Bogue Homa Lake about 5 miles outside of Laurel is a relatively shallow lake with plenty of vegetation and live cypress trees. In October, with the first cool nights, the bass in this lake become very active.
The lake was restocked about four years ago, and you can enjoy catching and releasing numbers of bass this month — possibly 20 to 25 per person per day.
These bass will come up and explode on buzz baits on the water’s surface. I’ve been most effective with an 1/8-ounce buzz bait, since it will come through and around vegetation better than a big version. Even the 4- to 5-pound fish seem to prefer the diminutive 1/8-ounce lures.
On cloudy days, I like a black buzz bait with black blades and a white buzz bait with white blades on a clear day. I catch more and bigger bass on painted blades.
I’ll fish with a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel, a Seeker fiberglass spinnerbait rod and 17-pound-test 100 percent Berkley flourocarbon line.
Early morning keys
I like to fish the concrete dam wall with its straight, vertical drop in the mornings. The dam has a shallow flat on each side of the creek channel, and I’ll retrieve that little buzzbait along the edge of the dam where the bass are schooling.
After I fish the wall, I’ll go to the north side of the lake to the boat ramp closest to the game warden’s shack and a public fishing pier, and then motor my boat straight across the lake. There’s a flat with a main creek channel meandering through it on that side of the lake. The edges of the channel have hardwood and cypress stumps 1 to 2 feet under the water’s surface. I always wear my prescription Costa sunglasses to quickly identify stumps so I can cast a buzz bait past them and retrieve my buzz bait over their tops. I fish the front, back and both sides of each stump.
I also cast the buzz bait around the lily pads in that area.
I always have three or four rods with different baits on them, and let the bass tell me which bait they prefer. I’ll fish the Mann’s Super Frog on 40-pound-test Stren Sonic Braid line on a 7 ½-foot Seeker fiberglass rod with a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel. That way, if a big bass comes up through the lily pads and eats my frog I’ll have enough power to horse that fish out.
In October, the buzz bait bite can be good all day long, but I usually fish it early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
After the sun comes up
If the buzz bait and the frog bite slow down, I’ll fish with Mann’s C4 square-billed crankbait on a Seeker fiberglass rod with a 6.4:1 Pinnacle reel and 15-pound-test 100 percent fluorocarbon line.
I like black-back chartreuse-colored crankbaits; I feel like bass feed on bluegills throughout the year, so this color attracts bass.
Three feeder creeks run into Bogue Homa Lake with the main one being Bogue Homa Creek. I’ll keep my boat in the Bogue Homa Creek channel, cast up into those other creek channels and retrieve that square-billed crankbait and crash it into the stumps. The biggest of the stumps and roots on the edges of these feeder creeks will be on the shallow sides of the stumps because the opposite side of the stumps’ root systems will be washed out. I’ll fish the shallow sides of the stumps first. The bass will tell me whether to hesitate the bait after it comes off the stump, start retrieving again or ricochet the crankbait off the stump.
You might catch two or three bass off the same stump. As the water cools down, these bass become really aggressive, feeding up for the winter.
Next, I’ll pitch a Mann’s Freefall Worm, primarily in green pumpkin, to the deep side of the stumps. I’ll put a 1/32-ounce nail-type tungsten weight in the head of the worm right below the eye of the hook for a more-natural look to catch non-active bass. This sized weight gives a slow head-first fall between the stump’s roots, where the bass are waiting in ambush.
My first pitch with a worm will be to the deep sides of the stumps and then the shallow sides on these feeder creeks with the Seeker 7-foot graphite medium-heavy rod, a 6.4:1 Pinnacle reel and 17-pound-test 100 percent Berkley flourocarbon line.
Lastly, I’ll start flipping and pitching a ½-ounce black-and-blue Mann’s Stone Jig with a black-and-blue crawfish trailer. I’ll pull my big motor up, use my trolling motor and watch my depth finder to keep from hitting shallow stumps. I’ll be using the heavy-action, 7 ½-foot Seeker rod with a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel and 40-pound-test Sonic Braid line.
I’ll fish the jig on the deep side of trees where the cypress roots are down in that little creek channel, and then fish the shallow side of the tree and the cypress knees.
Most of these bass I catch from this area will weigh from 1 ½ to 3 pounds, but the lake is also producing some 5- and 6-pound-plus bass.
In a day of fishing, you can expect to catch four or five bass that will weigh 3 to 5 pounds.