Why Fish The Grass
The biggest bass of your life is waiting in the huge mat of weeds stretching out for what seems to be acres. The problem is where to start, and how do you find the bass, and get him out of this mess. Time and time again I see anglers pass this prime real-estate by, because it’s just too difficult to fish.
When I approach a mat of weeds that looks like it is ready to snag and rob me of every lure I have, I see nothing but opportunity. So why do I get so excited when others choose to run from cover? To answer that I will show you what I see, where I start, and what lures I use to pick this mess apart and haul in the big ones.
Most anglers know that large numbers of monster bass take to the weeds when the heat is on, and bass will spawn in the shallow weeds. Still weeds can be intimidating, and finding a place to start can be confusing when so much of it all looks the same. Over the years I have caught some of my most memorable bass in the skinny water chocked with weeds. Let me show you how I approach the mess, and pull large fish out of the mats.
Not all weeds are the same, and I start by looking for something different. Isolated patches of weeds are always a good place to start. Also look for open lanes or pockets that provide a place for the bass to move around. I will make several casts to the outside edges of the weeds, not always expecting a bite, but rather looking for something to move and give me a clue as to where the fish are.
I do most of my searching with a spinnerbait. Not only will a spinnerbait cover water fast, but it will also make bait and fish move even if they do not bite. This is the time to use your eyes, and a good pair of polarized sunglasses can be the best investment you can make.
Watch for any movement as the bait comes through the water. Bait fish will often times follow a spinnerbait, and bass will follow and not strike. In either case you will know there is bait present or bass that can be caught. You have just found a good place to start.
Use Your Eyes And Ears
As I stated above I start fishing with a spinner bait to see if I can make something move. Watch everything, and listen to what is going on around you. If you see baitfish or even small panfish moving in an area, there will be a reason for the bass to hang around looking for an easy meal.
What you hear can be as important as what you see. I have never seen a mat of weeds that held fish, that you couldn’t hear bait or fish moving, or see something that tells you fish are here. If I hear frogs croaking, or bream popping the surface of the water I know it is time to fish the area. On the same note if I watch a patch of weeds for two minutes and do not hear or see anything, I will be looking for another patch of weeds.
Once I have covered the outside edges of the grass mat and determined that bait or fish are in the area, it’s time to investigate the thick stuff. Many anglers including myself find a frog hard to beat for covering water fast, and to make a bass react.
Either a Stanely Ribbit Frog or a Spro Frog will glide along the top of the thickest vegetation and cause the bass to come to the top and inhale them. This is the place for heavy line, a strong rod and reel, and a fast retrieve. Most often the fish will inhale the frog deeply, so set the hook hard and try to keep the bass skidding along the top of the mess. If you let the fish dive towards the bottom before you set the hook, you will be pulling in 5 to 10 pounds of weeds with the bass.
Raise your rod tip high when retrieving the frog to keep the nose of the lure from digging in. Try varying speed, and as you cross any open water pause the frog for a few seconds. Bass will set under the surface weeds, and any movement will catch their attention. Bass will often strike at a surface lure and fail to eat it. Make sure you take note of the spot where the missed strike took place. You know the fish is there, and will strike a jig dropped down to them.
Have a second rod rigged with a heavy jig, or worm rigged with a heavy weight pegged above the hook. As soon as you see the missed strike, drop a jig or worm down the hole. Make sure the lure is heavy enough to punch through the thick vegetation and get to the bottom where the bass will see it. As soon as you feel the strike, or feel more weight than normal, set the hook hard and try to move the fish towards the surface.
Where There Is One There Will Be More
In conclusion work the weeds from the outside edges into the very thickest pockets, using a variety of lures. Look for something that tells you fish are here. When you catch your first fish, keep doing the same thing in areas that have the same kind of vegetation. I have seen areas of grass hold large numbers of trophy bass, so where there is one there is a good chance there will be more.
Remember do not get disappointed when a bass strikes and you don’t get the hook up. The bass seldom ever move off very far and will strike again. Follow up with a different presentation and you will likely get a second chance.
Make several casts and make sure you cover the area well, it can sometimes take a fish a few times seeing a bait before it decides to eat.
My final tip is don’t pass the weeds up. The lures I have mentioned will come through weeds quite well, and if you take the time to learn to fish them, you will be rewarded with some of the best fishing of your life.
As always feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. For all your outdoor needs visit the retailers listed under the Tackle and gear tab at the top of this page. Most are having great sales going, and now is the time to stock up and save.
Good fishing and best of luck!!!