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BooyahMan

How Would You Tackle This?

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Already looking ahead to next summer on my local lake. Wanted to toss frogs into the lily pads but thinking back, the pads were quite thick in the dead of summer and the one time I tried a frog, it hardly ever seemed to find any water as the pads were so thick. Here's a photo (not mine) of what it looks like in the summer:


I'm assuming that 21deerlake2012_008.jpg

 

 

Now, I'm assuming the big boys are still hiding under all this green stuff. I would love to toss frogs as it's my favourite method of catching bass (at the moment) but is there another method for getting to these fish that you would go to in this situation?

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A good punching setup could work well, do you know how deep is it under the pads?

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frogs don't need to touch water to be eaten in that kind of cover.  I have had blowups through pads like that before.  The one great thing about pads that dense is that if you sit there for a few minutes and not cast, you can see if the fish are there and moving.  Anywhere a fish moves you will be able to see it in the pad movement.  I have become pretty religious about not casting right away in places like that just to make sure my first cast is in an optimum location if at all possible.

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Rage bug punching rig. Or throw frogs on the edges

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Assuming you have a boat, I would pitch/ flip those pads rather than frog it.. Doesn't take much weight to break thru those, That is the way I would fish it. Flip it and keep flipping it.. You will get bit.

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Wow. Thanks for such a quick response guys!

 

A good punching setup could work well, do you know how deep is it under the pads?

 

I believe in the area pictured it's maybe 2-3 feet. Some places are shallower than that. I'm not all that familiar with a punching setup; is that basically a bullet weight and a creature bait?

 

 The one great thing about pads that dense is that if you sit there for a few minutes and not cast, you can see if the fish are there and moving.  Anywhere a fish moves you will be able to see it in the pad movement.  I have become pretty religious about not casting right away in places like that just to make sure my first cast is in an optimum location if at all possible.

 

YES! I have seen this happen. Before I knew this lake had decent sized bass in it I used to wacky rig powerbait worms through tiny openings in the pads for Pumpkinseed. Sometimes I would see the pads moving as if something big was coming over to take a peak; I always attributed it to either carp or big bull frogs, but now I'm pretty sure they're big bass.

 

Assuming you have a boat, I would pitch/ flip those pads rather than frog it.. Doesn't take much weight to break thru those, That is the way I would fish it. Flip it and keep flipping it.. You will get bit.

 

No boat unfortunately. I assume the pitch/flip technique would reduce the amount of snags when retrieving? Again, I am not that familiar with some of these techniques so I apologize for my ignorance. 

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Well, for starters I would work the edges with a spinnerbait, lipless, or topwater. Then I would start pitching/flipping. If you're accurate enough, you can pitch into microscopic openings. (Getting the fish out is another story.) Use braid. A heavier frog might do ya better than a lighter one. Getting a kayak or even a float tube might help.

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Wow. Thanks for such a quick response guys!

I believe in the area pictured it's maybe 2-3 feet. Some places are shallower than that. I'm not all that familiar with a punching setup; is that basically a bullet weight and a creature bait?

YES! I have seen this happen. Before I knew this lake had decent sized bass in it I used to wacky rig powerbait worms through tiny openings in the pads for Pumpkinseed. Sometimes I would see the pads moving as if something big was coming over to take a peak; I always attributed it to either carp or big bull frogs, but now I'm pretty sure they're big bass.

No boat unfortunately. I assume the pitch/flip technique would reduce the amount of snags when retrieving? Again, I am not that familiar with some of these techniques so I apologize for my ignorance.

Yes a punching setup would generally be a heavy bullet weight with a straight shank hook and your choice of soft plastic bait, using a weight heavy enough you can easily get through that mat and fish the open area below. You should definitely look into it, but if you don't have a boat and you cant get close to the cover it probably won't work out.

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Yes a punching setup would generally be a heavy bullet weight with a straight shank hook and your choice of soft plastic bait, using a weight heavy enough you can easily get through that mat and fish the open area below. You should definitely look into it, but if you don't have a boat and you cant get close to the cover it probably won't work out.

Thanks for the clarification. If I remember correctly I did try that once but had trouble as I would end up getting caught on the pads when retrieving. Either that or the line would sit on top of the pads and the hook wouldn't sink, though I guess a heavier weight would solve that issue. Is this mostly a close range method, and hence the recommendation for a boat?

