West Point Fishing Report April 2014
West Point: Level: 2.9 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 50s; some low 60s on the south end on warm afternoons. Clarity: The main run north of 219 is more stained and a bit cooler than the larger creeks.
Bass: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “As water temps rise into the low 60s, expect the largemouth bass to quickly move shallow and feed like crazy before the spawn. Try throwing Rat-L-Traps in chrome/blue back in clear water or red/crawfish in stained water. Some of the hottest baits lately have been the old stand-by, the crawfish Shad Rap (No. 5, No. 6 or No. 7) and the Bandit 200 crankbait, also in crawfish patterns. Spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and ChatterBaits are also good choices right now. Try fishing rip-rap or red-clay banks that are in the sun for most of the day. Some fish are even chasing bait in the backs of pockets. By mid April, expect to find some largemouth on the bed, and a lizard on a short Carolina rig will work well. The spotted bass are showing up in good numbers and are about ready to start bedding now. A Carolina-rigged, green-pumpkin Zoom Finesse worm fished on any gravel banks should result in a quick limit.”
Linesides: Good. “Topwater and schooling action on linesides has improved somewhat, especially on the cloudy and overcast days,” Keith said. “Casting with baits such as the Berkley Schooling Rig, Russ’ hand-tied bucktail jigs and the Storm Swim Shad has been working decently well on surfacing fish. Some fish are also being caught trolling with Shad Raps or bucktail jigs. The best areas lately have been at the mouths of Maple, Yellow Jacket and Whitewater creeks, but they could pop up anywhere. Finding clearer water seems to be the key. Keep your eyes open for gulls or loons diving as they will often tip you off to the location of an entire school. Downlining has also improved recently with shad or shiners. Suspend your baits at around 20 feet for the best results. Look for the schools of baitfish, and the stripers are usually just below them. The river run should be wide open by early April but might be a little later than normal this year due to the below-average temps. In water temps below 55 degrees, cut shad with garlic will work well. When it’s above 60 degrees, I normally do better with live bait. Remember, things will change quickly with a few days of nice weather or a heavy rain.”
Crappie: The fishing is improving daily, according to Keith. “Crappie fishing continues to improve as we move toward April. Yellow Jacket, Whitewater and Wehadkee have been producing good catches. I have seen quite a few 2-pounders caught. The warming trend and a little warmer stained water will keep them turned on. Excellent trolling should continue during late March and into early April until they finish bedding. Try using white/blue/white or acid rain Jiffy Jigs. A small minnow under a float will also work. Concentrate on trees or brush that are close to the backs of pockets as the fish begin to stage up for the spawn. One of my favorite techniques is a Float-n-Fly this time of year. Use a chartreuse or blue/white curly tail grub on a 1/16-oz. head about 3 feet under a weighted float. Just slowly reel it in. Makes a great search bait.”
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