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Catch February Bass On West Point Lake

Guide Ken Bearden concentrates on lower lake points that are close to deep water and have wood or rock.

Ronnie Garrison | January 28, 2022

In February, a lot of spotted bass and some largemouth at West Point Lake are feeling the longer days and moving up to feed on rocky main lake and creek points. Anglers can fish the more stable water on the lower lake section and catch West Point bass on a variety of baits as they become more active this month. There is no need to run all over the 35 miles of Chattahoochee River and 40 square miles of water with 525 miles of shoreline looking for bass. Stay down the lake below the Highway 109 causeway where the water warms faster and does not get as muddy as the upper lake. 

Find rocky points near deep water—that is where spots and largemouth move up from their deep standing timber winter homes. Those fish join the resident shallow-water fish, and these staging areas are the first places to find good numbers of bass in February. 

Cast a variety of baits, but choose ones you can fish slowly for bass that are still sluggish in the cold water. Even spotted bass slow down in February’s cold water, so offer them an easy meal they just can’t pass up. 

Ken Bearden moved to LaGrange and started guiding on West Point in 2000. He still goes back to Alabama lakes like Guntersville, Neely Henry and Logan Martin to guide some since he grew up fishing those lakes. But mostly Ken concentrates on West Point and Wedowee. 

Ken also founded the Veterans Fishing Organization (VFOhome.org) and organizes group tournaments twice a year, in April on West Point and in September on Wedowee, where he and supporters take 25 to 35 veterans fishing. Those tournaments have catered meals and a variety of prizes and drawings. Ken also takes veterans on guide trips individually through his organization about 80 days a year. 

Ken has learned the ways of bass on West Point in February through all his trips. His experience says anglers should fish the lower lake and concentrate on rocky points near deep water on the main lake and in the creeks. 

He will have a jig ’n pig, squarebill crankbait, spinnerbait, bladed jig and Carolina rig ready to probe water from 2 to 20 feet deep. Those baits can be fished at a variety of depths and speeds to give the bass what they want depending on the day. 

Guide Ken Bearden with what he expects to catch on the right points this month—a fat largemouth and a solid spotted bass.

We fished the following 10 locations in the middle of January on a windy, cold day. Ken boated 10 spots with most around 2 to 2.5 pounds and a kicker largemouth, giving him five weighing about 13 pounds. 

No. 1: N 33º 01.101 – W 85º 09.162 — Go into Wilson Creek to the bank across from the ramps at Pyne Park. There is a dock with a sailboat beside it on a point. Start at the dock and work upstream.  

The point at the dock and the one past the small pocket upstream of it are good examples of the type points Ken fishes in February. The creek channel runs in beside it, so deep water is close. Both points have some rocks—the one at the dock has more. And both have some wood—the second point has more wood. Both types cover hold fish, and a combination of both rock and wood is even better. 

Ken starts with a moving bait like a bladed jig or squarebill, keeping his boat in 25 feet of water and casting to the bank. He runs those baits beside and into any cover from 2 to 8 feet deep. Ken likes a ChatterBait and fishes a 3/8- to 1/2-oz. white bait in clear water. He goes with a black-and-blue bait in stained water. He puts a white Zoom twin-tail trailer on both color baits. 

Fish from the dock to the end of the second point where it starts to get shallow running out to a hump with cypress tree marking it. Work the blowdowns on the second point carefully, bumping every limb. If you are not getting bites on your moving baits, try slower baits like a jig. 

No. 2: N 33º 01.170 – W 85º 09.315 — Go across to the ramps at Pyne Park and fish them. Ken says any rock or concrete helps warm the water a little, especially on sunny days, and pulls bass to it, so he likes sunny days this time of year. Also, released fish in tournaments here constantly re-stock the area for both this spot and hole 1. 

Run your ChatterBait and squarebill over the ramps, hitting the rip-rap on the edges of them. Then drag a jig ’n pig or Carolina rig on the ramp, easing both out to the end of the ramp where there is a “blowout” hole that attracts fish. 

For your C-rig, tie a 2-foot leader above a 3/4-oz. sinker and use a green-pumpkin Zoom lizard with a chartreuse tail in stained water or a watermelon-red in clear water. Drag it along slowly, moving it enough to keep the legs and tail wiggling between pauses, to attract sluggish bass. 

No. 3: N 32º 56.521 – W 85º 10.035 — Maple Creek at the dam warms up faster than anywhere else on the lake and is the first area to find active fish, according to Ken. Going up Maple Creek, red channel marker MC 6 on your right is close to a rocky point, and this point holds February bass. 

Wind blowing on these places helps the bite, up to the point where you can’t control your boat. If the wind is blowing across points like this, start on the downwind side and work upwind for boat control. Fish this point from where the rocks start on each side, running your squarebill on the rocks first, especially on sunny days. Try to bump rocks 2 to 6 feet deep with your crankbait. 

On the day we fished, the water temperature was still dropping, so Ken had to adjust and fish deeper. He used a 3/4-oz. black-and-blue jig in the heavily stained water and put a green-pumpkin with chartreuse tail Zoom Speed Craw on it. Going to the heavier jig allowed him to keep it deep in the west wind blowing across the point. He caught three nice keeper spots here on the jig, all in 18 to 20 feet of water. 

