Fishing West Point Lake and Lake Lanier

Maybe fishing is good from Alabama to South Carolina with the exception of the middle of Georgia, for me anyway. A tournament at Lanier last Sunday was very frustrating but a trip to West Point on the Alabama line was more rewarding.

Tuesday I took my 2004 Skeeter I am trying to sell to West Point to run it some. It had not been cranked since last November, the longest time it has gone without going fishing since I bought it. I had taken everything out of it so I had to remember to take a life jacket, kill switch, and the boat key!

Although I planned to run the motor some and look at water color and temperature in preparation for a Potato Creek tournament Saturday, I did put in a couple of rods and reels, one with a spinnerbait and one with a crankbait. I took no spare tackle.

I was pleased when the motor cranked right up and ran without any problem. And the water from the Mega Ramp at Pyne Park up to Whitewater was a good color for fishing, a little stained but not muddy, and with temperatures in the low 60s I knew the fish should be active.

After riding around a little I could not stand it so I fished into a cove with the crankbait, casting it to rocks and wood cover, without a bite. Then as I approached a tree in the water I picked up the spinnerbait and caught a four pound largemouth on the first cast with it. That was exciting.

After riding around a little more I decided to fish the crankbait on a point and quickly caught two pound spotted bass. At that point I realized I didn’t want to catch any more fish, preferring to save them for the tournament, so I ran back to the ramp and took the boat out. I was on the water less than three hours total. I hope those two fish were waiting on me yesterday.

At Lake Lanier last Sunday 15 members of the Flint River Bass Club fished our first tournament of the year. We landed 21 keeper bass weighing about 45 pounds. There was one five-fish limit and five people did not have a keeper. Six of us had just one keeper after eight hours of casting. There was one largemouth weighed in, all the rest were spots.

Travis Weatherly had four keepers weighing 13.01 pounds and won and his 4.6-pound spot was big fish. Chuck Croft had five weighing 8.59 pounds for second, Niles Murray had four at 7.54 pounds for third and Dan Phillips had one spot weighing 3.7 pounds for fourth.

It was a very frustrating day for me. I had been seeing picture on Facebook of big spotted bass being caught on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Folks were catching them on rocky points and clay banks, a pattern I like to fish. Others were catching numbers of spots by fishing a Fish Head Spin in ditches, a common pattern there this time of year but one I have never learned.

Travis and Chuck both said they caught their fish on the Fish Head Spin pattern. I tried it some without any luck. Nile said he caught his fish on a crankbait, something I tried a lot without a bite. My one keeper came out of a tree top and hit a jig head worm, on the sixth or seventh cast into it. It was no bigger than a bath tub. My partner Wes DeLay had also cast to that wood cover before the fish finally hit.

The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm all this week and the fish should react to it by moving shallow and feeding. I remember a February in the mid-1970s with similar weather. It was very warm all month. Linda and I took our bass boat to Clarks Hill the last weekend of February to bass fish.

I had ordered two brand new plugs, called Deep Wee R’s, that had just come on the market. They were not in stores yet, I had to order them from a magazine. I tied on a chartreuse one and Linda used the crawfish one. We went out and found the water stained but not muddy.

About mid-morning we had caught a couple of bass but nothing exciting, and were enjoying the warm sunny day. We stopped on a clay point on an island and seemed to catch a bass on every cast for a few minutes. When they quit biting we moved to the next point in the creek and repeated the action. When it stopped there, we went to the next one with the same results.

The rest of that day and most of the day Sunday we rotated around those three points that we named Points 1, 2 and 3. Real imaginative, I know. Anyway, we landed 78 keeper bass in two days, most of them from those three points. My biggest was 6.5 pounds and Linda had one weighing 4.5 pounds.

I have never found the fish feeding like that on those points since then. Conditions were exactly right for them that year. But that is what keeps me fishing, expecting to find fish feeding like that again some day. Maybe this is the year!

Plan a fishing trip this week. You may find a bunch of bass, or catch the biggest one of your life. Conditions are right, just like they were one year back in the 1970s!