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Fishing Method Question

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More and more, i am seeing tournament anglers in grassy lakes pitch jigs in shallow water only like 5 feet from their boat and catching toads. In the lakes around here, the water is clear and absolutely filled with huge submerged weed beds that are incredibly healthy and I know hold very big bass.

 

However, these weed beds are very large and i am not sure what exactly i should be looking for to attempt this fishing method. In other words, what is the distinguishing factor that should limit the areas i fish rather than spending hours to dissect 1/16th of a large weed bed? Is it bottom contour? What makes this method effective? I really want to give it a try because i can directly apply it to my lakes but I'm just not exactly sure how to do it...

 

Thanks!

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The best answer of course would require hands-on experience.

In any case, I would normally begin my search along the 'Deep Outer Weed-line'.

Since you're dealing with clear water, that will likely be in the 10 to 15 ft depth zone.

Thereat, you'd be looking for rapid depth change, any abrupt change (up or down) can be dynamite.

And of course, the usual pockets and fingers in the weed-line as well as mergers of two plant species.

 

Roger

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The best answer of course would require hands-on experience.

In any case, I would normally begin my search along the 'Deep Outer Weed-line'.

Since you're dealing with clear water, that will likely be in the 10 to 15 ft depth zone.

Thereat, you'd be looking for rapid depth change, any abrupt change (up or down) can be dynamite.

And of course, the usual pockets and fingers in the weed-line as well as mergers of two plant species.

 

Roger

What about when the weeds meet a stump/timber field?

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I know exactly what you're talking about - Re-read Rolo's response above as it is The Real Deal.

 

I'll add that the clearer water sometimes requires that I keep my boat a good distance from my target.

 

So there's less flipping & more pitching.( and sometimes it ends up being just plain casting)

 

And there is no doubt that HARD BOTTOM areas within or at the edge of the grass beds, regardless of their size, are almost always like finding Gold.

 

A-Jay

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First, look at it by stripping away the weeds. What's underneath? That will be the first step. After that things get more specific to season, temperatures, and food chain events.

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I know exactly what you're talking about - Re-read Rolo's response above as it is The Real Deal.

I'll add that the clearer water sometimes requires that I keep my boat a good distance from my target.

So there's less flipping & more pitching.( and sometimes it ends up being just plain casting)

And there is no doubt that HARD BOTTOM areas within or at the edge of the grass beds, regardless of their size, are almost always like finding Gold.

A-Jay

So bottoms covered with sand and logs would be good places when they meet the weeds? Right? The hard bottom in this lake consists of small pebbles around the shoreline and stumps/sand in the open water

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So bottoms covered with sand and logs would be good places when they meet the weeds? Right? The hard bottom in this lake consists of small pebbles around the shoreline and stumps/sand in the open water

 

Theoretically yes, but there's a lot that goes into making it a spot that will hold quality bass.

 

Some of the factors (but this list may not be all inclusive) - fishing pressure; if the spot is getting hammered repeatedly day in & day out, even though it looks good - usually the fish will abandon it.

Water depth & the proximity to deep water - and that's just for starters.

 

And one caveat is sometimes these good looking spots can be completely void of any bass during the day but be loaded up after dark - keep that in mind.

 

A-Jay

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Look for changes or indents in a weed bed. Something that is different.

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What about when the weeds meet a stump/timber field?

 

Absolutely, nearly any transition presents an opportunity.

 

Some may recall, a tank study was conducted several years back. The researchers were trying to figure out

what largemouth bass would relate to as available cover was stripped away. One by one they removed

structural elements from the tank.  Long story short, they ultimately reached the point where there was nothing left

in the tank, nothing that is, except a difference in color on the tank floor. You guessed it, the bass in the tank

actually aggregated around the color transition on the tank floor.

When we're out there in the field, I think that's a good thing to bear in mind.

 

Roger

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There's like 5 youtube video's of greg hackney talking about fishing "structure grass."

He won that elite event in NY fishing deep grass. Go to the bassmaster's website and watch the Cayuga Lake event from last year. That lake's one big ball of Milfoil and he dominated the event fishing grass 15-18ft deep. 

 

"Greg Hackney & Structure Grass" 

 

Hackney Fishing Structure Grass on Toledo Bend

 

 

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to expand on Rogers great advice, I work more perpendicular to shore than parallel when looking to locate bass for the day.  and i always start at the deepest weed edge and work my way shallow.

but in regards to parallel, pay specific attention to the ends of giant weed beds. a 300 ft weed bed has a beginning and an end. often times you might notice the 'beginning' is near a cove entrance.  and the cove has a feeder stream coming in.  now you have multiple variables that make this a prime location. in my mind it's now a 'weed point' even tho it's attached to a football field bed

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More and more, i am seeing tournament anglers in grassy lakes pitch jigs in shallow water only like 5 feet from their boat and catching toads. In the lakes around here, the water is clear and absolutely filled with huge submerged weed beds that are incredibly healthy and I know hold very big bass.

 

However, these weed beds are very large and i am not sure what exactly i should be looking for to attempt this fishing method. In other words, what is the distinguishing factor that should limit the areas i fish rather than spending hours to dissect 1/16th of a large weed bed? Is it bottom contour? What makes this method effective? I really want to give it a try because i can directly apply it to my lakes but I'm just not exactly sure how to do it...

 

Thanks!

 

Lots of good advice above, but let's concentrate on the exact question.

 

What you are seeing are anglers flipping directly into small openings in those massive weed beds. 

 

These small pockets are created because there is something laying on the bottom that prohibits weed growth in those exact spots within the overall area.  It could be a stump, log, rock, or simply a small outcropping of lake bottom not conducive to that type of weed such as clay or marl.  The bass sit along these spots because they represent an "edge" inside of what looks like a solid mass of weeds.

 

Once summer hits, stand up in the bow of your boat, put on the polarized glasses, and slowly move along looking for these openings.  Many are quite small and if you are moving too quickly you will run right over them.  Move slowly and keep your eyes focused on the task at hand.  Don't limit yourself to throwing a jig as many T-Rig soft plastics work as well.

 

Now that water levels in the Great Lakes are approaching record high levels, there is another place to consider on those lakes connecting to them.  That is the many seawalls where there will be a narrow gap between the wall itself and the adjacent weed bed.  The same principle idea here, in that the base of the wall prohibits weed growth out about 12" or so from the wall.  Just like a long hole instead of a round one.  For example, Spring Lake near Grand Haven contains many places where this condition exists, and you can load the boat without ever having to skip a dock.  You can also find these on one of your listed "favorites", Hamlin Lake, but only in places where the weeds haven't been sprayed into oblivion. 

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First, look at it by stripping away the weeds. What's underneath? That will be the first step. After that things get more specific to season, temperatures, and food chain events.

Step number one is structure!

What is under that grass bed?

Step number two what other cover is availably?

There can & will be brush, stumps, laydowns under the grass.

Find these first! ;)

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Thanks for all the responses!

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