3-DAY WEATHER FORECAST:
West Point is a 25,900 acre reservoir operated by the Corps of Engineers (COE) on the Chattahoochee River at the Georgia Alabama border. The recent drought has reduced water levels well below average making some boat ramps inaccessible. Anglers should contact the COE office at 706 645 2937 with any questions on current open ramps.Excellent facilities, close proximity to Atlanta and a special 21 regulation on largemouth bass contribute to the popularity of this reservoir. The 14 inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass and an abundant spotted bass population combine to consistently produce quality bass angling. Total black bass abundance is typically somewhat higher than that of other middle Georgia reservoirs. The population continues to maintain a healthy overall condition. Over 35 percent of the largemouth bass population is within the preferred 15 20 inch category with an average weight of about 1 ½ pounds Concentrate on warmer areas, like protected coves, using shallow running crank baits and spinner baits for early spring action. Fish deeper main creek and river channel structure with deep running crank baits and worms during late spring and summer. Also, try fishing under the tree canopy near the upper ends of major creeks. Blow downs are another popular largemouth hiding spot in the warmer months. Winter action is found deep, near main channel structure, and preferred lures are deep diving crank baits, jigs and worms.Good spawning success in the last several years has resulted in a substantial increase in spotted bass numbers and they now comprise around 50 60 percent of the total black bass population. However, the two species seem to have reached equilibrium in the last couple of years. Most spotted bass are presently in the 6 12 inch range. Remember that there is no size limit on spotted bass on this lake and with the recent increase in abundance, anglers are encouraged to remove spotted bass from West Point.The abundance and average size of crappie continue to indicate a healthy and stable population and 2008 should be no exception. About 20 percent of the population is between 9 12 inches and over 20 percent are in the 8 9 inch range. Average weight will be just less than 1/3 lb. The best crappie action is usually found by trolling jigs in the traditional spring hot spots in the upper portions of Beech, Whitewater, Wehadkee and Stroud creeks. Crappies are also found around bridges.Over the years, West Point has maintained an excellent reputation for hybrid fishing because of a combination of high stocking rates and lake characteristics that produce good survival and growth. Total hybrid numbers will be good in 2008, and the typical fish will weigh 1 ½ pounds Hybrids are found in abundance below the shoals in Franklin in the spring and scattered along the main river and tributary channels throughout much of the year. Gulf race striped bass were last stocked into West Point Lake in 2004. A few larger striped bass in the 20 pounds range have been caught in the past years. Because of the limited natural reproduction, total striped bass numbers have declined in recent years. These numbers should increase greatly with the revitalization of the striper stocking program. Many 12 inch+ stripers are being caught and sizes should only increase as the smaller fish grow. The white bass population has declined slightly due to the relatively weak classes produced in the last several years. Over 25 percent of the population is currently in the preferred 12 15 inch range and exceptional fishing can be found during the spring in the upper reaches of the Chattahoochee River arm in Franklin.West Point is probably the best channel catfish lake in middle Georgia with many 15 24 inch quality sized fish. As on most large reservoirs, bream are overpopulated and few reach catchable size. Average length for bluegill is about 4 to 6 inches and the less abundant redear (shellcracker) average 7 8 inches.Visitors to West Point should be aware of ongoing efforts to improve fish and wildlife habitat as well as general aesthetics. The COE, WRD and West Point Lake Coalition have planted maidencane and cypress trees at several locations. Since the late 1980s, larger cypress trees have been planted on shoals and other high points to serve as markers and provide fish habitat. A limited number of larger cypress trees were planted in coves with additional plantings planned for the future. These plants should provide benefits to the lake in the years to come. In addition, night fisherman will be pleased to know, the COE has installed flashing lights on the main channel buoys. The COE continues to replace the triangular wooden shoal markers with 6 inch PVC shell markers to improve visibility and safety. It should be noted that a permit is no longer required to construct fish shelters on West Point using Christmas trees, but the COE Project Manager Office (706 645 2937) should be notified if more than 10 20 trees are used. Finally, fishing has been improved at the Rocky Point and McGee Bridge piers with the addition of PVC fish shelters.WRD undertook a major habitat enhancement project with the construction of 10 large fish attractors. Each of the attractors is constructed of numerous plastic peach crates anchored to the bottom and they are distributed widely over the entire lake below Highland Marina as well as in Yellow Jacket Creek. The locations of all the attractor sites can be obtained by contacting the WRD Fisheries Management office in LaGrange (706 845 4180). In an effort to create additional largemouth bass and crappie habitat, WRD and the COE will continue to improve shoreline fish habitat by cutting trees at suitable locations and anglers can expect exceptional fishing in these areas for years to come.
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