People who know me well understand that June is probably my favorite month to be on the water, trying to put big bass in my boat. I think it’s just about everybody’s favorite time, because it’s a month when you can catch fish many different ways. They’re really chewing, and you can catch a lot of fish.
What’s happened is, bass are off the beds, they aren’t sick anymore, and you can catch them on just about anything — from topwaters to crankbaits to plastics to jigs — anything you want to catch ’em on.
Here’s the situation you’ve got across the Carolinas. You’ll have fish that spawned earlier in the spring, and they’ll be doing one thing. In some lakes, you’ll have fish that have just finished spawning and the post-spawn by the first of June doing another. You have two patterns you can work on.
A lot of fish around the first of June will be from about halfway back in the creeks to the mouths. They come out of spawning areas and go to the first drop. They’ll get on very vertical drops — the sharper the better. Those are the kinds of places I catch them in early June. If they aren’t on the drops you might find them up on the flats, on stumps and wood. When they’re up there, they’re hard to find, but when you find them, it’s pretty amazing. They group up in June, and where you catch one, you’ll probably catch multiple fish.
As June progresses, they’ll move deeper and more toward the main lake. By the end of June, these fish will be as deep as they’re going to get: at a lake like High Rock, that’s 14 feet, but at other lakes, they can get out to 22 to 25 feet.
Now, on those lakes in North Carolina where they fish spawn later, those fish will still be back up on the creeks, in 6 to 10 feet of water. And some of those late spawners will be fish on the main lake that spawned in main-lake pockets. They’ll be at the mouths of those pockets at the beginning of June, then they’ll be out on main-river points and breaks by the end of the month.
You have to understand that things really happen pretty fast in June. Fish are really start moving a lot.
Water stain? Nah!
Because I like to fish crankbaits, I’m really not looking for dirty water this month. Water clarity doesn’t mean that much, unless you want to fish shallow, then, you go up the river and find dirty water and shallow fish. I don’t mind fishing water that’s pretty clear.
I’m going to start out fishing a Berkley Dredger 10.5 or 14.5, and by the end of the month, I’m going to be fishing a 20.5 or 25.5. I love several colors in June: honey shad and a blueback color, old blue. Either of those colors will work pretty much anywhere you fish. Toward the end of the month, your green-backed baits get better. Chartreuse comes into play by the end of June; it gets much better during the summer. One thing I’ll do is, when I get a limit and need kicker fish to cull, I’ll go to the Lone Ranger color — faded chartreuse with a silver back. It’s one of the two best big-fish colors ever made.
I’ll fish my crankbaits on anything from a 7-foot-6 to 9-foot Lew’s David Fritts Perfect Crankbait rod. It depends on how deep you need to get a bait. If you can handle a 9-foot rod, you can get a bait 3 or 4 feet deeper. I’ll fish them with a Lews BB-1 multi-stop reel spooled with 10-pound Berkley Sensation.
When I’m crankbait a spot, catching fish, and they stop biting, I won’t leave before setting my crankbait rod down and picking up something rigged with a plastic worm. Bigger worms usually work better in June, worms from 7 to 10 inches long. You need to decide whether to Texas-rig or Carolina-rig the worm; a lot times, the Texas rig will work better in June. There are some lakes that are so pressured, where the water is so clear, that you have to go to a shaky head worm, but be glad that most lakes in the Carolinas aren’t like that.
So make plans to get on the water this month — several times. The fish are hungry, they’re biting, and they aren’t hard to catch. And that really makes fishing fun.