I often call September “the meanest month” for bass fishing. Water is about as hot as it gets all year, water oxygen levels are at their lowest point, it is still hot and uncomfortable, and fish have been pounded all summer, becoming very skittish. Three trips in the past two weeks back this up.
On September 8, six members of the Flint River Bass Club fished for eight hours at Oconee to land seven keeper bass weighing about 13 pounds. There was one limit and three zeros.
Chuck Croft did it right, catching a limit weighing 9.65 pounds and had big fish with a 2.32 pound largemouth. He said he caught his fish on a buzzbait. My one fish weighing 1.78 pounds was second and JJ Polak had one weighing 1.20 pounds for third.
The next Wednesday I fished Clarks Hill with Nick Kirkland getting information for an October Georgia Outdoor News article. Nick has been fishing Clarks Hill all his life and fishes the lake three days a week. His father was a well-known tournament fisherman and taught him well. Nick now does well in all the tournaments he fishes there.
In seven hours of fishing some of his best spots, we caught one bass. He had warned me fishing was tough and our trip proved it.
Last Saturday, 18 members of the Potato Creek Bassmasters fished our September tournament at Bartletts Ferry. In eight hours, we landed 25 keepers, almost all small spotted bass, weighing about 46 pounds. There were three five-fish limits and four zeros.
Mitchell Cardell won with five weighing 6.88 pounds and his 2.70 pound largemouth was big fish. My five little spots weighing 5.69 pounds was second, Trent Grainger was third with five weighing 5.36 pounds and Raymond English placed fourth with three weighing 4.63 pounds.
The lake was crowded. The Bass Club of Fort Benning put in at the same ramp as us and had at least 30 boats. At another ramp, a 30-boat charity tournament took off soon after we did. Those folks all are local and know the lake well.
I was told it took 16 pounds to win the charity tournament, so some good fish were hitting. Knowing the lake and fishing it often allows fishermen to keep up with where and what the fish are biting.
The good news is the cooler nights and shorter days will make bass start their fall feeding spree soon.
It will happen in ponds first since they cool faster, but even on big lakes, fishermen like me will have a better chance of catching bass.