West Point Fishing Report – July 2009

GON Staff | June 23, 2009

West Point: Level: 0.2 feet above full pool. Temp: Low 80s. Clarity: Clear on the main lake; stained in the creeks; stained up the Chattahoochee.

Good. Ken Bearden said the bass are between patterns right now. He said there are still a few fish up shallow, and some have moved out onto the ledges and roadbeds. In the mornings, he’ll start out fishing shallow blowdowns and grass patches. Fish a 3/8-oz. All Terrain Football Head jig in watermelon with red flake with a watermelon Baby Paca Craw. Around the grass he’ll either throw a 3/8-oz. white Chatterbait or a Zoom Horny Toad in watermelon candy. A 4-inch Shadilicious swimbait rigged on a 1/8-oz. screw-in hook will also produce in the grass. Once the sun gets up, Ken will move out onto the ledges and roadbeds in 12 to 14 feet of water. He said the fish haven’t really stacked up yet , but he’s catching a fish or two from each spot. He said to keep moving and catch the ones that are there. Right now, the same jig he uses to fish the shallow cover is working on the ledges and roadbeds, only he goes with a heavier 1/2-oz. jig to get it down. Ken said it’s also important to fish fluorocarbon line to get the bait down quicker and for the added sensitivity. He likes 14-lb. Gamma fluoro. He said the fish will stack in tight to any brush when the current is moving, but they’ll spread out and suspend around it when there’s no current. As the summer progresses, this bite should get better. When the bass start stacking up, it’ll be time to throw deep crankbaits. The No. 1 crankbait on West Point is a Fat Free Shad in Citrus Shad, said Ken. On sunny days, there’s a good chance the baitfish will move up high in the water column, and there could be some schooling. If you see schooling fish, throw a nickel Spook or Spook Jr. for some fast action. Guide Paul Parsons reported, “The bass are moving into a summertime pattern. There has been a good topwater bite first thing in the morning around the main-lake shoal markers and shallow brushpiles. Bass are also biting good on the old roadbeds. Most of the shoal markers and old roadbeds have brush on or around them. Pop-Rs have been catching the most early. If they’re not on topwater, try a deep-diving crankbait like a DD22 or a Carolina-rigged worm in watermelon seed.”

Linesides: Excellent. Paul reported, “Striped, hybrid and white bass are now biting great down on the main lake on live shad. Good areas to try are the railroad hump, the flats around the mouths of Wehadkee Creek and Indian Creek and the humps in the mouth of Maple Creek. There also has been a topwater bite first thing in the morning down near the dam, so you may want to have a popping-cork rig ready. The striper and hybrid topwater fishing is just getting started and should remain good through the rest of the summer. Overcast mornings are usually best for topwater action. Once the sun gets up high, usually around 10 a.m., it starts slowing down, but you should still be able to catch some fish in the same areas on live shad. Guide Bobby Wilson also said the topwater bite is just starting to crank up. He said to either freeline a live bait or throw a popping-cork rig, a Rat-L-Trap, a white Rooster Tail or a Mann’s Little George. Bobby said he’s also tearing up the 10- to 15-lb. stripes and the 7- to 8-lb. hybrids on downlined threadfins and gizzards. “They’re on the move. Get out there with a good depthfinder and find them.” The fish are from Yellowjacket down to the dam. Some are still hanging out up the river in the deep, cool holes.

Excellent. Bobby said he’s been wearing the crappie out downlining minnows on a light weight around the bridge pilings. He also said brushpiles in 15 to 25 feet of water are producing. He said to Carolina rig minnows, hooked under the dorsal fin, on a 1/2-oz. weight. Drop it just above the brushpile, and move it around with the trolling motor. Paul reported, “Crappie are biting good on minnows around brushpiles and blowdowns in shallow water. As the water gets warmer, look for crappie fishing to start getting good at night. Just about any of the main-lake bridges will produce crappie at night. The most important thing is having good lights. The most popular bridges are Highway 109, the railroad trestle and the Cameron Mill bridge.”

Excellent. Paul reported, “Blue and channel cats are biting great all over the lake. The best bait is cut shad. Flathead catfish are biting great up the Chattahoochee River on live bait. Big flathead catfish are being caught from the Highway 219 bridge all the way up to above Franklin. The best bait is big gizzard shad, but bream are also good if you can’t get gizzards. Don’t forget that bream must be caught with a rod and reel to be legal bait.” Bobby said catfish are biting all over the lake on the flats and roadbeds on cut bait and worms. He said to have a look at the flats in Indian Creek and the mouth of Maple Creek and on the roadbeds in Wehadkee, Veasey and Stroud creeks.

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