Bass fishing picking up at Shearon Harris as fall arrives
Despite a discouraging spring, bass in North Carolina’s Shearon Harris Lake have again hit their stride in the summer, according to angler Jaime Fajardo of Fuquay-Varina, N.C.
This rebound is big news for anglers hoping to catch fish moving between their summer haunts and fall pattern areas. Beginning with a move closer to shore, Fajardo sheds light on the locales and techniques for loading up on bass in September.
“A lot of people have thought that the bass population has declined,” he said. “We’ve had tournaments, and the weights have been terrible. Nobody was catching them. Then, there was an algae bloom in the spring, and the fishing got really tough. But in June, the fish turned out in numbers. We were catching 50 to 75 in a trip.”
Fajardo said that a factor in the fantastic fishing lately has been a spring shad kill that resulted from below-average water temperatures. With a decrease in bait, bass are more likely to notice and chase a well-placed lure, preferably a crankbait.
Find the bait on flat point
In August, Fajardo reported that bass had moved from deeper water into 3- to 6-foot depths on long, gently sloping points from the main lake to about a quarter of the way into the creeks. In September, the bulk of the fish will be halfway back in creeks on those same kinds of long, flat points in similar water depths, he said.
“There’s not much woody cover at Harris. So the fish just roam on top of those flat points, because that’s where the bait is,” said Fajardo. “When I say a point, I’m not talking about a steep dropoff. I’m talking about the kind that flattens out before it drops off — the kind that’s about 300 yards wide and stays shallow out about 50 yards. A lot of these are underwater points that don’t extend from a point on the shoreline, so you’ll have to use your charts to find them.
“The fish will roam on that flat and stop a lot of times when there’s a contour change or little point and hold there. You’ll have to cover a lot of water with your crankbaits.”
The main crankbaits that Fajardo throws are lipless, but he will also utilize square bills. While the Rat-L-Trap is probably the best-known lipless crankbait, Fajardo prefers a ½-oz BOOYAH One Knocker in any shad color.
In early to mid-September, bass are most likely to be suspended in the 3- to 6-foot range. Fajardo will a long cast to the bank and burn the lure back, sometimes yo-yoing it to elicit a strike.
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