West Point Fishing Report May 2014
West Point: Level: 1.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 60s to low 70s. Clarity: The main river run north of 219 is still pretty muddy and is still cooler than the larger creeks. Clear water can still be found in Wehadkee, Stroud and Veasey creeks on the south end of the lake.
Bass: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The fishing in general continues to run behind normal. The fish seem to be somewhat confused right now by the fluctuating water levels and water temperatures. Although a few fish have already bedded, as water temps continue to rise into the low and mid 70s, expect the bulk of the largemouth and spotted bass to quickly move shallow and feed like crazy before the spawn peaks. Try throwing spinnerbaits in stained water, or if you see any schooling activity at all. As we move closer to the spawn, I love to throw a lizard. I believe the bass kill them to protect their beds. Fish them on a Carolina rig with an 18- to 24-inch leader and a 1/2-oz. weight. Jerkbaits and ChatterBaits can also be good choices right now, especially if it is windy. Also try fishing rip-rap or red-clay banks that are in the sun for most of the day, and look for the shad spawn to start in those areas very soon. By mid May, expect to find most largemouth on the bed. The spotted bass are showing up in good numbers and are bedding now. A Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom Finesse worm or a small crankbait fished on any gravel banks should result in a quick limit.
Linesides: Good. “The spawning run up the Chattahoochee River is on. As a general rule, the section from Ringer to around Glover’s Creek is the best during the first part of the month. Later in the month, from Glover’s Creek to the shoals above Franklin seems to be the key area. It’s pretty 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. In water temps below 60 degrees, cut shad will sometimes work even better than live shad. One trick I recommend is using a garlic spray. They seem to hit it much better with the 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 Sassy Shads on a 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. Remember things will change quickly with a few days of nice weather or a heavy rain. Down the lake, casting with baits such as the Berkley Schooling Rig, Russ’ hand-tied bucktail jigs and the Storm Swim Shad has still been working at times on surfacing fish, if you can find them. 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 and Whitewater creeks, but they could pop up anywhere. As usual, keep your eyes open for gulls or loons diving as they will often tip you off to the location of an entire school.”
Crappie: Keith reports, “Although many of the crappie have spawned already, there are still good numbers of them moving up to spawn. A small minnow under a float will work very well. Concentrate on trees, boat docks or brushpiles that are close to the backs of pockets as the fish continue to move up for the spawn. Try using a chartreuse/white or blue/white feather-tail Jiffy Jig about 3 feet under a weighted float. Cast to the banks. The fish are probably going to be a lot shallower than you would expect. Just slowly reel it in and pause to twitch it occasionally. This is a great way to find a group of bedding fish. If you catch one, there are usually a lot more there. In May, the night fishing will improve drastically as more hungry spawned out fish try to fatten themselves back up.”
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