Catch West Point Bass Moving In And Out

Here’s a West Point map with 10 good locations where anglers can find April bass coming and going from the spawning pockets.

Ronnie Garrison | March 22, 2016

A ChatterBait is great for rolling aggressive April bass, especially on West Point right now with dingy water in the spawning pockets. Mike Morris caught this chunk during a trip to mark a map with 10 good April locations.

April bass fishing is what we have been dreaming of all winter. Make your dreams come true with a trip to West Point this month.

West Point is a 25,900-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir on the Alabama/Georgia line. It has a lot of good spawning pockets off the Chattahoochee River and major feeder creeks.

Mike Morris started club fishing in 1974, and he has also done well in a lot of tournaments over the years. Mike always fishes both federation Top Six tournaments, and he has made the Georgia State Team an amazing 21 times. Last April, Mike was fourth in the Bass Chapter Federation Top Six on West Point and placed second in the Federation Nation Top Six at Hartwell. Mike also qualified for the 2016 BFL All-American through the Wild Card tournament on Hartwell.

Mike catches fish on all the lakes he fishes, and he has done well in bigger tournaments on the national trails. But West Point is one of Mike’s favorite lakes to fish in April.

“In late March, good numbers of bass have moved into the spawning coves and are feeding up, preparing for bedding,” Mike said.

The bass stay on West Point’s secondary pea gravel points until the water hits a constant overnight temperature in the low 60s, and then many bass will start spawning. Some will spawn even earlier, but the vast majority are spawning by mid-April.

After the spawn, the bass will move back toward the creek and river channels, holding and feeding on the same secondary points they used moving in. From late March until the end of April, you can catch them on those points. Some will be on them either prespawn or postspawn, even when the majority of bass are on the bed. The bass move to the beds in waves, so they don’t all spawn at the same time.

A variety of baits allow Mike to cover a lot of water to find the feeding bass on these points. For the next month, Mike will fish the points with a ChatterBait, spinnerbait, crankbait and a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw on a Texas rig.

The Z-Man ChatterBait will catch quality bass, and Mike prefers a chartreuse and white skirt. He adds a white Zoom Fat Albert curly tail grub as a trailer when the fish are more aggressive and a straight twin tail trailer when they want a little more subtle presentation.

A No. 7 Shad Rap in the natural shad color is his favorite crankbait since it imitates the shad the bass are eating. A chartreuse and white spinnerbait is good for fishing wood cover that the ChatterBait will hang in.

The green pumpkin or watermelon red Speed Craw fished behind a 3/16-oz. lead is an excellent bait to slow down and catch fish when they are located on the faster-moving baits.

Mike took me to West Point the first Wednesday in March to see the kinds of places he catches bass and how he fishes his baits. He had about 15 keepers that day, including a 4- pounder that hit the ChatterBait, and I caught several keepers including a 3-pounder. The early bass were already on this pattern.

The following Sunday I had a club tournament at West Point, and I adapted his pattern a little and had 16.53 pounds to win. My catch included two largemouth—the big fish at 6.69 pounds and another one right at 5 pounds. The bass I caught were on the kinds of places he showed me in the same areas. You can adapt his pattern to what you like best and catch fish for the next month.

We caught fish on most of the following 10 spots on the baits Mike recommends, and they will be loaded throughout the month of April.

No. 1: N 33º 03.591 – W 85º 05.882 — Going up Half Moon Creek, just before you get to the bridge there is a clay and rock point on your left. The channel swings by the point, and there is 16 feet of water just off the bank. This is one of the first places bass move to during the prespawn, and they hold on this point moving back out in late April, too.

Keep your boat in 16 feet of water, and fish all the way around the point, casting a crankbait and ChatterBait right to the bank. In early April, Mike works his baits slowly, keeping them right on the bottom. With the ChatterBait he will let it hit bottom, pull it up, and let it fall back as he cranks it along slowly. When the water is warmer and the fish are more active, he will fish a little faster.

No. 2: N 33º 03.674 – W 85º 06.193 — Coming back out of Half Moon Creek there is a boat ramp on your left. It is not open most of the time, but it sits on a rocky point with deep water near it. This is another good stop for bass moving into and out of the creek on their spawning migration.

Stay out in at least 15 feet of water, and cast your crankbait close to the bank. Mike fishes his Shad Rap slowly. He will pull it down with his rod tip to the bottom, and then fish it almost like a worm. He does not reel it along—he pulls it a couple of feet with his rod tip, takes up the slack, and then pulls it another couple of feet. Many times when you start a pull, a bass will be on it because they like to hit it on the pause when the floating crankbait rises some.

No. 3: N 33 03.811 – W 85 08.056 — Going down the lake, past the mouth of the Chattahoochee there are several white PVC pole danger markers and a hump with cypress trees on it on your right. Then a big cove opens up. It is the second creek on that side; the first creek is behind the danger markers.

Go into the second cove. Stop about one third of the way in, and fish the gravel and clay bank on the left. Start here and work toward the back. The bass will usually be about the same distance back on all of the spawning coves like this, so pay attention to which section of the pocket you catch fish.

