Don’t bass fish this month with only one rod or one lure — especially if you’re fishing Bogue Homa.
When this lake was restocked about 10 years ago, its bass fishing boomed. But five years later the lake didn’t produce as many big fish.
Today the lake’s coming back, and you’ll need to catch some big bass to win a tournament there.
Bogue Homa’s abundance of cover can be deceiving. It’s a relatively shallow lake, with numbers of cypress trees and some minor creek channels and ditches.
You can catch June bass there in several different ways. I change my bass fishing strategies, depending on the time of day and where and when I find fish.
Just before and at first light, the bass will school in open water, feeding on large schools of shad. So I’ll look for these finicky bass suspended off to the sides or under shad balls.
Here’s my approach:
• Reel ’N Shad — My first series of casts will be with a small pearl white Reel ’N Shad with a ¼-ounce lead while bass are busting the surface. I let it fall like a wounded baitfish.
If I don’t get an immediate strike, I retrieve the lure quickly to temp fish get grab the bait as it’s trying to get away.
I’ll be fishing with a Lew’s 7.5:1 magnesium reel with 16-pound White Peacock flourocarbon line, using a 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy Lew’s rod.
• Shaky head worm — When bass stop feeding on the surface, I’ll pick up my rod with a shaky head worm, cast to the spot where I’ve seen bass feeding on the surface and fan cast around that spot with a 4-inch, watermelon-colored, straight-tail worm on the shaky head.
My rod will be a 7-foot medium-action, fast-tipped spinning rod with a Lew’s 300 spinning reel.
I’ll fish the shaky head slowly all around the area where the bass have been busting the surface until the sun climbs high.
• Wacky worm — I’ll have another spinning rod rigged up with 10-pound flourocarbon with the same sized and colored worm rigged wacky style, and I’ll just let the worm free fall.
I put a No. 1 Trokar wacky-rigged hook in the sack of the plastic worm — a band that’s about an inch from the head of the worm. I get more bites, and the worm remains on the hook longer.
When the worm’s about halfway to the bottom, I twitch it and allow the worm to continue falling to the bottom.
I’ll continue to fish all three kinds of worms until about 9 a.m.
I have the most luck fishing cypress trees during the middle of the day. These trees provide shade, and their cypress knees and roots have cover where the bass can hold.
The secret is to find cypress trees with ditches or creek channels running close to or under them. Bigger bass generally hold close to deeper water.
Here are my go-tos:
• Black-and-blue Stone Jig with a matching crawfish-shaped trailer — I’ll tie this jig onto 23-pound flourocarbon line and fish with a Lew’s super-duty 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy rod and 7.5:1 reel on the shady side of a cypress tree.
I’ll work all the way around a tree; however, most strikes come on the shady side of a tree in June.
Many of the strikes will take place as the jig falls. Once the jig hits the bottom, I’ll work it over, around and through the roots until I’m 8 to 10 feet away from the tree.
If I catch a bass on a particular cypress tree, I can return later in the day and possibly catch another bass there.
I’ll pitch several times to either side of a tree in the shade, hit the tree lightly and fish the jig back to the boat. Then I start fishing the sunny side by changing rods and baits.
• HardNose Freefall worm — I’ll fish a Mann’s HardNose Freefall worm with a 1/32-ounce nail in its tail. I want the worm to fall away from me, vertically. I’ll fish this just like I do the jig all the way around the cypress tree.
The entire time I’m fishing, I’ll be watching my depth finder, searching for little cuts or ditches that are 1 to 2 feet deeper than up close to the tree.
I’ll be casting the Freefall worm on 20-pound flourocarbon on a Lew’s 7.5:1 magnesium reel and use a No. 4/0 Trokar wide-gap hook, rigged Texas style and weedless. My rod choice will be a 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy model.
• Super Frog — I’ll always have a Mann’s Super Frog rigged on 50-pound braided line on a Lew’s 7-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy pitching rod with a 7.5:1 ratio reel on my deck for when I come across clumps of pond weeds about 4 feet in diameter around cypress trees.
I’ll cast the Super Frog past the grass and work it over the vegetation.