Largemouths are pulling out of depths, moving to abundant shallow cover
My October pick is one of the best fall bassing lakes in Mississippi is shallow, 882-acre Lake Bogue Homa with its several feeder creeks near Laurel. October is when the baitfish start moving out of deeper water and into shallow grass, vegetation and lily pads, with the bass following. Bass realize they need to put on weight for the cold weather that’s coming.
Very stumpy, Bogue Homa has a center channel running through it that you must move your boat away from to fish some of the shallow grass and stumps. I’ll start fishing in the back one-third of the lake, its northern end, and fish all the way around the back of the lake before turning and coming down its southern side.
In September, the grass and lily pads begin dying off and breaking up. Most of the places you’ll fish you won’t have fished all summer because they were grassed-in. I’ll fish with four basic lures for October bass in the same places, including a Mann’s white Super Frog, a black Pygmy Frog, a shad-colored Baby 1-Minus and a black/blue Chatterbait.
I’ll cast a white Super Frog on 50-pound bass braid with a 7.5:1 Shimano Curado K reel on a 7-foot, medium-heavy Shimano rod around lily pads and grass. I’ll target open areas behind matted grass and holes in the grass, listening for baitfish smacking under the grass and watching for them swimming on the surface. I’ll walk the Super Frog like a Zara Spook as a search bait to cover lots of water until I get a bite.
Once a bass blows up on a Super Frog, I’ll slow down for 50 yards below and above the place of the blowup. Any time I see any activity in the grass or the pads, I’ll cast all four lures.
If bass don’t want the Super Frog, I’ll throw the black Pygmy Frog with the same rod, reel and line I’ve used with the Super Frog. However, I’ll work the Pygmy Frog more slowly, pop it and let it sit and repeat several times. I’ll be fishing in those open pockets and holes in the grass and lily pads. With this two frog technique, I’ll present a relatively fast-moving frog and follow that with the smaller, slowly moving Pygmy Frog.
I’ll fish this gray/blue-backed, pearl-sided and orange-bellied lure on 20-pound White Peacock fluorocarbon on a 6-foot-10 Shimano rod with 7.5:1 Curado K reel. I’ll cast into any open water in the grass or the pads, fishing it out in front. When fishing regions with broken grass, I’ll make short or long casts where I think I can retrieve the Baby 1-Minus about 10 yards before it hits and becomes hung up. This lure will run just under the surface in the same areas where you’ve fished the two kinds of frogs.
This lure produces many big bass, and I like a ¼-ounce black/blue chatterbait with a black/blue craw worm trailer. I’ll fish this lure on a 7-foot-2, medium-heavy Shimano rod with the Curado K reel on 30-pound bass braid line. I’ll tie on about 10 inches of fluorocarbon as a leader then tie on a Chatterbait. I’ll cast it into any open water in the grass and the pads and their outside edges.
Toward the end of October, you’ll see bass blowing up on the surface, feeding on shad. The bass usually will start schooling on top, in front of the grass beds and lily pads. This lake also has cypress trees where I’ll steadily retrieve the Chatterbait in the open water between the trees, their trunks and the grass. Your bait will get caught up in the grass, especially if you’re fishing over coontail moss. When you’re in a place that’s holding a good number of bass, you can catch some of the biggest bass on the lake with the Chatterbait around the grass.
What you may catch
Many local tournaments are held at Bogue Homa from 5 to 9 p.m. To finish in the top 10, you’ll probably have to bring in five bass weighing a total of 20 pounds or more. Also bow season has started, and gun hunters are putting out their trail cameras, scouting for deer and cleaning up their hunting camps, taking pressure off the Bogue Homa bass.
October through December are my favorite times to fish Bogue Homa. I’ll expect to catch from 10 to 20 bass each October day weighing between 2 and 9 pounds, and the lake holds numbers of 4- to 6-pound bass.