Bass bite heats up on SC’s Lake Jocassee as water cools

Guide Mike McComas caught this chunky spotted bass off a Lake Jocassee point.

November is a favorite month on Lake Jocassee for guide Rob McComas of Mill Spring, N.C., because “a lot of big fish are very active, and a lot of fish are active, period.

“You can catch some big largemouth bass, and you can also find a lot of schools of spotted bass and smaller largemouths roaming around the lake,” he said.

McComas said bass will be migrating back into the rivers in November. A lot of fish will be halfway to all the way back, but a lot that are not migrating will be on points and around good, laydown trees. Schools of spots and smaller largemouths will be roaming across almost any point in the 30-foot range, he added.

“The bigger largemouths will take topwater lures on cloudy days. If it is sunny, you might have to fish a little bit deeper, but not Jocassee deep,” he said. “For the larger bass, I like to throw various topwater lures and swimbaits, and for the schooling bass, I like to fish a drop-shot.”

The key to tricking bigger bass is stealth, McComas said.

“I try to make the longest cast possible on points and laydowns,” he said. “I try to make my first cast or two the best casts I can make. I don’t want to make a sloppy cast. I work my way in and get the boat in a good position, then make my first casts on the good spots.”

McComas (828-674-5041) tries to parallel a laydown, but he really focuses on the retrieve so his bait comes by the end of the tree in the prime location. He prefers to cast and retrieve across points, however, rather than casting into or along them.

A little wind is a bonus when targeting the bigger bass in Jocassee’s clear water, he said.

“I like to cast into the wind. If a point has a steeper side, I like to cast across the point and bring the bait back to where it comes over the deep edge, so I have my boat positioned on the deep side,” he said.

One of McComas’ prime baits is the MS Slammer swimbait.

“It’s really a big wake bait,” he said. “Sometimes, I like to wake it on top, and sometimes I crank it down under the surface.”

When he locates schools of spotted bass and smaller largemouths on the graph, he lets the drop-shot fall right into the school.

“If those fish are active they will bite it pretty quick. I used to prefer watermelon and green pumpkin for worm color, but the last year or so I have got more into light purple and light pink.”

As winter progresses and water temperatures decline even more, he said, he will fish more with jigging spoons on the deeper fish.

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