In October, Bay Springs Lake is one of my favorite places to fish because cooler weather makes baitfish much more active.
And Bay Springs homes a good number of spotted bass, lots of grass and clear water.
Early morning approach
• Zara Spook — I like to get on the lake just before the sun rises, and start off fishing main-lake and secondary points, as the bass move back into the creeks in October. Baitfish will pull out of deep water and are on the same migration pattern as the bass.
I’ll fish a clear Zara Spook on a 6-foot, 8-inch medium-light Lew’s rod with a 7.5:1 gear ratio reel and 30-pound-test braided line.
I’ll use a fast retrieve early, with quick little jerks to dart the Spook from left to right. Later, I’ll slow down my retrieve and let the Spook glide more.
• Buzzbaits — I’ll fish a white or a shad-colored buzzbait on the same type rod, reel and line as the Spook on points and over the grass that’s dying.
You need to determine where they are traveling from deep water to the backs of creeks. I’ll fish the Zara Spook and buzzbait to determine if the bass want a topwater or a subsurface lure.
On overcast days, sometimes you can catch fish on those two lures all day.
• Reel ’N Shad and Baby 1-Minus — If I’m not getting many strikes on the main lake, points or the secondary points early, I’ll head to the backs of creeks with well-defined channels not filled in by siltation and fish out to the main river points.
I’ll start off target fishing the 5¼-ounce Mann’s Reel ’N Shad in the smokin shad pattern with a ¼-ounce jighead.
I’ll use a medium to fast retrieve on a 6-foot, 10-inch medium Lew’s rod with a 7.5:1 Lew’s reel and 20-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon line around blown-down trees, stumps, patches of vegetation and any other cover in the water.
I’ll also cast a blue back/pearl sides Baby 1-Minus, a shallow-running crankbait, reeling it quickly over the tops of stumps and through trees in the water.
I’ll use a 6-foot, 7-inch medium Lew’s rod with a 7.5:1 Lew’s baitcasting reel and 20-pound fluorocarbon. If I catch bass, I can duplicate that pattern elsewhere.
Mid day to afternoon tactic
Next, I’ll search for points and flats with well-defined drop-offs to deep water and grass lines that have grown up on the edges.
I’ll cast parallel to the grass lines with a 5¼-inch smokin shad Reel ‘N Shad and an Alabama rig equipped with 1/8-ounce jigheads — what I call a finesse A-rig.
I want my Alabama rig to resemble a school of shad swimming close to the bottom along that grass line and drop-off to catch a mixed bag of spotted, largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Not all the bass will be in any one of these places all day or all month.
During the first part of October, I expect to catch most of my bass on the points with topwater lures or on grassy main-river drop-offs.
In mid-October, depending on the weather and water temperatures, most of the bass will be in the backs of the creeks on points and deep drop-offs.
By the end of October, the fish should be in the backs of the creeks and on deep drop-offs.
I’ll fish all three patterns every day in October and let the bass tell me where they want to be.