With grass disappearing, you can cast to places you only dreamed about months ago
September is a changing month for bass. They will start moving from their summer homes in creek channels to more open, shallow water and into the grass at the middle and end of September. Bass always follow the buffet of baitfish; the baitfish will move first.
September is also the month that grass begins to die and break up at Lake Bogue Homa, allowing fishermen to put their lures where they may not have been able to all summer.
During early September, I’ll fish the northeastern side of the lake, which is a big flat about 3 to 6 feet deep, with small, narrow channels running through it and large cypress stumps along the edges. I’ll key on cypress stumps right on the edges of the channels, because their root systems will be exposed, and the bass can hide in them. The water should be fairly clear. I’ll pitch a 1/8-ounce shaky head jig with a junebug-colored Mann’s Jelly Bug, on a FX 7-foot-4, medium-action custom spinning rod spooled with 15-pound bass braid and a 10-pound leader of White Peacock fluorocarbon, casting along the edges of those little channels.
I’ll fish two, 7-foot-1 FX medium-heavy custom rods with Bruin 7.5:1 reels spooled with 20-pound fluorocarbon. Each rod will have different colors of bladed jigs — a chartreuse/white with a white trailer and a black/blue jig with a black/blue craw trailer. I’ll fish the northwestern side of the lake down the edge of the vegetation that also has cypress trees out in the water. I’ll throw the bladed jig into the small lanes and pockets in the vegetation and use a medium retrieve.
Once I get a bite, I’ll Power Pole down to fish there. In September, the bass will be ganging up in certain parts of the vegetation. When you catch a bass, you’ll probably catch a couple more in that same are.
Jelly Bug follows
If the bass misses or short-strikes the bladed jig, I’ll follow up with a junebug-colored Mann’s Jelly Bug on a 1/8-ounce shaky head jig. I’ll have a FX 7-foot-4 medium-action custom spinning rod spooled with 15-pound braid and a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader close by. I quickly can grab that rod and cast to the exact spot where the bass has missed the bladed jig. I’ll use a shaky head jighead instead of a Senko-type worm or a FreeFall worm because I want the Jelly Bug to break through vegetation and quickly fall to the bottom.
Then, I’ll fish a white Mann’s Super Frog on a medium-heavy, 7-foot-6 FX custom rod with a Bruin ELS 8:1 reel with 50-pound braid. I’ll cast the Super Frog into the thicker grass and other vegetation — anywhere I see a bass moving through the grass — a mixture of lily pads, coontail moss, hyacinths and other aquatic vegetation, or where I hear baitfish smacking. I like a white frog due to the shad’s migration back into the shallow water, and the bass keying in on shad more than bluegills.
Fish the trees
Although I’m mentioning various techniques in an order, that’s not exactly how I’ll always be fishing. When I’m fishing a frog, if I’m close to cypress trees standing in the water. I’ll put down the frog and pick up the bladed jig and fish it all around the cypress trees and their knees. Next, I’ll skip and/or pitch a black/blue-flake Mann’s FreeFall worm up close to the cypress trunks and the knees and let it fall. I’ll fish a heavy action 7-foot-1 FX custom rod and reel spooled with 26-pound fluorocarbon, because of the vegetation growing around the trees. Once I hook a bass around the trees, that fish may be hard to pull away from the tree, roots and the knees without the stronger line.
What you catch
In a typical day of fishing, I expect to catch 15 to 20 bass. Bogue Homa has a 15-inch size limit, and about half my catch will be shorter than the limit. But the other half of my September catch will be some very nice bass, with the possibility of even a 5- or 8-pound fish. Bogue Homa holds some big bass, so you’ll catch bass weighing from 1 to 8 or 9 pounds there in September.