West Point Fishing Report July 2013
West Point: Level: 0.3 feet above full pool. Temp: Mid 80s. Clarity: Most of the creeks are stained; much of the main lake is also strained.
Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Fishing for largemouth has been slowly starting to improve over the last few weeks and hopefully will continue to get better as we move on into the month. High water levels and a large mayfly hatch continue to keep at least some of the largemouth pushed into shallower water than normal. This year we have seen a continued bite on shallow-water baits such as Spro Poppin Frogs, Zoom Super Flukes and topwater baits such as Zara Spooks and Pop Rs. As the weather continues to get warmer and the lake drops a little, expect the fish to show up on the deeper, more normal summer structures such as lake dams, roadbeds, and deep brushpiles. Big crankbaits like the Model 7 or 8 Bomber Fat Free in citrus-shad color or a football jig are good choices for deeper fish. A Carolina-rigged Trick Worm in green pumpkin will also catch its share of fish. Another fairly reliable pattern is to try a buzzbait or spinnerbait in shad patterns around patches of rip-rap rock near the bridges first thing in the morning. For spotted bass, try a shaky head with a Zoom Shakey Tail worm around bridge pilings, brushpiles or rocky banks. A Zoom green-pumpkin Finesse worm on a Carolina rig will continue to produce fish throughout the summer. Try fishing the mouth of the larger creeks. Gravel points and shoal markers are a good place to start on the south end of the lake for the best results.”
Linesides: Excellent. “Over the last few weeks, the downline bite on the main lake has been very strong. I have been catching some really nice stripers mixed with hybrids and white bass basically from the railroad trestle south,” Keith said. “There have been some fish near the main river channel around the dam, but many of them still seem to be in the mouths of the creeks. Downlining with shad or bass shiners is the best bet, but some fish are also being caught trolling with small crankbaits, jigs or Alabama rigs. Look for these fish to be in the 15- to 20-foot range on the edge of humps, roadbeds and creek channels. There is also some topwater action which should pick up tremendously as the month goes by. This year’s newly hatched shad are almost big enough to tempt the stripers, and that is usually the key to the topwater frenzy. A popping-cork rig or a white 1/2-oz. Rooster Tail should be kept handy at all times in case a school pops up out of nowhere.”
Crappie: Good. “Daytime fishing for crappie is somewhat forgotten this time of year, but you can still have some really good days with a little effort,” Keith said. “Successful crappie anglers sink brushpiles near the creek channels in creeks like Whitewater and Yellow Jacket. The crappie will stack up in these brushpiles during the summer months. Downlining with a split shot or drop-shot rig with a small minnow produces some good catches. The key is to get directly in or over the brush. Another technique that works this time of year is shooting docks. A small feather tail or tube jig on light line pitched or shot in the shade of covered docks will produce some really good numbers. The other option is night fishing. Tie up under one of the bridges or near the major creek channels, put out some lights, and kick back. The crappie will usually show up within an hour or so after dark. It’s a good way to fill your freezer. Night fishing under the bridges with lights is excellent right now.”
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