Veteran Lake Wylie guide Jerry Neeley said largemouth bass will be on the move this month, and to be successful, fishermen must be moving along with them.
“The early part of September is pretty tough for fishing, with summer patterns prevailing,” said Neeley (www.carolinasfishing.com), who looks for a morning and evening surface bite on a jerkbait; he said it can be deadly this month. If jerkbaits don’t produce, he’ll try buzzbaits and Pop-Rs.
“The topwater bite lasts only the first hour in the morning, with the first sign of light, and only an hour before dark in the evenings,” he said. “A cloudy day will extend the bite.”
During the day, Neeley drags main-lake points in 12 to 20 feet of water with Carolina-rigged, green pumpkin lizards.
“Most of the points at Wylie are clean, so the few points with stumps or rock are a bonus,” Neeley said.
When he’s Carolina-rigging, Neeley uses medium/heavy, 7-foot rods and reels spooled with 12-pound line. A bullet sinker, varying in size depending upon the depth he’s fishing, provides the weight before a 12-inch leader of 12-pound test line.
“I don’t like heavy line in Wylie’s usually clear waters, and I know some fishermen who downsize with 10- and even 8-pound line,” he said.
Many fishermen have success working points with deep-diving crankbaits, but Neeley confesses at his age he’s not much of a crankbait fisherman because of the labor it takes to retrieve those baits.
If fishing points doesn’t produce, Neeley targets main-lake, brush-laden docks and piers with 10 to 15 feet of water in front of them. He uses shaky head jigs with green trick worms or fishes green pumpkin, black pumpkin and red flake Senkos rigged wacky-style. He may try a split-shot rig when the bass are finicky about hitting bigger baits.
Near the end of September, cooler temperatures put the bass on the move into the major creeks and secondary points in about 4 feet of water. Soft plastics and small crankbaits draw plenty of action as the fish become more active.
The change in temperature also increases the chances of a topwater bite in the mornings and evenings.
Neeley said some of the more productive places this month are Mill Creek, Boyds Cove, Crowders Creek and Big Allison creek.
Anglers are reminded there is no reciprocal license agreement between North Carolina and South Carolina. To fish the entire lake, anglers must carry valid licenses from both states.