From August through October, bass fishing at Bogue Homa slows as the water cools down.
But November’s bass realize winter is approaching, and they need to feed heavily.
The most-productive places to fish are where grass is mixed with lily pads or cypress trees. November bass still will be shallow, feeding on migrating shad.
The bigger bass will be caught off the cypress trees, and I’ll start fishing there with a drop shot rig with a 3/16-ounce weight on the end of my line and a june bug 5-inch finesse worm Texas-rigged 6 to 8 inches above the weight. My hook will be a No. 2/0.
When tying a drop shot hook onto a line, make sure the bend of the hook is pointed up the line toward your rod tip before you tie a Palomar knot. Pull that Palomar knot into the eye of the hook to make the hook stand straight out from the line.
I’ll be pitching that rig to cypress trees on a 6-foot, 10-inch medium-light Lew’s rod, a Lew’s spinning reel with 15-pound-test braided line tied to a 10-foot White Peacock fluorocarbon 18-pound leader.
I’ll attach the leader to the braid with a Uni knot.
When the weight hits the bottom, I’ll shake my line to make the worm quiver, and then lift up my weight, let it fall over the root and shake it slowly from the trunk of the tree out to the end of the cypress knees and root system, all the way around each tree.
My first target to catch bigger bass will be cypress knees closest to the underwater creek channels with several bends in them.
But I’ll not overlook the shallow-water trees, which will have good bass on them.
To get those big bass out of roots and stumps after hooking them close to the trees trunks, realize some bass might break off while swimming away to reach deep water. By not putting heavy pressure on the bass when you set the hook or when trying to reel it in, the bass will swim out of the trees.
I’ll also pitch a Mann’s ½-ounce black-and-blue Stone Jig with a black-and-blue soft plastic crawfish on the back of the jig in the same places I’ve fished the drop shot rig.
I’ll use 50-pound braided line on a prototype 7-11 medium-heavy Lew’s rod with a 6.8:1 Lew’s reel to pitch the jig to the trees on the creek channel edges and follow up with the drop shot rig.
Grass and lily pads
If I’m not catching fish on the cypress trees, I’ll start fishing the grass mixed with lily pads with a white/black Mann’s Pygmy Frog.
During November, the grass will be dying off and breaking up, leaving holes where you can work the popping frog instead of a larger walking-type frog into open water.
While frog fishing, you’ll generally miss numbers of bass. However, the small Pygmy Frog has a strong hook that bass will take deeper in their mouths.
I’ll use a 7-3 medium-heavy Lew’s rod with a 7.5:1 gear ratio reel and 65-pound braided line.
For successful fall bassing, make repeated casts to the same spots to aggravate that bass into biting.
Hotspots for fishing vegetation at Bogue Homa
The west bank of the lake has paid off best for me in November, where historically many lily pads are. I also like to fish around the lake’s island, where the west bank stops and in the back side of that island’s pocket.
I’ll fish the frog in the middle lane of the lake, too, as the bait fish move up to the shallow water toward the back of the lake. I’ll go to the back end of the middle lane and fish its east bank, where I’ve have caught some of my biggest November bass.
November rains generally cause the lake’s northwestern part of the lake to muddy up quicker, but the northeastern section tends to have the clearest water.
Bogue Homa has a 15-inch size limit, and you can catch 2- to 7-pound bass regularly. If you catch 12 bass in a day and six or eight of them are more than 15 inches, you’ve had a good day of November bass fishing there.