West Point Lake Fishing Report – February 2019

GON Staff | January 25, 2019

West Point: Level: 6.8 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: Stained.

Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Predicting the fishing has been really tough so far this winter. Up and down water temps, lake levels, clear to muddy water, wind or no wind, generating and not generating—all of these varying conditions affect the bite. With the cold weather predicted for late January and early February, I don’t expect a big improvement anytime soon, but who knows? The shallow bite remains fair at best now, but it could improve, especially with normal lake levels and water temps in the 50s. Baits such as  Rat-L-Traps, squarebill crankbaits and ChatterBaits are catching some of these shallower fish. Try red or crawfish patterns in the stained water. Try to fish these baits in coves and pockets with small feeder creeks or around schools of shallow baitfish. Fish the open water in the pockets with an Alabama Rig or Flash Mob Jr. to tempt bites from suspended fish. Keep a jig or shaky head handy to pitch around any wood  cover. Fishing rip-rap can also produce results this time of year, especially after a warm rain. If it turns off cold and dry during the month, the water should clear back up, cool down in the low 50s or 40s, and the lake level should drop to normal winter pool. If that happens, expect schools of spots mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers to be caught on jigging spoons and drop-shot rigs and on shaky-head rigs on humps and drop-offs. Target deeper offshore structures like brushpiles and old roadbeds in 20 to 30 feet of water near the mouths of most major creeks for the best results.”

Linesides: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The water has been really muddy most of the winter, which is not ideal for downlining. The downline bite with shad or bass shiners improved slightly in late January as the water cooled off and began to clear up some. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep. The fish are still moving around a good bit but should lock in on a certain thermocline as the water cools. Expect the topwater fishing to be sporadic. It’s usually best very early and very late, or on overcast or rainy days. Gulls and loons are here now, which makes it a little easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. Keep your eyes open, look for circling or diving birds. The Flash Mob Jr. has still been working on schooling 1- to 3-lb. fish with an occasional bigger one mixed in. Casting a 3/8- or 1/2-oz. white Rooster Tail, a chrome C.C. Spoon and a number of other small shad imitators have also been producing. Also, as the water cools, a bucktail jig or Fishhead Spin becomes very effective, as well. The colder it gets, the better the fishing usually is—within reason of course. The mouths of most creeks anywhere south of the Highland Marina area all the way to the dam and in the Maple Creek area have been holding some fish. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits and Alabama Rigs continues to produce some linesides in these same areas.”

Crappie: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Try tight-lining minnows or a 1/16-oz. or smaller jig around bridge pilings, brushpiles and blowdowns in 6 to 15 feet of water. Concentrate on trees and brush that are close to the old creek channels. Pitching or shooting docks with small tube or feather jigs around or under the docks can still produce this time of year. Bridge pilings also hold fish this time of year.  As usual, crappie seem to love shade and cover. Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Whitewater creeks are still producing some crappie. Spider-rig trolling is usually good in February. If it turns unusually warm and wet, the crappie can show back up surprisingly shallow very quickly!”

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