Temp: 52-55 degrees. Clarity: Most of the creeks are slightly stained, and the lake is clearing nicely.

Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “As we move into April, the shallow bass bite will only continue to improve. This is the best time of the year to catch a trophy largemouth. One of the best patterns for big prespawn and spawning females is simply picking a creek, finding the gravel banks and covering water. A search bait like a spinnerbait, ChatterBait or old faithful chrome/blue Rat-L-Trap is likely to produce the trophy of a lifetime on any cast. Keep a Carolina rig handy in case you catch a spotted bass on the search bait. The spots tend to bed in groups, especially on the south end of the lake, and a Zoom green-pumpkin Finesse worm on the rig will usually wear them out. Also, don’t be intimidated by stained water, especially after a couple of days of sunshine, as it warms up quicker than clear water does. You may have to change lure colors to get bit, but the fish will usually be more aggressive and vulnerable because of the stain and slightly higher water temperature.”

Good. “The spawning run up the Chattahoochee River is on,” Keith said. “The fish seem to be a little behind last year’s pace due to the colder weather in February and March. As a general rule, the section from Ringer to around Glover’s Creek is the best during the first part of the month. Later in the month, from Glover’s Creek to the shoals above Franklin seems to be the key area. It’s pretty easy fishing, especially if you have live or frozen shad. Even chicken liver can be effective. Try anchoring out and throwing downstream from the boat. In water temps below 60 degrees, cut shad will sometimes work better than live shad. One trick I recommend is using a garlic spray. They seem to hit it much better with the spray, especially in stained water. In water temps over 60 degrees, live bait seems to be a little better, but they may still hit the cut shad. Also, I always expect to catch some big flathead catfish or channel cat mixed in with the stripers. If you want to try artificials, white curly tail grubs or Sassy Shads on a lead head will produce. If you’re not familiar with this section of the river, take it easy because there are sandbars and rocks that will tear off your lower unit. As usual, not all the linesides make the run at the same time. Some always remain in the main lake. On the lake, keep your eyes open for topwater schooling activity and sea gulls or loons diving. Downlining and trolling can still be productive especially near the dam and Maple Creek.”

Crappie: Good, said Buddy Murchison. “The fish have started their move to shallow water. The cold weather has moved the large fish—been catching tons of small fish between 12 and 15 feet. The 20 to 25 mph winds haven’t helped. We did manage to catch a limit of 8- to 10-inch fish today. The best color was lime chartreuse, with black chartreuse and blue white coming close. As the water warms to 58 or so, the fish should start moving to the backs of the major creeks. Right now fish 12 to 15 feet deep, and move as slow as possible. Always use something to attract the fish.” Keith said trolling has improved dramatically. “The schools of crappie have moved to the creek channels in roughly 8 to 15 feet of water. Live minnows on a split-shot rig, feather-tail Jiffy Jigs or Triple Ripple jigs in colors such as black/chartreuse, popsicle and acid rain are working. Wehadkee, Yellow Jacket and Whitewater creeks are all producing fish. Expect bedding fish to start showing up pretty soon. If you don’t want to troll, one of my favorite techniques this time of year is casting a weighted float with a feather-tail Jiffy Jig behind it. Attach a medium-sized weighted float to your line, and use a white/blue/white Jiffy Jig about 3 feet below it. Use this rig as a search bait until you find a school of crappie. Once you find a school, it becomes easy. Factors such as cover, hard-gravel bottom and wind blowing on to the bank help improve your odds. I only expect the crappie fishing to get better as the weather continues to improve.”

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