I’ll choose 1,075 acre Lake Okhissa near Bude, Mississippi, for June bass fishing. A Bill Dance Signature Lake in the Homochitto National Forest, Okhissa is deep and clear with plenty of hydrilla and dollar pads. The bass will be on their summer pattern, so I’ll be fishing a frog pattern and a flipping and pitching pattern.
Using the frog pattern
I’ll fish two different types of frogs on 65-pound-test braided line to learn the mood of the bass — a white Mann’s Pygmy Frog and a black Super Frog. I’ll be fishing both frogs on a Team Lew’s 7.5:1 reel on a 7½ foot medium-heavy action Team Lew’s rod.
The Pygmy Frog is a popping frog that I’ll cast to the dollar pads and retrieve back to the edge of the hydrilla to learn the kind of retrieve the bass prefer. I’ll pop the Pygmy Frog medium to hard two or three times, let it sit still on the water, pop it again two or three times and then stop it. If the bass aren’t attacking aggressively, I’ll slow down my retrieve and just twitch the Pygmy with my rod tip to make it spit water. Generally one of those two types of retrieves will cause the bass to strike.
If I don’t get strikes on the Pygmy, I’ll cast the Super Frog and fish it like a Zara Spook. I want the Super Frog to glide to my right, stop and then glide to my left — a more subtle presentation than the Pygmy Frog makes.
In June, I get most of my bass strikes at Okhissa fishing dollar pads. To insure you get the bass to your boat, hesitate the frog when the bass first takes it to make sure the frog’s in the fish’s mouth before you set the hook. After you set the hook needs to be the last time the fish’s head is underwater. You must bring the bass to the boat quickly to keep the bass from diving down into those dollar pad stems and getting hung up. To lead a bass out of the pads, you’ll have to control the direction of the bass, which is why I like heavy braided line, a stout rod and a powerful reel.
I’ll usually fish the frogs from just before daylight until about 9 a.m., or until the frog bite begins to fall off. The rest of the day I’ll be punching the grass for bass.
Punching through the grass
First I identify thick mats of hydrilla in 12–15 feet of water. When I’m flipping and pitching hydrilla, I’ll use 60-pound-test braided line with: a ¾- to a 1 ounce bullet sinker with a black and blue plastic lizard behind it to punch through the grass; a ¾-ounce black-and-blue Mann’s Stone Jig with a black and blue craw trailer; or a 1 ounce sinker with a black and blue craw. I’ll be flipping and pitching with a 7’11” Team Lew’s rod and a 7.5:1 reel. Remember, you’re pulling those bass up from that depth and out of those thick hydrilla patches. You must set the hook hard, get the fish’s head pointed up and reel fast and hard.
One of my favorite areas to fish at Lake Okhissa is at the dam where the hydrilla comes out to about 15 feet deep and then breaks off into open water. I catch bass on points too. I’ll start about 75 yards back from the end of a point, punch the hydrilla all the way out to the point’s end and go around the point down to 75 yards on its other side. Be aware of where you get a bite or catch a bass because often more than one bass will be holding in those same spots — especially in June with schooling bass.
Fishing a bonus tactic
In the early morning, fish a Zara Spook on the hydrilla’s edge, if the frog pattern isn’t working. After fishing and fan casting my frogs in the dollar pads, before I move, I’ll cast the Zara down the edge of the hydrilla in the direction where I’ll move my boat to next. Okhissa is so clear that bass won’t hesitate to come up from 15 feet of water to blow up on the Zara.
Learning about Lake Okhissa
Okhissa has a slot limit, 18 – 22 inches. But you can keep one bass more than 22 inches. You’ll have a good chance of catching some 4-6 pound bass with 10 – 12 bass in a day considered good fishing. You’ll catch and release some quality bass. Okhissa is 10 years old, so I believe it’s in its prime.