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Thanks for the clarification. If I remember correctly I did try that once but had trouble as I would end up getting caught on the pads when retrieving. Either that or the line would sit on top of the pads and the hook wouldn't sink, though I guess a heavier weight would solve that issue. Is this mostly a close range method, and hence the recommendation for a boat?

Yes its close ranged because its more of a vertical presentation

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And THAT would explain most of the issues I had haha. Wish I had a boat. 

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Maybe you can invest money in a kayak until you can get a boat?? I don't have one but I know a lot of people love fishing from kayaks...

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Maybe you can invest money in a kayak until you can get a boat?? I don't have one but I know a lot of people love fishing from kayaks...

 

While I would love to it's mostly a space and money issue at the moment. This is definitely something I would be looking into after I'm done with university and whatnot. 

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Maybe you can invest money in a kayak until you can get a boat?? I don't have one but I know a lot of people love fishing from kayaks...

 float tubes do alright too. they go on sale at big 5 for $80

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If it's not getting through then go a bit heavier or you can take a 1/4 of a ounce put it on a pad and shake it off the edge of the pad. How clear is the water ?

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I am assuming you will be fishing that using a boat. Frogs can be very effective lures in pads, however if the pads get really thick, such as that concentration posted in the pic, the frog can be ineffective. Imho, here's why. Although frogs can be weedless, they are not 100% weedless. In thick concentrations of pads frogs can get hung up in them pretty good. Also, if you do manage to coax a bass to hit, if it has any size to it landing it in that thickness can present challenges. If you are fishing from a boat, i hope you have a strong TM to meet the fish half way or the entire way if it gets hung up under some unforeseen structure. The other option is pitching with a punch rig as previously mentioned. The frog will be effective like someone mentioned earlier, on the outside areas of the thickest concentration. If there are pockets of open water inside those pads, that will also be good area to focus on. 50lb braid (min) on a heavy rod and strong reel would be my recommendation in that concentration of vegetation. Goodluck this upcoming summer. 

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I am assuming you will be fishing that using a boat. Frogs can be very effective lures in pads, however if the pads get really thick, such as that concentration posted in the pic, the frog can be ineffective. Imho, here's why. Although frogs can be weedless, they are not 100% weedless. In thick concentrations of pads frogs can get hung up in them pretty good. Also, if you do manage to coax a bass to hit, if it has any size to it landing it in that thickness can present challenges. If you are fishing from a boat, i hope you have a strong TM to meet the fish half way or the entire way if it gets hung up under some unforeseen structure. The other option is pitching with a punch rig as previously mentioned. The frog will be effective like someone mentioned earlier, on the outside areas of the thickest concentration. If there are pockets of open water inside those pads, that will also be good area to focus on. 50lb braid (min) on a heavy rod and strong reel would be my recommendation in that concentration of vegetation. Goodluck this upcoming summer. 

 

Thanks, will need the luck. Unfortunately no boat so this will present some challenges. Looks like my best bet is looking for spots where it's less thick and trying there with a frog as, to my understanding, a punching rig is ineffective unless it's from a boat. I do have 65lb braid on an Ugly Stik; guess I will find out if it's strong enough come Summer. Hopefully I'm not setting myself up for some heartbreaking fishing stories haha. 

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Thanks, will need the luck. Unfortunately no boat so this will present some challenges. Looks like my best bet is looking for spots where it's less thick and trying there with a frog as, to my understanding, a punching rig is ineffective unless it's from a boat. I do have 65lb braid on an Ugly Stik; guess I will find out if it's strong enough come Summer. Hopefully I'm not setting myself up for some heartbreaking fishing stories haha. 

 

Yes, unfortunately without a boat you will be presented with several challenges. However, like you mentioned if you can move around and hit the outskirts of those pads or less dense patches working the frog can be pretty effective. 65lb braid is pretty darn tough, and taking a few frogs will not be a bad idea just in case you get hung up pretty good. Best of luck. 

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Most of the pad fields we have here in Ohio are precisely like this, heck most of our lakes are only 4-6 ft deep. Here is how I approach these areas.

 

1. On the approach starting 25-40 ft away I cast around the outside lines of the field with small spinner bait.

 

2. closing in on the pad field I start flipping a 1/4 oz black/blue jig with a short trimmed skirt and a sapphire blue chunk (not threaded on just stuck so it freely moves around). when you flip in let it drop to the bottom then slowly lift it to just below the surface and shake it 5 -6 times and let it drop, they will smash it on the fall, no bite pull out and flip again. this is good for about the first 8-10 ft of the pad field.

