West Point Fishing Report May 2013

GON Staff | May 1, 2013

West Point: Level: 0.4 feet above full pool. Temp: Upper 60s. Clarity: Most of the creeks are stained; main lake is mostly clear.

Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Most any creek will produce largemouth, but there are several patterns that seem to be working. We have fish in prespawn, spawning and postspawn patterns. I enjoy throwing topwaters like a Pop-R or Zara Spook to cover water, but fish are being caught off the bed on Senkos, as well. Some bass have already spawned and moved out deeper and can be caught on a Carolina-rigged Trick Worm or around a little deeper cover on a jig ’n pig. The flooded grass is also holding fish right now. Try a fluke or Senko. The shad spawn should start any day. Try a crankbait or spinnerbait in shad patterns around patches of rip-rap rock near the bridges first in the morning. Most reliable right now are the spotted bass. A Carolina-rigged Zoom green-pumpkin finesse worm or a small crankbait will wear them out. Try the mouths of the larger creeks. Gravel points and shoal markers are a good place to start. Fish the south end of the lake for the best results for spotted bass.”

Good. Keith said, “The spawning run is still going on. Some fish should continue to show up in the river through mid May. Some of the biggest stripers always show up at the tail end of the run. The section from Brush Creek to the shoals above Franklin seems to be the key area. It’s easy fishing, especially if you have live or frozen shad. Even chicken liver can be effective. Try anchoring out and throwing downstream from the boat. I recommend using a garlic spray, especially in stained water. In water temps over 60 degrees, live bait seems to be a little better, but they may still hit the cut shad. Also, I always expect to catch some big flathead catfish or channel cat mixed in with the stripers. If you want to try artificials, white curly tail grubs or a Sassy Shad on a 1/8-oz. lead head will produce. If you’re not familiar with this section of the river, take it easy because there are sandbars and rocks that will tear off your lower unit. Downlining with shad on the south end of the lake will improve rapidly as hungry postspawn fish show up later in the month. Look for these fish to be in the 15- to 20-foot range on the edge of humps, roadbeds and creek channels. Keep your eyes open for topwater schooling activitym, and have a popping cork handy just in case. Trolling can still be productive in the creek channels.”

Crappie: “Trolling continues to produce fish 5 to 10 feet of water, especially in the mornings,” Keith said. “Live minnows on a split-shot rig, feather-tail Jiffy Jigs or Triple Ripple jigs in black/chartreuse, popsicle and acid rain are working. Wehadkee, Yellow Jacket and White Water creeks are all producing fish. In the evenings, expect some bedding fish to continue showing up in the shallow grassy pockets through mid May. My favorite technique this time of year is pitching or shooting docks. Try a 1/24-oz. black/white/white Jiffy Jig on 4-lb. line around deeper docks with brush. Some postspawn crappie should start showing up close to deeper brush and can be caught tight-lining jigs or a minnow on a drop-shot rig.”

“A fish that hardly anyone fishes for here but are now showing up in good numbers and decent size is shellcrackers,” Keith said. “They bed later than the crappie but in the same shallow areas. They hit mostly pink worms or crickets.”

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