Spend some time on this excellent bass fishery, enjoy the autumn action
Bogue Homa is a productive lake to fish during a transition month like October. It’s relatively shallow, the vegetation is dying and the baitfish are moving into shallow water.
By this time, you can access more water that you can’t reach during the warmer months. One boat lane in the center of the lake allows you to drive to the lake’s better fishing areas. I’ll turn off that main boat lane and go to the grass lines on the north side of the lake.
I like to fish with a 7-foot-4, heavy plus FX custom rod with a moderate tip that prevents you from setting the hook too fast when the bass takes the bait but has the power to keep the bass from getting deep in the grass and hanging up. With this rod, I use a Bruin ELS baitcasting reel with 30-pound bass braid for the main line and a 14- to 18-inch leader of 40-pound mono. Since Bogue Homa is fairly clear in October, I feel like I get more bites when I have a monofilament leader tied to my braid instead of tying the jig straight to the braid.
The Bladed Jig
My main bait is a bladed jig that I cast around the sparse grass and open lanes in the grass to take numbers of bass. I like two different colors of bladed jigs tied on two rods a ¼-ounce white-on-white jig and a 3/8-ounce black-blue jig. I’ll use the same rod, reel and line with both lures.
Bogue Homa has plenty of targets to fish, including cypress trees, lily pads, coontail moss, eelgrass and other vegetation, as well as stumps. I’ll start off fishing the grass-line edges with and then fish it around the cypress trees.
Although I’ll cast straight to the trunks of these trees, I’ll keep my boat well away so I don’t spook bass holding there. Then, I’ll continue my retrieve through the cypress knees that may be 5 to 6 feet away from the trunks. My first few casts will be with both colors of the bladed jig, but then I’ll know exactly what color will produce the most bass.
Once the bass quit hitting the bladed jig, I’ll fish a green pumpkin Mann’s SpringR worm rigged wacky style with a weedless hook on a 6-foot-8, medium action FX custom rod with a spinning reel and 15-pound bass braid and 10- pound White Peacock fluorocarbon leader in the same places I’ve fished the bladed jig.
October is a month when bass like to school. I’ll have a Zara Spook and a Pop-R tied onto two rods — both 6-foot-8 medium-action FX custom rods — on my casting deck. I’ll fish with an ELS Bruin 8:1 spinning reel, 20-pound bass braid and a 20-pound mono leader. I’m fishing this lighter line with bigger topwater lures to make long casts to the schooling bass chasing baitfish. Once again, if the topwater lures quit producing, I’ll follow up with a SpringR Worm in the same color as before, rigged wacky style.
I’ll also fish the Baby 1-Minus in the shad color on the same rod and reel with which I fish the topwater lures. Any place I see 6 inches to a foot of open water above the grass, I’ll fish the Baby 1-Minus there.
While I’m fishing, I’ll continue to change baits until I find the one bait that the bass like best. After fishing down the grass lines and around the trees, I’ll make notes of where I’ve caught the most bass. Next, I’ll pick three or four locations with actively feeding bass. Then, I’ll turn around and go back down the grass line, only stopping to fish at the spots that I’ve fished earlier and have had success.
At these places where you’ve gotten bites, you may notice more baitfish seem to be holding there than on other sections of the bank. Because Bogue Homa is an 882-acre lake, you can fish the entire northern shore in a day — or perhaps a fraction of a day — and set up a milk run on the spots that have produced the most bass that day.
Sometimes you’ll catch and release 15 bass in a day, although most of them may not be keepers. Bogue Homa has a 15-inch size limit on the five bass per day you can keep. Still, several of those bass may be 3- to 8-pounders. Catching that many bass of that size in a day is why I like to fish Bogue Homa in October.
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