This month, guide Joel Richardson of Kernersville literally fishes Kerr Reservoir, aka Buggs Island from top to bottom, as bass make their way from the creeks into the main lake.
He spends the early morning hours looking for topwater action from postspawn largemouth bass on main-lake flats and points and shallow-water cover. If the water is in the bushes, he’ll wiggle a floating worm or Fluke through the vegetation or work a buzzbait near the edges of bushes or over bushes should they be submerged. In low-water conditions, he’ll use a Pop-R or Zara Spook to draw bass from shallow stumps, rocks, and shoals.
“Early June is one of the best times for topwater action at Buggs unless the lake is flooded, a situation that’s not likely,” said Richardson (www.joelgrichardson.com). “The lake level is usually at the 302- to 304-foot mark, which puts the water barely in the bushes, which is what you want.
“If the lake is flooded, with water covering picnic tables and going back into the woods, the fish are spread out and the cover so plentiful, the fish are hard to catch — plus you can’t reach them with a forest of trees in your way.”
Richardson said the surface action goes beyond the morning hours on overcast days.
Once the sun comes up, Richardson begins dragging long, tapering points and rocky shoals with Carolina-rigged plastic lizards in 12 feet of water or less.
“I use a 3-foot leader on the Carolina rig because that’s the length that works best for me,” said Richardson. “I fish lizards in green pumpkin, junebug, black and blue.”
Richardson fishes each point thoroughly, which requires patience, because many of the points extend far out into the lake.
“I fish them really hard beginning at 12 feet and work shallower,” he said. “Some points feature stumps or rocks.”
Though most North Carolina anglers favor Nutbush and Little Nutbush creeks, Richardson said fishing is good all over the lake in June. He likes the stretch between Island and Eastland creeks.
If Richardson has his druthers, he’d be tossing a crankbait all day.
“I’d rather catch bass cranking than any other way,” said Richardson. “Years ago, the crankbait was the go-to bait in June, but the lake has changed, and cranking isn’t as deadly as it used to be.”
Richardson cranks given one situation.
“When I find dingy water in the back of a creek that has 10 to 12 feet of water and forage, I’ll use a medium-or deep-diving crankbait and fan-cast the area,” he said.