West Point: Level: 6.0 feet below full pool. See the special note from the corps at the end of this report about new sandbars up the river. Temp: 50-55 degrees. Clarity: Stained to muddy.
Bass: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Expect big changes as we move toward and on into March. Warming weather and a stained lake should move many of the largemouth shallow quickly if we have a decent warming trend. Otherwise, expect the largemouth bite to continue to be fair around any shallow wood or brush, rip-rap rocks or around shallow baitfish schools. Shallow-water baits such as ChatterBaits, square-bills and Rat-L-Traps should work effectively. Spinnerbaits and jig ’n pigs are also producing some fish around wood. It’s a good time to catch a big fish, even though the numbers are not that great early in the month. One of the main keys to this type of shallow fishing is to look for warmer water. A ditch or creek run sometimes helps to bring warmer water into an area, especially after a warm rain. Dark chunk rock and red clay retain heat and attract bass.”
Linesides: Good. Keith Hudson reports, “The river run starts up in March, and how good it gets usually depends on weather and water conditions. What you don’t want is really muddy and cold water below 50 degrees. I usually start out with cut bait soaked in garlic in water temps around 60 or lower. Live shad work usually work better in water temps of 60 or higher. Start around Ringer Access, and follow the fish upstream as the water warms. Stripers mixed with hybrids and white bass can continue to school on top throughout early spring as well. Expect the topwater fishing to be the best very early and very late or on overcast days. The schooling fish are mostly less than 3 pounds or so, but there are some bigger fished mixed in, as well. Gulls and loons are also out there now to help you pinpoint the schooling linesides. The mouths of Yellow Jacket, Wehadkee and Maple creeks have all been producing some fish. Downlining with live shiners will also work. Target drop-offs near the channel or the top of humps. Trolling with mid-depth crankbaits, Alabama Rigs, bucktail jigs and vertical jigging with spoons have also been producing in these same areas. The key is finding a little clearer water.”
Crappie: Good. Keith Hudson reports, “A few warm days in row will drastically improve the crappie fishing. Some crappie are already being caught in the shallows on minnows and jigs under a float, especially in the afternoons. Blowdown trees in 5 to 10 feet of water are still holding some fish as well. Concentrate on trees that are close to the old creek or river channel. Some fish are being caught by drop-shotting minnows over or near deeper brush as well. Expect the shallow bite to turn off in the event of an extended cold snap or get even better with an extended warm trend. Trolling for crappie usually kicks into high gear soon. Whitewater and Yellow Jacket creeks almost always seem to turn on first. Hopefully the water will clear up as we move into March. Trolling always seems to work better in clearer water. Overall, March is probably the best month for size and numbers of crappie.”
Note from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Due to recent heavy rains, excess sediment deposits have pushed down from the Chattahoochee River leaving silt formations in the lake channel, thus narrowing the navigation channel north of the Georgia Highway 219 river bridge. This area is between Georgia Park and Ringer Park. In addition, a large sandbar has formed along the west side of the river channel. To properly mark the river channel, red and green buoys will be replaced with mid channel buoys (black and white vertically stripped) which identify the center of the channel. Boaters should navigate near these buoys to ensure deeper water. Shoal markers will be installed to identify the sandbar. Boaters should proceed with caution in this stretch of river and always be on the lookout for floating debris.