Bogue Homa Lake, an 882 acre lake six miles east of Laurel, is tough to fish in the summer. This relatively shallow lake has cypress stumps, cypress trees, stringy grass, lily pads and several channels running through it.
But two happenings at Bogue Homa in October make it prime fishing for big bass — when the lily pads start to die off, and if the lake is or isn’t pulled down to winter pool.
Assuming conditions are right, here are my approaches:
I start fishing with 1/8-ounce and ¼-ounce buzzbaits — one white and the other black. Although many anglers prefer a black buzzbait on a cloudy day and a white buzzbait on a bluebird day, I’ll cast both. I let the bass tell me which color they prefer on that day.
I’ll fish around the lily pads and their edges, in the grass and on the edges of the grass through holes that open up this month.
I’ll run the buzzbaits through the lily pads that are thinning out and dying off.
I prefer to use a steady, medium retrieve for these shallow, active bass. Then the bass can follow and/or time their attacks easily.
I like a 7.3:1 Pinnacle reel and a 701 medium-heavy Pinnacle graphite rod with the Balsax 20-pound-test Iguana monofilament line, since monofilament will float and give you better action on your buzzbaits.
Due to the large number of underwater stumps at Bogue Homa, I wear my prescription sunglasses to see the stumps and the weed lines effectively.
Bet on the swimbait
I also like to fish the 5 ¼-inch Mann’s Reel N’ Shad swimbait with a ¼-ounce weight. The pro blue color seems to be most effective, but if that color isn’t working for you, try other shad patterns.
I’ll cast and fish the Reel N’ Shad in the same places I’ve fished the buzzbait around the dying lily pads, but about a foot under the water.
Bass also will be schooling on the surface in October.
At most lakes, the bass on the surface are usually the smaller, more-aggressive bass; the bigger bass will be holding at the bottom of the school. However, because Bogue Homa is a relatively shallow lake, when the bass are schooling, you’ll have a mixture of small, medium and large bass in the same school.
I’ll swim the Reel’N Shad fairly fast and shallow, with a steady retrieve.
If the lake level has been lowered, often the Reel’N Shad is the most-productive lure, since you can see the underwater stumps better.
I’ll swim the Reel’N Shad over the top of and past each side of a stump if the water is down, depending on how aggressively the bass are biting. With the Reel’N Shad, I’ll fish the same equipment I did with buzzbaits, but switch to 20-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon line.
Find little channels
At Bogue Homa this month, you also can catch some good bass by fishing a Mann’s 3/8-ounce black-and-blue Stone Jig with a black-and-blue crawfish trailer on 25-pound test White Peacock fluorocarbon line with a 7-foot, 6-inch Pinnacle pitching rod.
In October, bass will relate to the cypress trees and the cypress roots around the trees. There are numbers of small underwater creek channels that run into the lake. Instead of randomly fishing all the cypress trees in the lake, I’ll concentrate my jig fishing on the cypress trees closest to those creek channels and up to 30 yards away.
Three very productive channels for bass on the north side of the lake wind through the cypress trees. Depend on your sunglasses, due to the abundance of underwater stumps your trolling motor may hit.
What to expect
Don’t think you’ll catch a large number of bass at Bogue Homa during October — but remember that the lake is producing some 7- to 9-pound bass right now.
If the water’s been lowered, I expect to catch 15 bass in a day, although those fish won’t be keepers because of the 15-inch size limit.
If the water’s still high and the vegetation hasn’t died off, you might only catch seven to eight bass in a day, but they’ll be quality bass.
Either way, if you can determine the right October pattern to fish, you can have an outstanding day of bass fishing at Bogue Homa.