West Point Fishing Report February 2006

West Point: Level: 7.5 feet below full. Temp: 42 degrees. Clarity: Slightly stained in places. Relatively clear on the main lake.

Bass: The largemouth bite has been crazy, according to guide Paul Parsons. “The warm weather has the fish turned on,” Paul said. He said the warming trends are the times to fish on West Point. “When we have some warm days, the water in the very backs of pockets will get warm and the shad run back there,” Paul said. When it’s warm, throw a 1/4-oz. Rat-L-Trap back in the pockets and yo-yo it back to the boat. Paul likes the chrome colors when the water is clear, gold when it’s muddy, and chartreuse when it’s cloudy. “Some of the pockets have clean bottoms and some of them have pine straw and leaves on them,” Paul said. “Most people don’t want to have to pull junk off their hooks every cast, but that’s where the fish will be.” Some folks will be throwing spinnerbaits, too. Paul said a jerkbait, like the Lucky Craft Pointer in American Shad color will produce fish during the same warming trends. During cold snaps, a jigging spoon fished over brushpiles in 15 feet of water can be effective, as can a jig ’n pig fished right through the brush.

Hybrids: Good. “They are sort of in a pre-staging period right now, getting ready for that run up the river here in a couple of months,” guide Bobby Wilson said. Bobby is trolling with Bandit 200- and 300-Series crankbaits. Many colors will work on West Point, though Taco Salad is one of the hottest. Paul likes to troll in creek channels in 15 to 20 feet of water. He’ll also slow troll with soft plastic like a Sassy Shad on a 1/4-oz. jig head. Either bait in pearl, chartreuse or a combination of the two will be good. Bobby said if you see hybrids busting on top, or if you see birds diving on shad, you can throw a Rat-L-Trap, a bucktail jig or a Rooster Tail into the school and get bit. “When you see those birds diving, the hybrids are chasing shad up top. Even if you aren’t seeing fish bust on top, you can throw in there and catch them.” Bobby said the key this time of year is to be versatile. “Sometimes the fish won’t hit live bait, and you have to have other tactics to catch them,” he said.

Crappie: The crappie have been biting good. Bobby is having success trolling jigs up the Chattahoochee River. Bobby uses 1/16- and 1/32-oz. jigs. The colors depend on the condition of the water, but a good rule of thumb is dark colors in stained water and brighter colors in clearer water. One great color combination on West Point is a black jig with a chartreuse tail on a red jig head. Some fish are being caught by pitching a jig under a cork. Bobby said to put the jig two to three feet below a cork and pitch it at any stick up or structure you can see. “Keep trying different depths until you start getting bites.”

Catfish: Paul said reports of good catches of catfish are coming in. Anglers up the river are hauling plenty of flatheads, blues and channel cats out of the Chattahoochee right now. Paul said most any catfish bait will work, but he prefers cut shad.

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