West Point Fishing Report – August 2008
West Point: Level: Full pool. Temp: 87-91 degrees. Clarity: Clear down on the main lake. Clear in the creeks. Stained up in the Chattahoochee River.
Bass: Good. Despite the warm water, West Point is still producing some pretty good 14-16-lb. sacks to win evening tournaments, said tournament angler Ken Bearden. “There are still a lot of fish running the grass early, but that’s over with by 10 o’clock, so you’ve got to get ’em early,” he said. A frog is a good bet for this early topwater bite. Once the sun gets up, the fish are all deep. Ken said to fish a big Fat Free Shad in citrus shad. “That’s probably the No. 1 crankbait on this lake,” he said. The fish will be 15 to 18 feet deep, and Ken said to just hit the tops of big brushpiles and submerged trees on the main-lake points. The crankbait bite blows hot and cold, and when it slows down Ken likes to go to drag a Carolina-rigged Ol Monster worm in the same areas. Red shad, black/blue and green pumpkin are good colors to try. Another bite that will produce good numbers is on the roadbeds that top out in 20 to 25 feet of water. Try drop shotting a Zoom Meat Head worm in watermelon with red flake. Once he locates fish, Ken will sometimes switch over to a 3/8- or 1/2-oz., nickel, Castmaster spoon. “If I see a bunch of fish, I’ll drop a spoon down and catch ’em faster,” he said. Guide Paul Parsons said, “The best fishing for largemouth bass has been in the afternoons during periods of generation. Fishing has been slow if no water is being pulled, but if the dam is generating, big largemouths will move up on the main-lake roadbeds and shoals to feed on shad. The best way to catch them this time of year is with big, deep-diving crankbaits like DD22s and big worms like Zoom Ol Monsters. Good colors for crankbaits are natural-shad patterns or chartreuse with a blue back. Good colors for worms are green pumpkin and watermelon seed. If you catch a largemouth, chances are there are several more good ones in the area. If they won’t hit the crankbaits, slow it down and throw the big worm. Spotted bass fishing is good on rocky points and shoals with Carolina-rigged finesse worms.”
Linesides: Very good. Paul said the stripers, whites and hybrids are biting well down the lake. Look on humps, flats, roadbeds and around standing timber, and fish live shad. “Good humps and flats to fish are the railroad-trestle hump, the flats at the mouths of Wilson Creek, Wehadkee Creek, Alligator Creek and Indian Creek and the humps at the mouth of Maple Creek,” said Paul. “Stripers and hybrids have started to feed on shad on the surface down toward the dam in the morning. Popping-cork rigs are the best way to catch these surface-feeding fish. The best time to fish has been from daylight until about 11 a.m. The water has been very clear on the main lake, and the fish have been very spooky. If you see fish feeding on the surface, you should turn off your big motor a good distance away and sneak in with your trolling motor. Idling too close to them with your big motor will scare the whole school off. Trolling back and forth through them with your big motor will scare them off for sure. If you troll, please be courteous to people casting or fishing live bait and do not troll too close to them. The first striped bass that were stocked are getting up to around 9 or 10 pounds.” Guide Bobby Wilson agreed with the good report. “Small schools of fish are starting to surface on top around the lake,” Bobby said. “The schools should get bigger and better as we get into August. Try throwing a popping cork with a Thing Popper attached. White or chartreuse works best. Rat-L-Traps in chrome-blue or chrome-black work good. Rooster Tails, white or chartreuse, work real well. Chrome spoons work great jigging them back to the boat. The schooling fish are coming up from the pumping stations to the dam, and at the mouths of the creeks. There are fish still down on the flats and trees. Try downlining with threadfin shad or gizzard shad for these fish. These fish are on the move, so you have to move around a lot to find them. Sometimes it may take 30 minutes to get a bite when you find them. You’ll catch five or six fish off each school, then they will move on you.”
Crappie: Good, said Bobby. “We’re catching fish off the brushpiles in the creeks, downlining minnows just above the brushpiles,” Bobby said. “The bridge pilings have been working good in the mornings — drop minnows down about 8 to 15 feet. The fish are biting real light, so you have to watch your rod tip real close. The bridge pilings have been good in the late afternoons and at night with a good Hydro-Glow light.” Paul said the night bite is very good. “You can catch crappie under any of the bridges on West Point, but the best ones are the 109 bridge, the railroad trestle and the Cameron Mill Bridge on Yellowjacket Creek,” said Paul. “If you want to avoid the crowds, some other good bridges are up Wehadkee Creek, and the bridge in Maple Creek is good. The most important thing about night fishing is good lights. Hydro Glow lights are a great investment. Fish with minnows around 10 to 12 feet deep. We have been catching trophy crappie on live shad during the day.”
Catfish: Good for channels and blues at night down the lake, while flatheads up to 35 pounds have been caught upriver. “Big gizzard shad, bream, crappie and channel catfish are the best baits for catching a big flathead,” Paul said. Bream and crappie must be caught with rods and reels to be legal baits. “Good places to catch flatheads are the deep holes from the 219 bridge up to the shoals above Franklin — jet boats are required to get above the shoals. Heavy tackle is mandatory if you expect to put a big flathead catfish in the boat. If you are not familiar with the river, you should go with someone who is. There are a lot of big rocks, stumps and sandbars that can damage your boat.”
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