Jump to content
Rhino68W

How do you all fish flooded brush and small trees?

Recommended Posts

I went to a local river lake in North Texas for the first time this weekend in my kayak and we put in next to a bunch of flooded bushes with some small trees mixed in. Average depth was only a few feet, and was close to the Blue Branch creek channel and a shoreline with good green grass and reeds. I ran a buzz bait and a swim jig through the brush and near some grass early and missed a couple and got one chunk. Then I left the area due to not having much confidence in fishing it once the sun got up. No hits on a frog near the reeds. 

After some research it seems pitching a creature bit or jig would be good, along with a swim jig and spinner bait. Also, does the "deadness" of the bushes and trees affect if it holds fish or not?

I am posting this in the General section due to it being such a broad bass fishing question. 

Clipboard03.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe someone with a little more knowledge could chyme in but from personal experience i have caught fish in green and dead bushes. Im not sure about the "deadness" of trees/brush really affecting anything, Im sure someone has some science to back which one is better. Green grass definitely hold more bass than brown or dead grass and that is a fact.

As for bait, I like the swim jig decision. Try different retrieves and try to actually hit the branches and pop it over then kill it. I get a lot of strikes from doing that. Same technique with spinners. 

I literally always have a jig and t-rigged creature bait tied on. In the high sun, pitch those into the shaded parts of the bushes/trees. If you're not getting into fish there, try a little deeper around the creek channel. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, GORDO said:

Maybe someone with a little more knowledge could chyme in but from personal experience i have caught fish in green and dead bushes. Im not sure about the "deadness" of trees/brush really affecting anything, Im sure someone has some science to back which one is better. Green grass definitely hold more bass than brown or dead grass and that is a fact.

As for bait, I like the swim jig decision. Try different retrieves and try to actually hit the branches and pop it over then kill it. I get a lot of strikes from doing that. Same technique with spinners. 

I literally always have a jig and t-rigged creature bait tied on. In the high sun, pitch those into the shaded parts of the bushes/trees. If you're not getting into fish there, try a little deeper around the creek channel. 

The current here is pretty much always present so the oxygen content is fairly good in most places. I will give "killin it" a shot next time I am out. Seems like it would work. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as green vs brown etc. I always look for combos. A brush pile sitting off a nice point with some sort of weeds is going to hold more and bigger fish than a brush pile with nothing. I've found in my waters big bass will be where specific combinations exist. My main lure for this is a siebert brush jig. Sometimes if there is a lot of grass involved I will use a light 1 oz punch rig

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing with older brush piles is that once they have been there for a while, algae will form on them. Smaller baitfish will use this algae for food, which attracts bass. For this reason, I like fishing dead wood better than live wood. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My approach is simple but methodical, start by selecting an area of brush that is thinner or where you can see openings/trails. At pitching distance from the outside edge, work any isolated brush. Work a 20-ft path on both sides of the selected point of entry, and then slowly work to within flipping distance. Once you worked the outside edge thoroughly, you can start flipping the first 10-ft into the cover. Target the outer branches first, then all the way to the trunk. The next part is where the extreme fishing begins, use your trolling motor to pull you as far into the as it can. With you and a partner standing on the bow deck grab the branches and pull your boat forward. Look for openings in the brush and maneuver the boat in that direction but stopping every 10 yd. to flip the area.

This is extreme close-up angling so be ready to set hook on any line movement, tap, light feeling, or heavy feeling. Set hook hard, straight up, & move the fish fast out of the cover. If the fish is too big to move on the hook set, your first concern is a solid hookup, give no slack, and then go to the fish.

Yea it's a lot of work but this pattern has produced numerous stringers of 25 lb. plus with kicker fish in the double the digits.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll fish both with a wacky or T-rigged Senko. 

Brush I like a swim jig. 

Sunken tree stumps I love squarebills or chatterbaits to bounce off them and get reaction strikes. Deeper submerged stumps I like a drop shot to the cover. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Catt said:

My approach is simple but methodical, start by selecting an area of brush that is thinner or where you can see openings/trails. At pitching distance from the outside edge, work any isolated brush. Work a 20-ft path on both sides of the selected point of entry, and then slowly work to within flipping distance. Once you worked the outside edge thoroughly, you can start flipping the first 10-ft into the cover. Target the outer branches first, then all the way to the trunk. The next part is where the extreme fishing begins, use your trolling motor to pull you as far into the as it can. With you and a partner standing on the bow deck grab the branches and pull your boat forward. Look for openings in the brush and maneuver the boat in that direction but stopping every 10 yd. to flip the area.