 

3. Once I am on the pad field I flip a nose weight rigged 4.5" FTC tube as a punch style set-up. Use 3/8 to -1/2oz weight and flip it in the deeper pads. This time you let it fall to bottom then just barely move it off the bottom and shake it 5-6 times drop it down repeat 3-4 times no takers re-flip.

 

The reason I approach this way is the active feeders are located on the pad edges and easy to pick off with spinner bait. If you just roll up to the pads you have spooked a good deal of fish before you even cast once. Using the light jig and free floating chunk does a great job simulating a blue gill sucking off the bottom of the pads and most bass in this area of the pads are looking for bigger meals and this set-up gives them the bulk they are looking for. In the 3rd part of this those bass deep in the pads are generally not actively feeding and more sitting on bottom and resting, putting that tube in their face and shaking it gets you that reaction/ aggression strike. This is how I work the shallow pad fields here in Ohio and it has proven to be very effective through the years. I am sure there are several other approaches but this is the one that works for me.

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imagejpeg_2_6_zps3b929404.jpg

Is this close to what you fish?

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Wow, those pads are thick.  As mentioned earlier, the bass will watch the bait move across the tops of the pads and follow it.  I would look for holes where the pads are a little thinner and let the bait fall through to the water. 

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Sorry I got busy after I posted the picture ;)

I see some similarities in the cover & while all the above mentioned techniques will work I tend to fish it differently.

I throw a Texas Rigged Weightless Bassassin Tapout worm. The worm is basically a fat trick worm which allows for better casting distance. I work the edges of each type of grass, slowing finessing the worm through the grass.

It's slow, it's tedious, it'productive!

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A big stick and a big bait.

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Great advice above.  I didn't see anyone mention flukes, however.   If frogs and punching aren't working or aren't feasible, I throw weightless super flukes into the middle of that stuff.  Reel/twitch until it falls off a pad and then hold on. 

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I see I've got some techniques to perfect for next year. It's going to be a fun learning process. Once again I appreciate the responses and it's really neat hearing about all the different ways people fish in these conditions. 

 

imagejpeg_2_6_zps3b929404.jpg

Is this close to what you fish?

 

Beautiful fish. And yes, from what I can see the cover is similar. The only difference is that pretty much everywhere along the bank the lily pads come straight up to the shoreline, and any larger pieces of open water would be out a bit (last  year there were a couple within casting distance). One of the few setups I hear come up time and time again on this site is the texas rig and looks like I can't overlook it anymore, especially if frogs are a no go. 

 

 

Most of the pad fields we have here in Ohio are precisely like this, heck most of our lakes are only 4-6 ft deep. Here is how I approach these areas.

 

1. On the approach starting 25-40 ft away I cast around the outside lines of the field with small spinner bait.

 

2. closing in on the pad field I start flipping a 1/4 oz black/blue jig with a short trimmed skirt and a sapphire blue chunk (not threaded on just stuck so it freely moves around). when you flip in let it drop to the bottom then slowly lift it to just below the surface and shake it 5 -6 times and let it drop, they will smash it on the fall, no bite pull out and flip again. this is good for about the first 8-10 ft of the pad field.

 

3. Once I am on the pad field I flip a nose weight rigged 4.5" FTC tube as a punch style set-up. Use 3/8 to -1/2oz weight and flip it in the deeper pads. This time you let it fall to bottom then just barely move it off the bottom and shake it 5-6 times drop it down repeat 3-4 times no takers re-flip.

 

The reason I approach this way is the active feeders are located on the pad edges and easy to pick off with spinner bait. If you just roll up to the pads you have spooked a good deal of fish before you even cast once. Using the light jig and free floating chunk does a great job simulating a blue gill sucking off the bottom of the pads and most bass in this area of the pads are looking for bigger meals and this set-up gives them the bulk they are looking for. In the 3rd part of this those bass deep in the pads are generally not actively feeding and more sitting on bottom and resting, putting that tube in their face and shaking it gets you that reaction/ aggression strike. This is how I work the shallow pad fields here in Ohio and it has proven to be very effective through the years. I am sure there are several other approaches but this is the one that works for me.

 

Wow, thanks for the awesomely detailed reply! The few spots where I can actually access the edge of the pad field I've had success with swimbaits an in-line spinners, but they tend to be very small fish. You can literally see hundreds of 5-7 inchers chasing lures. I'm guessing go bigger on the lures and/or move along the field to get away from the schools of small fish?  I like this though; gives me a lot to think about in how I approach these fields next time. 

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