Jump across to the other side, and fish back out, making repeated casts to the ramp on that side. Mike says never pass up a boat ramp—they almost always hold some fish. Fish your ChatterBait and crankbait along both sides of this cove.

Around the full moon in April, a lot of bass will be spawning here and other similar places. Mike loves to sight fish for them. This year the water has been very stained, and unless it clears up, it will be hard to see bedding bass on this part of the lake. Mike says he usually sight fishes downstream of the Highway 109 Bridge where the water is clearer.

No. 4: N 33º 02.609 – W 85º 08.516 — Across the river and downstream, there is a fairly big creek on that side with a lot of docks in it. It is the last big creek before getting to the railroad trestle. Go in to the no-wake buoy, and there is a dock with an orange roof on the right. Stop just past it, and begin fishing the rocks there.

When you get to the next dock, go across to the other side and fish out and around the point. There is good pea gravel and rock on this bank and point all the way around the next small cove, and there is good bit of brush in the water past the dock downstream of the cove. Work this whole area carefully.

When fishing a Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, Mike casts it near the bank and drags it along the bottom, imitating a crawfish crawling along. Crawfish are a favorite food of bass, and the Speed Craw imitates them well. Also, if bass are bedding on the gravel, they will attack it even if you can’t see the bed. Be sure to cast to any wood cover like stumps and logs, since bass like to hold and bed on it.

No. 5: N 33º 03.718 – W 85º 09.579 — Go into Whitewater Creek to where it splits off to the right and Thompson Creek goes straight in. The point between the two creeks has Whitewater Park ramp on it. This point is a major stopping place for bass going both ways in both creeks.

The Whitewater Creek channel hits this point on the right facing it, and there are chunk rocks to gravel on the clay bottom, making it a good place for bass to feed. Mike starts on the upstream side where the clay changes to rocks and fishes around the point, hitting the ramp when he gets to it and fishes the rocks past it. Fish all your baits here.

No. 6: N 33º 03.539 – W 85º 09.792 — Across the mouth of Thompson Creek from the ramp, a double creek enters the main creek. On the left just before going into that small creek is a pocket with four docks in it. On the downstream side of this pocket, there is a rocky point in front of a steel bulkhead seawall. This point has some brush on it, too.

Start on the downstream side with your boat out in about 10 feet of water, and work around the point, staying in 10 feet of water. Cast all your baits shallow, and work them back out. When you hit the brush, try your spinnerbait through it as well as your Speed Craw. Cast across the point from the upstream side before going around it.

No. 7: N 33º 03.583 – W 85º 09.853 — Go into the creek. The upstream point of the pocket has docks, and it is a good rocky point that also has brush. Start on the downstream side a little inside the pocket, and fish around the point, casting near the bank and working your baits out.

Stay out in about 8 feet of water, and try to keep your crankbait in contact with the bottom. When you pull it with your rod tip, you want to feel it bumping the rocks. Fish all the way around the point. There are rocks on the upstream side, too.

No. 8: N 33º 03.634 – W 85º 10.240 — Go into the creek where it splits into two arms. This point is gravel and clay, and there is a hole where an old beaver lodge has some sticks in the water. The map shows a pond dam coming across the mouth of the right fork and hitting this point. Mike said there is an old roadbed, too.

Fish the rocks and clay with your crankbait, ChatterBait and Speed Craw. Hit any wood cover with a spinnerbait and Speed Craw. By rigging it Texas style, it will come through the wood without getting hung.

No. 9: N 33º 02.527 – W 85º 09.10.000 — Go down the river under the railroad trestle. There is a creek on your right with two big islands in the mouth of it. Go to the upstream creek side of the back one. It has big rock on it, and it drops off fast where the channel hits it. Keep your boat a good cast off the bank, and fish all the way around it with all your baits.

Wind blowing in on this point and others makes the bass bite better. Wind breaks up the surface and makes it harder for bass to identify your bait as fake, and it also makes shad move with it as they follow the plankton they feed on. Bass know if they set up on a wind-blown point that food will come to them. With a strong wind, fish your spinnerbait more than the other baits.

No. 10: N 33º 02.569 – W 85º 10.289 — Go into the creek behind the island. Where it narrows down, you will see and old roadbed entering on the right. It comes down the upstream side of the rocky point on your left. Start on the downstream side of the point, and fish around it. When you get to the upstream side, stay way out. You will see the roadbed coming out where the point hits the bank. The bank drops off and then comes back up on the roadbed before dropping off again. Stay out far enough so your baits hit the back side of the roadbed, and fish it almost to the bank. Throw to any wood cover you see. This is where I caught the 3-lb. largemouth on a crankbait. It hit beside a small stick in the water that really didn’t look like much, but that little bit of wood held a nice keeper.

Bass bed in both arms of this creek. If you are fishing around the full moon in April, work around the backs of both pockets looking for bedding fish. If it is still too stained to see them, probe for them on the bed by dragging your Speed Craw slowly along the bottom.

These places held bass in early March and will have a lot more bass on them now. Check them out, try Mike’s favorite baits, and then find similar places to fish the kinds of baits you prefer.

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