West Point Fishing Report January 2014

GON Staff | December 30, 2013

West Point: Level: 4.3 feet below full pool. Temp: 50 degrees. Clarity: Mostly clear with slight stain up the lake.

Bass: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “As we move into the winter fishing season, most people are content to sit home and wait on spring. A few hardy anglers are willing to brave the elements and go fishing anyway. It can be a really rewarding time 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. Some nice bass are still being caught shallow in the pockets that are loaded with baitfish with small crankbaits, Berkley Schooling Rigs and ChatterBaits. Another reliable pattern is to fish around deeper blowdown trees and boat docks with a Senko or a Texas-rigged worm. The spotted bass are bunching up on deeper structures such as roadbeds and drop-offs near creek channels. I have been catching nice spots mixed with white bass and stripers in water as deep as 30 feet this past week on jigging spoons and the new Zoom Z Drop worms.”

Linesides: Good. “After the fantastic fall striper fishing I experienced this year, it’s hard to imagine them slowing down too much this winter unless we have some drastically cold weather,” Keith said. “Topwater action on stripers remains consistent on the cloudy and overcast days. The Berkley Schooling Rig, Russ’s hand-tied bucktail jigs and Zara Spooks all have been working well. The best areas lately have been the shoals across from the pumping stations and at the mouths of Yellow Jacket, White Water and Bird creeks, but they could pop up just about anywhere. 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 been very good 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.”

Fair. Keith said, “Crappie fishing continues to be fair at best as we move into winter. Yellow Jacket and the Management Area cove have been producing a few fish. However, a warming trend and a little stained water can set them on fire even in January. Also, trolling for crappie should start to pick up during January. 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 also continue to hold fish. Another good technique this time of year is drop-shotting with small minnows in deeper brushpiles. As usual, the fish seem to stack together tighter when the sun is out. Not many people are night fishing right now, but you can try fishing under Yellow Jacket or 109 bridges with lights for your best results.”

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