No. 4: N 32º 56.200 – W 85º 10.058 — The next cove downstream is on the upstream side of R. Schaefer Heard Campground. Go into the cove, and you will see a danger pole on your right. It is out from a small hump with a cypress tree on it. The danger marker and cypress tree line up an old pond dam running across the cove. Stop out from the marker in line with the tree behind it, and you will be on top of the old dam. 

Fish your squarebill and bladed jig up shallow around the pole marker, and then drag your jig on the rocks and wood cover on the old dam. Out in deeper water there is some vertical wood Ken said was sapling trunks 6 to 8 feet tall. Cast your jig to them. 

Ken caught a couple of keeper spots here, but they were the smallest we caught, about 14 inches long. Bigger fish had not started moving into the coves to places like this, but they will be better as the water warms in February. Adjust your fishing based on conditions. Fish where the bigger fish are when you go. 

No. 5: N 32º 58.736 – W 85º 11.176 — Run into Bird Creek to where it opens up and turns to the right. Stop on the last point on the left before the turn. Above water it shows as a very small point, but if you have a good GPS you can see how the point comes out and drops off into the outside bend of the channel. That combination makes this a good February location. 

Keep your boat in 25 feet of water, and fish your squarebill and bladed jig from 2 to 6 feet deep. Then drag a jig or Carolina rig across the point, hitting the small rocks on it. Ken drags his heavier jig along a foot or so and then pumps it a little, moving it up a couple inches. But he does not hop it in the cold water. Move it slowly to match the metabolism of the bass. 

No. 6: N 32º 59.346 – W 85º 10.644 — Go into the creek with Earl Cook swimming area in it on the left, and stop in the mouth of the second pocket, straight across from the swimming area. An old pond dam runs from the rocky upstream point across the cove. 

When the lake was built, these old pond dams were cut at the drain ditch. So the dam runs out, then drops off fast into the deepest water in the cove, making an excellent holding and feeding area. Ken starts at the old “blowout” hole with his squarebill and bladed jig, bumping the rocks on the bottom. And he works to the point, fishing all the cover on the dam and point.

Follow up with your jig, keeping your boat on the deep side of the dam and casting up on it and working down the slope. Ken goes to a lighter 3/8-oz. jig when casting shallower like this, but in the same colors as the bigger jig. 

No. 7: N 32º 59.974 – W 85º 11.224 — Going upstream of the mouth of Wehadkee Creek, there is a hump with cypress trees that is very close to the left bank. Go past it to the bank and start fishing at the first small red clay point. The river channel swings in by this bank—it is very deep just a cast off the bank. 

Ken pointed out the two small red clay points with sand between them here. He said any transition area like this is good this time of year. Blowdowns on this bank also give bass more cover. Run your squarebill through them,  then bump limbs and the bottom with your lighter jig. A lighter jig will not hang up as much if you can fish it. 

Fish this bank slowly to the transition upstream of the second small clay point. It drops fast, so you have to work slowly to keep in contact with the cover. 

No. 8: N 33º 00.195 – W 85º 11.180 — The next point upstream on your left is another primary lake point where bass move up to feed then stage to spawn. Stop out in 25 feet of water and drag your Carolina rig or heavy jig on the bottom all over the point. 

There is clay and some small rocks here to hold feeding fish. Work it slowly from 5 to 20 feet deep. When you catch a fish, note the depth and concentrate your casts to it. That is how Ken had a good catch the day we fished—by concentrating on the depth the fish told him they were holding and feeding. 

No. 9: N 33º 00.544 – W 85º 11.115 — Upstream of the Holiday Park ramp on your left, watch for a white pole marker that is way off the bank. It marks a hump where a roadbed comes off the bank and runs upstream a little. Stop in 15 feet or deeper water off the marker, and fish around the top of the hump with a squarebill and ChatterBait. 

There is brush and rocks 10 to 12 feet deep on this hump and more on the main point that runs toward it. After fishing around the point, Ken will work from the hump’s marker pole toward the gravel point closest to it. That is not the roadbed, but Ken says most of his fish come off the point. Drag your Carolina rig and lighter jig all over the hump and point to hit the deeper cover. 

No. 10: N 33º 01.644 – W 85º 10.322 — Go to the point with the Horace King ramp on it, and stop on the lake side of it. A good point runs out from the park toward the river. The point is between the end of the point with the ramp and the white danger marker to the right. 

Ken starts close enough in to hit bottom 5 or 6 feet deep with his squarebill. He likes a KVD 1.5 squarebill and chooses sexy shad in clear water, but he uses chartreuse with a black back in stained water. That is the bait his kicker largemouth hit the day we fished. 

After fishing the shallows, back off to 25 feet deep and drag your jig and Carolina rig on the bottom, hitting everything from 5 to 20 feet deep. When you hit some rock or wood, make several casts to it. It may take several casts to get the fish to hit in the cold water. 

These places produced a good catch for Ken two weeks ago, and they will get better and better all this month. Give them a try to see the kind of places you need to fish now. 

You can contact Ken for a guide trip by calling 706.884.0494 or emailing him at [email protected]. Visit his website at Kenbeardenfishing.com for more info about his fishing trips. Please also get info and volunteer to help with his veterans’ organization, and consider a donation to help him take veterans fishing by visiting www.vfohome.org. There is an application on the website for veterans to apply to go fishing with Ken.

 

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1 Comment

  1. drenalin08 on January 28, 2022 at 9:17 am

    Im gonna go give it a try!

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