Bogue Homa is a relatively-shallow lake that grasses up quickly, making getting a lure through to bass difficult later in the year. But that’s not a problem this month.
During February, the water will start to warm up due to warm fronts. The bass at Bogue Homa will be at one of two places, depending on water temperature.
They’ll be staging on the edges of creek channels, waiting to move on the beds, or they’ll be moving onto the beds.
Cold weather the first of February will see bass holding in the stumps and root wads on the edges of channels. But when the water hits 55 degrees, they’ll move off the edges of the creek channels and onto the flats to fan beds in preparation for the spawn.
If Bogue Homa has a couple weeks of warm weather in February, you actually might see bass spawning.
The first of February
If there’s still cold weather the first of February, fish the edges of the creek channels, including main creek channels and small creek channels that feed the main creek channel.
The bass will tend to stack up on some of the bends 5 to 6 feet deep in the creek channels.
The flats will be 2 to 3 feet deep. Because there’s so much shallow water in Bogue Homa, you don’t need too much sunshine and warm days to warm the lake up.
Mann’s brown-back/chartreuse-side C4 crankbait is the first lure I’ll use. The creek channels are lined with primarily hardwood and cypress stumps on their edges — some visible and others not, due to muddy water. The bass will be holding on the creek side of the stumps.
So, I’ll cast parallel to the creek channel, reel with a medium retrieve, and let that C4 crankbait hit and bounce off the stumps using a 6.3:1 Pinnacle reel, a Pinnacle 6-foot, 8-inch medium graphite rod and 15-pound-test 100 percent Berkley flourocarbon line.
I won’t make long casts because the creek channels will be windy. I want to stay in contact with the stumps on the edges of the creek channel.
But I never live or die with just one lure. So next I’ll go to a Mann’s ½-ounce Stone Jig with a black-and-blue crawfish trailer, and work it slowly around and through those stumps. I want that jig to stay in contact with the bottom and the stumps.
You really need a water thermometer in the boat with you in February. If that water temperature gets above 54 degrees, I’ll go to the very back end of the lake, using the center boat lane. With my big motor, I go at about one-third speed until I get about half way to the back of the lake. From that point on, I’ll run at idle speed. The many stumps in this lake might make your motor have a bad encounter if you go too fast.
But I want to get as far back as I can to the old lily pad stems and the new growth of lily pads that are under the water before they come to the surface.
Once I reach the back end of the lake, I’ll fish a ½-ounce white-and-chartreuse buzzbait in that shallow water by reeling it slowly around the lily pad stems. I expect to catch bigger bass here, so I use Berkley’s 30-pound-test Trilene braided line on a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel, with a 7-foot Pinnacle medium graphite rod.
In those lily pad stems, I’ll look for stumps and laydowns with lily pad limbs around them.
When the water temperature in the lake is more than 54 degrees, the biggest bass in the lake move to those lily pad stems to spawn.
I’ll cast a red crawfish-colored Mann’s Baby 1-Minus crankbait and reel it fairly fast around the lily pad stems, stumps and lay downs to bounce off the structure. I’ll be using a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel, 17-pound-test 100 percent flourocarbon Berkley line and a Pinnacle rod.
The majority of the bass you will catch will weigh from 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds, but you might catch a 4- to 8-pounder — possibly a 7- to 8-pounder — this month using these tactics.
I’ll expect to catch 10 to 15 bass on a warming day, but not to get as many bites on cold days at the first of the month.