Shearon Harris is a nationally known lake famous for its plentiful, potbellied bass. But when is the best time to fish here?
According to Jaime Fajardo of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., June is the best month for numbers of bass as they settle down on main-lake points and flats, feeding up ahead of summer water temperatures.
“The beginning of June is a big transition at Harris,” Fajardo said. “The main forage is going to start turning into shad as the fish move out of the creeks and into deeper water, and those fish are going to be hungry. They’re recovering from the spawn and trying to fatten up for the summer. They school up really well, where you can catch 5 to 20 fish out of a school. It’s just a matter of finding them on your electronics.”
The main-lake points Fajardo prefers are long and tapering, covering water in the 13- to 16-foot range. They will be on the shallower end of this range, and Fajardo will scan them first before hitting the points after the sun gets up. Generally lacking the stumps and rocks of most lakes, anglers must cover water until their sonar screen lights up with arches, rather than blind casting. Fajardo likes the points outside of Little White Oak Creek and Skeet’s Gut to be particularly profitable but said that points outside any of the creeks are worth the effort.
With bass in a feeding frame of mind, Fajardo leans on moving baits like crankbaits or swimbaits to simulate the shad or small white perch on which they will be keying.
“I like the Tennessee shad color in a Strike King 6XD or 5XD crankbait,” he said. “You’ll be dredging bottom with it, but not really bouncing off anything. Yee Ha Baits out of Winston-Salem makes a heck of a swimbait. I’ll use the 4½-inch in a Tennessee shad or Yadkin shad. They come pre-rigged with a 3/8-ounce weight, so you can fish all depths of the water column. If the fish are suspended, I’ll count it down. But most of the time, I hop it off the bottom like stroking a jig.”
Although bass are most likely to pounce on a fast-moving bait this time of year, there will always be those high-pressure, bluebird sky days where fish can be found, but not caught. Here, Fajardo tosses a 10-inch Zoom Ol’ Monster worm on a Carolina or Texas rig and works it slowly through the school. Once he gets the school fired up by enticing a couple of bites, he switches back to the crankbait.