West Point Fishing Report – July 2008

GON Staff | June 24, 2008

West Point: Level: Down 0.6 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Clear on the main lake; clear on the creeks. Stained up the Chattahoochee.

Pretty slow, said tournament angler Charlie Baldwin. He did say, however, that the bite gets good when they’re generating. “If you can catch ’em generating, you can catch ’em on crankbaits — crankbaits and Carolina rigs.” Charlie said to target drop-offs, points and road beds on the main lake channel. Try a C-rig or throw a Poe’s Cedar Shad in blue back/gray side. If you can find them, mayfly hatches can provide some excellent topwater activity. Watch for them on steep banks along the main river. Charlie likes to throw a Pop-R or a buzzbait to mayfly hatches. “Color doesn’t matter,” he said. “Just make a little racket with it.” The other bite that should be happening is a jig bite on brushpiles 12 to 14 feet deep on the points. Charlie likes a black/blue Ol-Nelle in 1/4-oz. for this bite. He said he likes the bait to sink nice and slow. Guide Paul Parsons said the bite is very good. “Largemouth bass are moving into a summertime pattern,” Paul said. “The best fishing for largemouths 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 are going to throw the big crankbaits, you need a good cranking rod, like the new 7-foot, 6-inch Deep South graphite cranking rod. These rods will make it much easier to fish the big crankbaits without getting worn out. If you catch a largemouth, chances are there are several more good ones in the area. It is possible to catch a tournament limit off of one spot that could go 15 to 20 pounds. 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.

Very good, Paul said. “Striped, hybrid and white bass are biting well down lake on humps, flats and roadbeds and also around areas of standing timber fishing 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. Stripers and hybrids have started to feed on shad on the surface down toward the dam in the morning,” Paul said. “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. Main-lake fishing for hybrids and stripers with live shad and popping-cork rigs should be excellent. Georgia DNR has been stocking striped bass in West Point Lake. The first striped bass that were stocked are getting up to around 9 or 10 pounds and growing fast. Please release these small striped bass, and West Point Lake will have some of the best striper fishing around very soon,” Paul said.

Crappie: Very good, according to Paul. “Night fishing for crappie is very good under the bridges with minnows,” Paul said. “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. If you want to avoid the crowds, some other good bridges are up Wehadkee Creek and the bridge in Maple Creek. The most important thing about night fishing is good lights. Hydro Glow lights are a great investment if you like to crappie fish at night. They will pull fish away from other lights close by and you will probably catch the most fish. Fish with minnows about 10 to 12 feet deep. We have been catching trophy crappie up to 3 pounds on live shad during the day. Fishing for these big trophy crappie should remain good through the rest of June and into July.

Catfish: Excellent. “Channel and blue catfish are biting good at night all over the main lake. Flathead catfish up to 35 pounds have been caught upriver,” Paul said. “We have been catching lots of nice flatheads in the 10- to 20-lb. range. Large gizzard shad, bream, crappie and smaller catfish are the best baits for catching a big flatheads. 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 running the river, go with someone who is. There are a lot of big rocks, stumps and sandbars that can damage your boat.”

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