Fish Fast To Find West Point Lake Bass In September

Ronnie Garrison | August 30, 2023

Brent Boswell and Dylan Thayer had a stellar career in the high school bass fishing circuit, including two wins at West Point Lake. They like to fish fast in September to find bass that are wanting to eat in the tough late-summer conditions.

Head to West Point this month to catch hot-water bass on points and docks. September may be the meanest month for bass fishing, but the spots and largemouth have to eat, and you can catch them.

West Point is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake that extends 35 miles on the Chattahoochee River near LaGrange. Its 25,800 acres of water has deep standing timber, rocks, blowdowns, docks and some man-made brushpiles that hold summer bass. Although some of the lower lake is in Alabama, a Georgia fishing license is good on all waters of West Point Lake.

Lack of shoreline cover concentrates largemouth around docks and blowdowns, with spotted bass liking rocks better. But you can catch both species by fishing brushpiles on rocky points or docks with brush on rocky banks. It is not unusual to catch both species from the same cover.

Brent Boswell and Dylan Thayer first teamed up in the 7th grade to fish team tournaments. Now, they’ve just finished their last year at Winder Barrow High School, and they placed 8th overall in the High School World Championship in June.

During the past season, they won a Georgia Bass Nation High School tournament at West Point in November and won the Major League Fishing High School tournament at West Point in February. They like West Point and do well on this lake.

“Bass have been on their summer pattern for a few months and feed on cover near deep water or where there is shade all day, like docks,” Brent said. “We try to concentrate on places where they are holding this month.”

“Fishing is tough in September, but we run-and-gun to find some feeding fish,” Brent told me.

Both he and Dylan like to fish fast, but they compliment each other with different baits and different presentations until they find what the bass want that day.

Brent tries to keep it simple. He will have a couple of topwater baits like a Gunfish, Greenfish Tackle buzzbait and a Pop-R ready to fish. He may throw one while Dylan throws another, especially during low-light conditions, to offer different actions.

For follow-up and fishing deeper cover, a Greenfish Jig and shaky head are ready. Those baits also work around docks and shallow cover. Other baits like a drop shot, crankbait spinnerbait and Carolina rig are kept in the rod locker for special conditions.

 On a very hot, dead calm Sunday the last weekend in July, Brent’s dad Rob drove us around the lake while Brent and Dylan fished. They caught several small spots, but without wind or current in the 90-degree water, quality bass were tough to find.

We saw many small spotted  bass chasing tiny shad on top early and a few during the bright, sunny day, but even the schoolies turned down baits bigger than the half-inch shad they were eating. And fish around brush and deeper cover were visible on their Lowrance Active Target but refused to eat.

There were huge schools of shad on most of these places, and by the time this article hits the first of September, they will be starting to move. That fall movement into the creeks and coves is a key for catching bass, and most of the deeper locations we fished are set up to take advantage of the fall baitfish move.

Bass are on the following 10 spots, we saw them, and you can catch them even during the tough conditions in September if you work at it. And the slow process of days getting shorter and water slowly cooling will make the bass move and eat more as the month progresses.

No. 1: N 33º 00.711 – W 85º 11.034 — Going upstream from the big island upstream of the Holiday Park boat ramp, watch for a cypress tree a few yards off the bank with a big osprey nest in it. You will be starting into the last cove downstream with Whitetail Campground campsites in it.

That cypress tree is on a long, shallow, sloping gravel point, the kind of place that gives September bass a good feeding place. It is near deep water, offers a hard bottom for feeding and has standing timber in the ditch upstream of it to offer a deep shelter.

Keep your boat off the end of the point in at least 20 feet of water and cast up to about 5 feet deep. Work a topwater over the point, especially when the light is low. Bass will chase shad up on top of the point and attack them, so watch for surface activity and cast to it immediately.

Brent likes a silver Gunfish or a chrome Pop-R worked fast to mimic a bass chasing shad. When Dylan is with him, they will often start with both baits until the bass show them their preference. Don’t leave without running a buzzbait like the 1/2-oz. Greenfish Tackle bait right by the tree trunk.

After covering the point from the tree out to 10 feet deep with topwater, follow up with a jig and shaky head.  Drag them along the bottom, bumping gravel and any bigger rocks. Also probe for the brushpile if you don’t have forward-facing sonar to pinpoint it. Bass will hold in the brush before, during and after feeding.

No. 2: N 33º 00.935 – W 85º 11.070 — Go into the cove upstream where there are campsites in the back of the upstream pocket. The first small cove on your left past the point with the cypress tree has a pond dam across it. It comes up from 20 feet deep to about 5 feet (at full pool). This is another good place to find bass chasing shad or waiting on schools of bait.

Since most of these holes are right on the main lake, they will be good as soon as some fall movement starts, even early in the month, but they will get better all month.

Keep your boat outside the dam in 20 feet of water and cast across it with topwater, and then try bottom-bumping baits. Brent likes to rig a green-pumpkin or junebug Zoom Trick or Finesse worm on a 3/16- or 1/4-oz. shaky-head jig. Try dipping the tail in chartreuse JJ’s Magic. Use the lighter head around docks and in shallower water and the bigger head for deeper water or windy days.

Cast your jig or shaky head across the dam, come up the pond side and across the top. Then move it slowly enough to keep contact with the bottom as it drops off on the creek side. Work it out to at least 15 feet deep.

No. 3: N 33º 02.117 – W 85º 09.313 — Upstream of the Highway 109 bridge, a creek makes a big bay on your right. The river channel swings in near it, and the creek channel has standing timber in it, offering deep “highways” and hiding places for the bass. A marked hump is on the left going into the creek.

