West Point: Level: 6.8 feet above full pool. Temp: Upper 40s. Clarity: Clear on the south end; slightly stained up the lake.
Bass: Slow. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Expect a slow start to February after actually having a winter this year. In water temps below 55 degrees, bass tend to slow down, move deeper and feed less. Although it can be a slow time for fishing, warm fronts and warm rainfall can turn the bite on quickly. Cold fronts and cold rain will do the opposite. Mid-depth baits like Rat-L-Traps, ChatterBaits, Little John crankbaits and Shad Raps allow you to cover water to find feeding fish. You can still find feeding bass, especially on an extended warming trend. Remember to slow the baits down in the colder water. Rip-rap or chunk rock can hold bass on a sunny warming trend. Try slowly working it with a jig ’n pig or a suspending jerkbait. The bites can be few and far between, but it is a good time of year to catch a trophy fish. Don’t forget—if we do have a sudden warm-up during February, the fishing for all species can go from poor to excellent in just a few days. So be ready! For spotted bass continue to stick with Spot Remover heads loaded with Zoom Shakey Head or Finesse Worms. Casting to chunk-rock banks or rip-rap around the bridges will normally produce. Spoon fishing this time of year can still produce. In clear, cold water, spoon fishing and drop-shotting can still be your best bet for a mixed bag of spots, white bass, hybrids and stripers. Target 15 to 25 feet of water near the river channel or in the mouths of major creeks.”
Linesides: Fair. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “I have caught stripers this winter as deep as 50 feet, way deeper than normal for West Point. The linesides are still down the lake in good numbers right now. Expect the downline bite on live shiners and the jigging-spoon bite to continue to be at least fair all the way throughout the winter, unless the whole lake gets muddy. The usual humps and drop-offs in the Chattahoochee and the mouths of most major creeks should produce. A few fish are still surface schooling early and late on the main lake, especially on overcast days, and they can be caught on Rooster Tails, Russ’ Bucktail Jigs, Red Fins and Storm Swim Shad lures. Gulls and loons are on the lake and can help you find actively feeding fish. Trolling with A-Rigs, bucktails and crankbaits can also be effective. The river run can start in late February if the month turns unusually warm.”
Crappie: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Trolling for crappie usually picks up big time during February if the weather cooperates in the least. Schools of prespawn crappie begin their migration to the shallows to lay their eggs. They usually follow the creek channels like a highway to the shallows. Smaller feeder creeks like those up the Chattahoochee—Wolf, Fish, Management Area, Potato creeks and New River—seem to always be some of the first to turn on. Whitewater, Yellow Jacket and Wehadkee creels won’t be far behind. Don’t forget, a prolonged warming trend or a substantial warm rain can really turn the crappie on quickly and move them shallow. Later in the month, or when the surface temps hit around 55 degrees, target blowdowns and brushpiles in 4 to 8 feet of water by casting jigs. Most of the docks that still have water under them have brushpiles around them, making them easier to find.”