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West Point Lake Fishing Report January 2019

GON Staff | December 23, 2018

West Point: Level: 7.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: Stained.

Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Fishing has been a bit of a roller coaster so far this fall and winter. Up and down water temps, up and down lake levels, clear to muddy water, wind or no wind,  generating and not generating—all affect the bite. The shallow bite remains fair at best right now, but it could improve, especially with stained water, higher than 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 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. 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. Yellow Jacket and Whitewater creeks continue to produce. If it turns off cold and dry during the month, the water should clear back up and cool down into the 40s, and the lake level should drop. If that happens, expect big 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: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The downline bite with shad or bass shiners has improved as the water has cooled off and begun to clear up. Freelining a live bait will also work at times. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep when they are not schooling on the surface. The fish are still moving around a good bit but should lock in to a certain depth 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 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. And the colder it gets, the better the fishing usually is—within reason of course. Also, as the water cools, a bucktail jig or 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 Maple Creek have been holding 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 tightline fishing with 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 are still producing some crappie. Spider trolling usually starts soon and can be very effective. If January turns unusually warm, the crappie can show back up surprisingly shallow quickly.”

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