West Point Fishing Report March 2014

GON Staff | March 5, 2014

West Point: Level: 4.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 40s. Clarity: Heavily stained.

Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Hopefully, the really cold weather is about over for this winter, but with the way things have gone this year, who knows? The predicted warming trend will definitely help jump start the fishing. One good thing about the stained water that we have now is that it warms up much quicker than clear water, as long as we have some sunshine. As water temps rise into the low 50s, expect the largemouth to quickly move shallow. Try throwing Rat-L-Traps in chrome blue back or metallic red in stained water. A couple of the hottest baits lately have been the old stand-by, the crawfish Shad Rap (No. 5 or No. 7) and a new bait, the Storm Flat Arashi crankbait, also in crawfish pattern. Try fishing rip-rap or red-clay banks that are in the sun for most of the day. The spotted bass which seem to have kind of disappeared for a few weeks should also start turning on soon.”

Keith reports, “Topwater action on linesides has improved somewhat, especially on the cloudy and overcast days. Casting with baits such as the Berkley Schooling Rig, Russ’ hand-tied bucktail jigs and the Storm Swim Shad has been working decently well on surfacing fish. Some fish are also being caught trolling with Shad Raps or bucktail jigs. The best areas lately have been at the mouths of Maple, Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Veasey creeks, but they could pop up anywhere. Finding a little clearer water seems to be the key. 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. The river run usually starts in March but may be later than normal this year. In water temps below 55, cut shad with garlic will work well. Remember things can change quickly with a few days of nice weather.”

Crappie: Fair. Keith reports, “Crappie fishing continues to improve as we move into March. Yellow Jacket, Whitewater and Veasey creeks have been producing some fish. A warming trend and a little warmer stained water will turn them on quickly. Trolling for crappie should improve drastically during March. Try using white/blue/white or acid rain Jiffy Jigs. A small minnow under a float will also work. Concentrate on trees or brush that are close to the old creek or river channel as the fish begin to stage up for the spawn. One of my favorite techniques this time of year is a Float-n-Fly. Use a black with chartreuse curly tail on a 1/16-oz. head about 3 feet under a weighted float. Just slowly reel it in. It makes a great search bait.”

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