Catch More Bass in the Grass
Fishing for bass in shallow, grassy lakes can be either incredibly productive or incredibly frustrating. While most anglers associate aquatic vegetation with prime bass habitat, pinpointing specific locations to focus efforts can be quite the challenge in lakes with vast expanses of submerged grass. In these types of scenarios, Identifying subtle environmental cues can make the difference between hitting paydirt and coming up empty.
One consideration often ignored by bass fishermen on grass lakes is the importance of stealth. In shallow water, sound can be a more significant factor, and using a quiet approach can be absolutely critical. Rather than grinding through vegetation using a trolling motor, anglers are better served by allowing wind and current to move the boat whenever possible, using the trolling motor to make directional or boat positioning adjustments. Planning a course based on wind or current direction before entering a grass flat is advisable.
Generally, bass reside in areas with the cleanest water that offer a mix of aquatic vegetation. Efforts are best focused in areas with a healthy mix of submerged vegetation like hydrilla or eelgrass. Scanning for visual cues on the surface, like the present of hyacinth mats, for instance, is easy and is often a dead giveaway to a healthy mix of grasses. In addition, the presence of other structure – such as pole timber or laydowns – increases the odds of bass being present. When several of these features are present in an area with cleaner water relative to the rest of the lake, it’s time to slow down and work the area thoroughly.
The fact that transition areas hold fish is elementary to bass anglers, but on shallow water grass flats, these transitional zones may be quite subtle. Even in water only three or four feet deep, it is wise to pay close attention to the graph, watching for subtle depth changes that may signal a shallow ditch or channel that bass use as highways. Also, areas that transition from one type of subaquatic vegetation to another are worth fishing thoroughly, as bass often position themselves in seams where different grasses meet to ambush prey.
While a variety of soft plastics, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and bladed swim jigs can be effective in grassy areas, the most versatile bait is one that can be presented quickly as a moving bait when in search mode or fished slowly when a concentration of fish is located. A creature bait like the Boar HogZ from Z-Man Fishing Products meets all of these criteria.
When pinned to a size 4/0 straight shank hook with a pegged tungsten weight, a bait like the Boar HogZ can be retrieved rapidly to create in a swimming motion through the middle and upper portions of the water column or flipped and pitched into cover and then dragged slowly across the bottom. It’s textured, twin curly tails swim in a lifelike manner and emit fish-attracting vibrations at both fast and slow retrieve speeds, while it’s streamlined body shape slides through cover and penetrates even thick grass. In addition, the naturally buoyant, 10X Tough ElaZtech construction of the Boar HogZ holds up better when pulled through heavy cover repeatedly and allows the tails to float up off the bottom at rest, mimicking the natural defensive posture of a crawfish, one of a bass’ favorite foods.
Understanding how bass position around different types of vegetation, utilizing a stealthy approach, and choosing a versatile bait that allows for both covering water quickly and slowing down to capitalize on concentrated fish are all critical to breaking down the bite on grass lakes.
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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com