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Learning to pitch a jig (where)

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In Minnesota here, a jig is good bait in the grass/weeds/milfoil/etc.   And I have caught a few dozen of fish on one, so I am not a total amateur, but I know I still am under performing.   My particular issue is knowing where along the weed edge to use a jig.  Some lakes have sharp weed edges all season.  On others, sometimes a weed edge is super sharp and defined, usually in the spring, and it's easy for me to pitch right at the edge.  But as the summer approaches, a LOT of weeds die off and the weed edge is not clear.    In shallow and mid-depth the weed growth is solid and even emergent, but even on the drops, it does not just disappear sharply.  It is very gradual, it thins out all the way to about 15 feet or more.  It just becomes gradually more sparse.   How do I attack this water with a jig?  There isn't a clear weed edge almost anywhere on the lake.  Out at the "edge"  there is a tall stalk of weeds probably every 10 feet.  It is very thinned out.  

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On any weed edge, I look for transition areas where the bottom composition changes, or where a different type of weed starts.  These are generally the areas where you see indentations, or points on an otherwise straight edge. Even on a slow tapering edge, you will see areas that thin out quicker than others. In your case, those tall stalks of weeds are either spots where the bottom composition changes, or small humps.  Either way, those are the type of spots to key on.  You're basically doing the same thing an angler fishing a piece of structure is doing, looking for something different along an extended piece of structure.  In the case of weeds, it's a change along a large piece of cover. 

Another way to attack a slow tapering edge is to cast perpendicular to the edge.  Your jig will swing back toward you as it falls, following the weed's downward taper.  You may need to adjust the fall rate of your jig, or pop it off the tops of the tapering weeds to keep it following the slope.

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Quit fishing the grass & start fishing the structure under it!

 

The weed edge is a breakline

 

The reason the weed edge is not straight is because of the structure under it.

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If you look at the "weed" line & everything looks consistent but one area looks kinda sparse/thin odds are there's a depth change that is deeper. It maybe a cut, gut, drain, dip, washout, whatever y'all call it.

 

If the grass gets thicker or even surface matted odds are there a depth that is shallower. It maybe a hump, ridge, rise, or whatever y'all call it.

 

The key is these depth changes create an irregularity & should be given a few extra cast, flips, or pitches!

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Bottom composition can effect weed growth as well. If you see dense weeds, then a small hole or strip where there are no weeds, it's possible there's a rockpile, log, or other form of hard cover/structure that the weeds can't grow on. Find a spot like that and you'll find fish, probably more than one too.

 

It isn't always about the weed edges either. Sometimes they'll bury up in those weeds and you have to go right through the middle to fish below the canopy. Those are times when it's really important to fish the bottom below the weeds. Fish will still use the breaklines to cruise and look for prey. 

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Good info on here.  Generally, I'd approach it similarly to what Catt is getting at.  If I'm looking for bass on either an inside or outside edge while trying to break down a lake, I'm more focused on the structure first and then looking at the cover, in this case weeds, second.  I want to find a change in bottom composition or depth first and then look for the weeds second.  So, out of those weed beds and edges, which are closest to a channel swing? A submerged point? Sitting on top of a hump?  Is there something driving current along some weed beds, but not others? Is there a change in bottom composition next to them?  Mixed cover (boulders, trees, a pile of tires) around the weeds?  I feel like if I can find places with several of these things going on, odds are good, I've found a spot on a spot.  This doesn't always work, and will take some time to map without side scan, but this can help you learn the lake and eliminate A LOT of water that you'd otherwise spend a lot of time fishing that's low percentage. When I approach weeds this way, I feel like I avoid wasting a lot of time fishing low percentage water and more of my casts end up in "good weeds" with high concentrations of good fish versus "not so good weeds" likely to hold fewer large fish, if that is helpful.  

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Kinda like the old saying, "can't see the forest for the trees."

 

When we look at the contour lines on a map we are given the basic shape of the grassline. Bottom composition, subtle depth changes, logs, & rocks will not be shown but change the shape of the grassline.

 

Ignore the numbers & look at the shape; this will be your basic shape of your grassline.

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On 7/13/2017 at 2:30 AM, Turkey sandwich said:

Good info on here.  Generally, I'd approach it similarly to what Catt is getting at.  If I'm looking for bass on either an inside or outside edge while trying to break down a lake, I'm more focused on the structure first and then looking at the cover, in this case weeds, second.  I want to find a change in bottom composition or depth first and then look for the weeds second.  So, out of those weed beds and edges, which are closest to a channel swing? A submerged point? Sitting on top of a hump?  Is there something driving current along some weed beds, but not others? Is there a change in bottom composition next to them?  Mixed cover (boulders, trees, a pile of tires) around the weeds?  I feel like if I can find places with several of these things going on, odds are good, I've found a spot on a spot.  This doesn't always work, and will take some time to map without side scan, but this can help you learn the lake and eliminate A LOT of water that you'd otherwise spend a lot of time fishing that's low percentage. When I approach weeds this way, I feel like I avoid wasting a lot of time fishing low percentage water and more of my casts end up in "good weeds" with high concentrations of good fish versus "not so good weeds" likely to hold fewer large fish, if that is helpful.  

cool.

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I'd honestly cast parallel with the weed line and work my way out deeper with each cast.  A jig may not be the best choice for this.  A use a bladed jig or swim a drop shot.  Let the fish tell you where they are at if there is no distinct edge.

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