This is extreme close-up angling so be ready to set hook on any line movement, tap, light feeling, or heavy feeling. Set hook hard, straight up, & move the fish fast out of the cover. If the fish is too big to move on the hook set, your first concern is a solid hookup, give no slack, and then go to the fish.

Yea it's a lot of work but this pattern has produced numerous stringers of 25 lb. plus with kicker fish in the double the digits.

I honestly can't add a thing to the above. I would read and re-read and apply the above lesson(on the water) and It's my belief you'll find and have a great opportunity to catch fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I have read the bass move into newly flooded areas right away to look for new bugs that just drowned. I remember the adage "Rising water fish shallow". When the water starts to fall the bass move out quickly for fear of getting trapped. "Falling water fish deeper." If the water is staying up in the newly flooded brush I understand bass will use them for cover until the leaves start to turn brown. I cannot verify this but the bass will move out of the rotting brush... lack of oxygen? spiked acidity? Not sure but the bass will return when the leaves have fallen off and the decomposition is mostly complete. Maybe in this time period algae grows which attracts bait fish which attracts the bass. All this is a good jumping off point for more research. Please verify what I have said. To the best of my knowledge everything is correct but I could be off base on any point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I flip either a jig or a craw depending on my mood and a heavy spinnerbait is always a go-to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My go-to bait for this kind of fishing is a zoom baby brush hog or a 4 inch senko.I do a lot of skipping so I can get it back into less accessible areas without spooking the fish with the boat or the excess splash.I personally skip more because most of the areas I fish are shallow,and I try to stay as far away as possible to not spook the fish.I will let it sink, wait for 10-20 seconds,then hop it ,wait, hop it,etc.Youll catch more small fish this way,with an occasional hawg mixed in.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bass Turd said:

If the water is staying up in the newly flooded brush I understand bass will use them for cover until the leaves start to turn brown. I cannot verify this but the bass will move out of the rotting brush... lack of oxygen? spiked acidity? Not sure but the bass will return when the leaves have fallen off and the decomposition is mostly complete. 

If I'm in an area with an abundance of vegetation or brush, I don't spend much time on brown (decomposing)... i'm looking for green or grey.  If it's isolated brown brush, definitely give it a try, but my money is on aged brush and fresh brush.

One thing I'll add to this thread: the more cover/structure a body of water has, the less significant each piece becomes.  A lone brush pile almost assuredly has fish in it, but when there are 100 brush piles, they won't all hold fish.  When you are fishing "cover o' plenty", look for things that stick out.  Abnormalities.  Also, go back to the basics: focus on cover that is by key structure like points, humps, channels, deep water, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wood below the water level does not decompose at the same rate as grass, it does not deplete oxygen like grass.

Toledo Bend was flooded in 1969, the trees & brush that was above the surface has fallen over & is still on the bottom.

Some types of brush go dormant during summer & because of no leaves they give the appearance of being dead.

Padflowers4_17-1.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Catt said:

Wood below the water level does not decompose at the same rate as grass, it does not deplete oxygen like grass.

Toledo Bend was flooded in 1969, the trees & brush that was above the surface has fallen over & is still on the bottom.

Some types of brush go dormant during summer & because of no leaves they give the appearance of being dead.

Padflowers4_17-1.jpg

Agreed but in the google earth picture the op posted the ground he circled looks dry with new growth on it. That condition was the basis of my post. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be pitching a Rage Structure Bug or tube into that cover.  I use 50lb Seaguar Flippin' line and a heavy-power rod with an extra fast tip.  That will allow you to horse the fish out when you get bit.

Good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bass Turd said:

Agreed but in the google earth picture the op posted the ground he circled looks dry with new growth on it. That condition was the basis of my post. 

Agreed!

My point is brush (wood) when dead does not deplete oxygen in large quantities like grass. Brush decomposese at a slower rate than grass.

Why do some of us sink brush piles & not hay bales?

Because hay (dead grass) rots, decays, decomposes at a higher (faster) rate depleting oxygen faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh Now I understand what you are saying Catt. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    bass fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing rods

    fishing rods


    fishing rods

    fishing reels
    fishing gear

    Truck Caps

    fishing reels
    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×