West Point Fishing Report February 2014

GON Staff | January 30, 2014

West Point: Level: 4.3 feet below full pool. Temp: Low to middle 40s over much of the lake. The main river run is pretty stained and is colder than the larger creeks. A lot of the bait and fish seem to have moved into the creeks. Clarity: Heavily stained.

Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Fishing in general has been pretty slow. I expect it to stay slow until the weather breaks. As we move into February, most fishermen’s minds turn to thoughts of spring, but the reality of winter is still there. To anglers who are willing to brave the elements and go fishing anyway, it can be a really rewarding time frame to fish, especially if we have a prolonged warming trend. Three or four days of 60- to 70-degree weather followed by a warm rain can really turn the fish on. A few nice largemouth are still being caught shallow in the pockets with baitfish present. Try small crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The spotted bass continue bunching up on deeper structures such as roadbeds and drop-offs near creek channels. I have continued to catch some nice spots mixed with white bass and stripers in water as deep as 30 feet these past few weeks on jigging spoons and the new Zoom Z-Drop drop-shot worms. The key is finding bait and a little clearer water.”

Fair. “It was hard to imagine the stripers slowing down this drastically due to the cold weather, but it seems to have happened,” Keith Hudson said. “Dropping water temps and heavily stained water are the likely reasons. Topwater action on stripers remains sporadic at best on the cloudy and overcast days. Some fish are being caught trolling with Shad Raps. Casting with baits such as the Berkley Schooling Rig, Russ’s hand-tied bucktail jigs and Storm Swim Shads has been working decently well on surfacing fish. The best areas lately have been at the mouths of Maple, Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Veasey creeks, but they could pop up just about anywhere. Finding a little clearer water seems to be the key. Be sure to 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 remained only fair 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. Remember things can change quickly with a few days of nice weather.”

Slow. Keith said, “Crappie fishing continues to be fair at best as we move into February. Yellow Jacket and Veasey creeks have been producing a few fish. However, a warming trend and a little warmer stained water can turn them on quickly. Also, trolling for crappie should start to pick up during February. You can also try pitching small jigs around deeper blowdown trees or brushpiles. A small minnow under a float will also work. Concentrate on trees that are close to the old creek or river channel. Docks with brush continue to hold fish. Another good technique now is drop-shotting with small minnows in deeper brushpiles. The fish seem to stack together tighter when the sun is out.”

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