West Point Lake Fishing Report – January 2020
West Point: Level: 4 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid 50s. Clarity: Slightly stained.
Bass: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The shallow bite for bass is only fair right now but could improve quickly in late January, especially with a warm rain or extended warming trend. Baits such as a crawdad-colored Shad Rap, Rat-L-Trap and ChatterBait 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. Yellow Jacket and Whitewater creeks should continue to produce. On the other hand, a snow or ice storm in January 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 be caught on jigging spoons, drop-shot rigs and shaky-head rigs on humps and drop-offs. Target the deeper offshore structure, things like brushpiles and old the roadbeds that are in 20 to 30 feet of water that are also near the mouths of most major creeks for the best fishing results.”
Linesides: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The downline bite with shad or bass shiners has improved as the water has cooled off. Most years it stays good all winter. Fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep when they are not schooling on the surface. 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 usually show up, which makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers and hybrids. The popping cork rig has still been working on schooling 1- to 3-lb. fish with an occasional bigger one mixed in. 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. In cold water, a bucktail jig 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 also continues to produce some linesides in these same areas.”
Crappie: Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Tightline 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 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 usual, crappie seem to love shade and cover. Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Whitewater creeks are still producing some crappie. Spider-rig trolling usually works well in January. If January turns unusually warm and wet, the crappie can show back up surprisingly shallow very quickly.”
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