West Point: Level: 5.5 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 40s. Clarity: The backs of the creeks are stained.
Bass: Slow. James Scoggin was on the lake Saturday, January 27 and said it was tough. James doesn’t look for much improvement, either, until the water warms up. “We caught a few fish on spoons, jigs and Shad Raps, but it was slow.” They caught fish anywhere from 18 to 25 feet deep and up on the bank, too. “We found fish in less than five feet of water in the back of Turkey Creek,” he said. “We caught some fish on the bigger 1/2-oz. Flex-it drifting back and forth over a ledge 18 feet deep. We also caught fish on a Shad Rap and on a jig on plain clay banks; we just couldn’t put a pattern together.”
Hybrids: West Point guide Paul Parsons said he has been catching hybrids on live bait over timber in the mid-lake area. Trolling a crankbait like a No. 7 Shad Rap or a Bandit 100 over creek channels will also produce fish. You can also slow-troll a Sassy Shad on a 1/4-oz. jig head and catch hybrids. If you don’t want to fish live bait, Paul said to try a white 1/4-oz. Flex-it spoon over the timber. “Count down to the timber, and then jig the spoon just above the trees,” he said. “You will catch bass, crappie and hybrids.” Paul noted that the striped bass stocked in the lake three years ago are starting to show up in the catch. “Tell people they ought to practice catch-and-release on those small stripers,” he said. “Those things will get big.”
Crappie: Good and about to get better. West Point guide Bobby Wilson said the crappie are from the mouths of the creeks to about halfway back in the creeks. He said the biggest fish he has been catching — up to two pounds — have been coming on large minnows, the size of small shiners. Bobby said he looks for fish on his graph and drops the minnows on a small-scale Carolina rig. He has also been catching fish trolling, using tube jigs, flys and twister tails. In tubes and flies, black/chartreuse and red/chartreuse have been good colors. Another productive lure is a two-inch twister-tail in smoke/blue with a gold metalflake tail. Counting the dinks, Jeff Key caught 100, 80, and 64 crappie on recent trips to the lake. Jeff was fishing tandem, 1/16-oz. jigs in Yellowjacket Creek. As the water warms, he will switch to single jig, then to 1/32-oz. jigs as the fish move to the bank. For more on Jeff’s February tactics, see page 148.