West Point Lake Fishing Report March 2017
West Point: Level: 4.9 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 60s. Clarity: Lightly stained.
Bass: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “As we move into March, the warming weather and a slightly stained lake should move many of the largemouth very shallow quickly, especially if we have a continued warming trend. Otherwise, expect the largemouth bite to continue to be good around any shallow wood or brush, rip-rap rocks or around shallow baitfish schools. Shallow-water baits such as ChatterBaits, square-bill crankbaits and lipless crankbaits like Rat-L-Traps should work effectively. Spinnerbaits and jig ’n pigs are also producing some bass around wood. It’s also a good time to catch a big fish, even though the numbers may not be that great early in the month. One of the main keys to this type of shallow fishing is to look for warmer water. A ditch or creek run sometimes helps to bring warmer water into an area, especially after a warm rain. Even a 2- to 3-degree difference can have a positive effect. Dark chunk rock and red clay retain heat and attract bass. Fishing for spotted bass at West Point can be awesome, as they will start to bed in March, as well. A simple Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin finesse worm is hard to beat for numbers of spots.”
Linesides: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The river run starts up in March, and how good it gets usually depends on weather and water conditions. What you don’t want is really muddy and cold water below 50 degrees. I usually start out with cut bait soaked in garlic spray in water temps around 60 or lower. Live shad work usually work better in water temps of 60 or higher. Start around Ringer Access, and follow the linesides upstream as the water warms. Stripers mixed with hybrids and white bass can continue to school on top down the lake throughout early spring, as well. Expect the topwater fishing to be the best very early and very late or on overcast days. The schooling fish are mostly less than 3 pounds or so, but there are some bigger fished mixed in, as well. Gulls and loons are also still out there now to help you pinpoint the schooling linesides. The mouths of Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Maple creeks have all been producing some fish. Downlining with live shiners will also work. Target drop-offs near the channel or the top of humps. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits, Alabama Rigs, bucktail jigs and vertical jigging with spoons have also been producing in these same areas. The key is finding clearer water down the lake.”
Crappie: Excellent. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The multiple warm days in late February drastically improved the crappie fishing. Crappie are already being caught in the shallows on minnows and jigs under a float, especially in the afternoons. Blowdown trees in 5 to 10 feet of water are still holding some fish, as well. Concentrate on trees that are close to the old creek or river channel. Some West Point crappie are being caught by drop-shotting minnows over or near deeper brush, as well. Expect the shallow bite to turn off in the event of an extended cold snap or get even better with an extended warming trend. Trolling for crappie usually kicks into high gear soon. Wehadkee, Whitewater and Yellow Jacket creeks almost always seem to turn on in March. Hopefully, the water will stay fairly clear up as we move into March. Trolling always seems to work better in clearer water. Overall, March is probably the best month for size and numbers of crappie. Expect many of the crappie to bed on the full moon in March this year with the mild winter we have had.”
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