West Point Lake Fishing Report – February 2023
GON Staff | January 26, 2023
West Point: Level: 6.3 feet below 635. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: Stained north of Highland but clear down the lake. Use caution north of the 219 bridge.
Bass: Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Fair. Things are beginning to pick up a bit as the weather improves in February. The shallow bite for bass is fair right now but should improve quickly in February, especially with a warm rain and extended warming trend. Stained water, higher-than-normal lake levels and water temps in the low 60s will turn things on quickly. Baits such as crawdad Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps and Chatterbaits will produce on these shallower fish. Try to fish these baits in coves and pockets with small feeder creeks or around schools of baitfish. 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. The rocks warm quickly and retain heat. Some trophy-sized fish are always caught in February. The blueback population in the lake is on the rise and that along with the largemouth stocking program seems to be helping the lake. The number of fat and healthy bass seem to be on the uptick already this year. However, a snow or ice storm in February could shut the bite down completely. Water temps in the 30s and 40s make it super tough. If the lake stays cold and clear, go deep. Big schools of spots mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers can still be caught on jigging spoons and 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.”
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Linesides: Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Good. The downline bite with shad or bass shiners has stayed good as the water has cooled off, and in most years stays good all winter. Most of the fish seem to be holding 25 to 40 feet deep, except for those rare days when they are schooling on the surface. Expect the topwater fishing to be very 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 easier to pinpoint schooling stripers and hybrids. Keep your eyes open. The popping-cork rig has still been working on schooling, 1- to 3-lb. fish with an occasional bigger one mixed in. A big Red Fin or a big swimbait won’t get many bites but could produce a 20-lb. fish. 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, and as long as the water stays below 60, the deep bite is good. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits and Flash Mob Jr. rigs also continues to produce some linesides. The mouths of most creeks anywhere south of the Highland Marina area all the way to the dam and Maple Creek have been holding fish. A few fish are usually beginning to make the river run up the Hooch in late February, as well. They can be caught in the mouths of most of the creeks, especially if we have an early spring. Try cutbait if water temps below 60 degrees.”
Crappie: “Most years, a warm, lake-staining rain in February will set the crappie bite on fire,” Keith said. “Fish with minnows or jigs 3 to 4 feet deep under a float to catch them when they decide to move up. The bank fishing can be just as good as fishing from a boat. Other techniques will work, as well. Guys who spider troll Jiffy Jigs do really well this time of year. Try tightline fishing with minnows or a 1/16- or 1/8-oz. jig around bridge pilings, brushpiles and blowdowns in 15 to 20 feet of water. Concentrate on trees and brush that are close to the old creek channels. Pitching or shooting deep-water docks with small tubes or feather jigs around or under the docks can still produce this time of year, as well. You can’t beat crappie on the dinner table either.”
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