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West Point Lake Fishing Report February 2020

GON Staff | January 29, 2020

West Point: Level: 5.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 50s. Clarity: Stained up the lake.

Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Fishing has been a bit of a roller coaster again since the first of the year. Up and down water temps, lake levels, clear to muddy water, wind or no wind,  generating and not generating—all of these changing conditions affect the bite. With the colder weather experienced in late January and predicted for early February, I don’t expect a big improvement anytime soon unless it warms up consistently. The shallow bite remains fair for now, but it could improve quickly, especially with stained water, higher than normal lake levels and if water temps get up into the 60s. Baits such as a Rat-L-Trap, squarebill crankbaits, Shad Rap and ChatterBait are catching some of these shallower fish. Try red-colored baits in the muddy 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 a Flash Mob Jr. Keep a jig or shaky head handy to pitch around any wood cover. Fishing rip-rap can also produce good results this time of year, especially after a warm rain or a few sunny days. Yellowjacket and Whitewater creeks continue to produce. It is a good time to catch a wallhanger! If it turns off cold and dry during the month, the water should clear back up, cool down into the low 50s, and the lake level should drop. If that happens, expect schools of spotted bass mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers to be caught on jigging spoons, drop-shot rigs and 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 muddy since about Christmas. The downline bite with shad or bass shiners should hopefully improve as the water cools off  and begins 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 hopefully lock into a certain depth as the water cools and clears. Expect the topwater fishing to be sporadic. It’s usually best early and  late,  or on overcast or rainy days. Gulls and loons are here now, which makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. Keep your eyes open, and 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. Try trolling the Alabama Rig. Rooster Tails in 3/8- or 1/2-oz size, a chrome C.C. Spoon and a number of other small shad imitators have also  been producing, and the colder it gets the better the fishing usually is—within reason of course. Also, as the water cools casting a bucktail jig or a Fish Head Spin  becomes very effective, as well. The mouths of most creeks anywhere south of the Highland Marina area all the way to the dam and in the Maple Creek have been holding some fish. A few fish will start the river run in February as well, especially if it turns warm early. Don’t forget to book your striper trips for spring and summer!”

Crappie: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Try tightline fishing with minnows or a 1/16-oz. or smaller jig around bridge pilings, brushpiles and blowdowns in 4 to 10 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. Yellowjacket, Wehadkee and Whitewater creeks are still producing some crappie. Spider-rig trolling is working now as well and can be very effective. Try the Management Area creek and Fish Creek near Ringer access early in the month if the water does clear up. If February turns unusually warm and wet, the crappie can show back up very shallow very quickly, and the bite can be good everywhere.”

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