West Point: Level: 5.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Low to mid 60s. Clarity: Clear on the south end; slightly stained up the lake.
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, especially after the February warming trend. Expect the largemouth bite to continue to be good around any shallow wood or brush, rip-rap rocks or around shallow baitfish schools. Shallow-water baits such as ChatterBaits, squarebill crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps should work effectively. Spinnerbaits and jig ’n pigs are also producing some fish around wood and rip-rap. It’s a good time to catch a big fish. One of the main keys to this type of shallow fishing is to look for warmer stained 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. Fishing for spotted bass can be awesome as they will start to bed in March, as well. Small crankbaits or Carolina-rigged finesse worms will catch fish on almost any gravel bank.”
Linesides: Good. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “The river run cranks 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 spray 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. The schooling fish are mostly less than 3 pounds or so, but there are some bigger fished mixed in. 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 some fish in these same areas. The key is finding a little clearer water.”
Crappie: Excellent. Guide Keith Hudson reports, “We’ve had a quick warm-up, and a few warm days in a row will drastically improve the crappie fishing in March. Good numbers of crappie are being caught in the shallows by bank fisherman on minnows and jigs under a float, especially in the afternoons. Blowdown trees and brushpiles in 3 to 6 feet of water are holding fish, as well. Trolling for crappie usually kicks into high gear soon. Whitewater and Yellow Jacket creeks almost always seem to turn on strong this month. Expect the shallow bite to turn off in the event of an extended cold snap or get even better with an extended warming trend. Hopefully the water will clear up a little 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. Expect many of the crappie to bed on the full moon cycle in late March.”