Watch on the right bank going in for a long narrow point on the upstream side of the ditch there. It is downstream of the creek mouth. This shallow point drops off fast on the ditch side and has spots of hard bottom. There is also brush out in about 20 feet of water.

Stop out in 20 feet of water on the lake side of the point and cast up on top of it, covering it from a couple feet deep out to 20 feet deep. Fish around the end, and then try from the ditch side. Sometimes bass set up and will hit baits moving one way but not the other, so try all directions.

Cover the water with topwater and then a jig or shaky head. When you find the brush, make multiple casts to it, covering it from different angles. If the sun is high and bright, bass may be buried deep in the brush.

No. 4: N 33º 02.207 – W 85º 09.267 — Go across to the hump marked by a danger marker on a white PVC pole. It sits in only a couple feet of water at full pool, and the hump runs way out shallow toward the river, so stop way off it.

Fish the creek side—the channel runs in near it and there are several brushpiles on this side and out the end toward the river. There is brush out toward the river, too. The upstream side slopes off slowly, but watch for activity in the shallow water, especially under low-light conditions. Throw your buzzbait on top of the hump and on the shallow side.

Brent says a little wind helps on all these spots. A ripple on top breaks up the sunlight and helps confuse the fish so they mistake your bait for something alive. Wind will often make the fish move even more shallow on the wind-blown side, so make sure you cover water as shallow as 2 feet deep with all your baits.

No. 5: N 33º 02.163 – W 85º 09.169 — Go across to the downstream point of the creek. There are some big rocks on the upstream side that run way out and a couple of brushpiles sit in 20 feet of water. This is a great ambush point for shad moving into the creek.

Stop on the downstream side in 20 feet of water and cast up to 2 feet of water with topwater, and then follow up with a jig and shaky head. Work all the way around the point. Watch your depth—as you go around the point you will get your boat too shallow and spook the fish if you’re not careful.

If the corps is pulling water, current moving across this point and other places turns on the bite. If current is moving, make multiple casts, working your bait with the current. When there is some current, Brent may pull out a crankbait, underspin or swimbait to imitate a shad swimming with the current.

No. 6: N 33º 02.972 – W 85º 08.597 — Go under the railroad bridge and watch for the biggest creek on your right before McGee Bridge ramp. It splits into two arms, but stop on the upstream main-lake point with the danger marker on it. This is one of the first places bass move to as the shad start to move.

Stop way out on the end of the point away from the marker with your boat in 20 feet of water. Run your topwaters over it, and then try bottom-bumping a jig and shaky head, probing for any cover.

Brent likes a Greenfish Tackle jig with a Z-Craw trailer. If the water is clear like normal in September, Brent ties on a brown jig. In dirty water, he goes with black and blue. He often uses a green-pumpkin trailer on both color jigs and dips the tails in chartreuse JJ’s Magic.

No. 7: N 33º 02.845 – W 85º 08.519 — Go into the small creek and to the point between the arms. A big dock with a deck on top is in the small pocket on the point. It is a good example of the kind of dock that Brent likes to fish in September.

Preferred docks like this one are near deep water and have at least 10 feet of water at full pool on the front edge. It is big enough that it provides a lot of shade. And it is isolated, no other docks are close by.

Get in close enough to skip your shaky head and jig under the dock, hitting the deepest shade you can reach. Skip into every hole and opening you can hit. Be sure to cover the area under the pontoon, as well as the dock floats. And watch for any brush in front or under the dock, and also check the sides.

When the sun is not directly overhead, concentrate on the shady side. When it is straight up, the target zone will narrow down and concentrate the fish. Brent seldom hits walkways this time of year since they are so shallow.

No. 8: N 33º 04.768 – W 85º 06.702 — For something a little different, run up the river to the second water-pumping station on your right. Stop on the downstream point of the bluff bank it sits on, and work upstream, hitting any shade with your topwater baits. Follow up with a jig and shaky head, working them down the steep rocks. Spotted bass love this kind of place.

Fish all around the pumping station house itself, working your jig and shaky head along the edges all the way to the bottom. And this might be a good place to pull out a drop shot and work the sides of the house. Dylan caught some small spots on a drop shot here the day we fished.

When you get to the upstream point, work it thoroughly with your jig and shaky head. The point runs out upstream and drops fast on the river side, and it is very rocky. Bump the bottom from 5 to 20 feet deep on it.

No. 9: N 33º 03.531 – W 85º 05.782 — Go up Half Moon Creek to the Whitaker Road Bridge. Similar to the points and humps, bridges create a pinch point where shad pass when moving up the creek. And bass always live on rip-rap since it is ideal structure and cover and holds a wide variety of food for them.

Brent concentrates on the corners of the bridge where bass can wait on passing shad. A topwater worked over them first thing in the morning and other low-light conditions works well. A jig or shaky head fished on the rocks will also catch fish.

This might also be a good time to pull out a crankbait, spinnerbait or drop shot to fish the rip-rap. Since the bass are always present, you just have to find something they will hit when you are there, so try all your options.

No. 10: N 33º 03.868 – W 85º 06.344 — Go back out to the upstream main-lake point of Half Moon Creek and fish the point that runs out between the Yellowjacket and Half Moon channels. This point runs out toward the main creek channel. There is good brush on the drop into Half Moon out in about 20 feet of water that usually holds bass. This point is not the same as the old dam that runs across the mouth of the creek.

This big, flat point runs way out, and there is cover on it—as well as the drops into the channels—so cover this area from 5 to 25 feet deep. Bass live here all year but move up shallower to feed on moving shad in September.

If almost all these places sound similar, it is because they are. The way Brent fishes is to run-and-gun, hitting many similar places with just a couple of baits to try to catch active fish. If he has to adapt, he will.

But running-and-gunning has worked for him, and it will for you, too.

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