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dan94

When do weeds get too thick for bass?

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Yesterday went out to rice lake in southern ontario. The lake is known for its prime bass fishing. I heard it was weedy so i figured i try fishing weed edges or pitching into open holes in the weeds. However when i got there (should have taken a picture) i noticed the whole side of the lake where i launched was just one HUGE weed bed. Like maybe 200-300 acres of weeds. The lake was very shallow average 7ft. . The whole day i was slowly navigating through this lake of weeds. I tried pitching into what i thought were open holes but nothing. Tried top water , senkos , spinnerbaits , swimjigs , trigs , basically anything weedless but nothing. If a whole lake is thick and i mean thick weeds where would the bass be hiding ?

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Even if the lake looks like an impenetrable carpet on the surface there are often times large openings or passageways underneath the fish can navigate through. Even if there's a 2 foot mat on top it could just be a canopy. While other areas it might very well be thick from bottom to top. Your job is to find those pockets underneath, or find the areas where it's thin enough the bass can blow through to get a frog or other weedless rigged bait. To get through the weeds you really need either a punching setup or some heavy grass jigs though. 

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If there is one type of cover I fish a lot of it's vegetation of all types, thicknesses, & depths.

 

None is impenetrable for bass, now for the angler there's plenty.

 

Surface matted water hyacinth can stop an 1 oz weight cold!

 

Different types of reeds, Tules, cattails, can limit your flipping-&-pitching to a few feet of the edge.

buggywhips.jpg

Alligator in Honey Island Swamp (credit LouisianaNorthshore.com).jpg

PL-WATERHYACINTH-2182.jpg

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On any other lake all i would look for is the thick weeds and grass, but at this lake the whole lake was literally filled with weeds submerged only a few inches below the surface. The depth averaged 7 feet and the water was super clear you could see the submerged weeds everywhere so thick they would get caught in my prop every other second unless i was gunning it. I found some small open pockets a pitched into them with different baits but nothing was hitting. It seemed as if the surrounding weeds were too thick for the fish to navigate to these open holes.   

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44 minutes ago, Catt said:

If there is one type of cover I fish a lot of it's vegetation of all types, thicknesses, & depths.

 

None is impenetrable for bass, now for the angler there's plenty.

 

Surface matted water hyacinth can stop an 1 oz weight cold!

 

Different types of reeds, Tules, cattails, can limit your flipping-&-pitching to a few feet of the edge.

buggywhips.jpg

Alligator in Honey Island Swamp (credit LouisianaNorthshore.com).jpg

PL-WATERHYACINTH-2182.jpg

Here i found a picture of someones cottage. What you see in the water there is how the WHOLE lake looked. I think the lake is facing some sort of weed problem

 

IMG_5431.JPG

 

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The first thing I would do is Skip those Docs you could probably fish just the docks and always have a good day. Second thing you have to do is start looking at the grass and finding the healthiest grass and fishing that. Cloudy days fish the edges sunny days find the deeper stuff either the new growth or the areas with the most pockets. Lastly you can look for areas where the vegetation is consistently matted.

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1 minute ago, sully420 said:

The first thing I would do is Skip those Docs you could probably fish just the docks and always have a good day. Second thing you have to do is start looking at the grass and finding the healthiest grass and fishing that. Cloudy days fish the edges sunny days find the deeper stuff either the new growth or the areas with the most pockets. Lastly you can look for areas where the vegetation is consistently matted.

Fished the docks like crazy. Pitched 4.5" rodents n got bites but nothing seemed to commit. So i dowsized to a chigger craw on a 2/0 , got nibbles but again nothing commiting. So i downsized again to a 1/8 oz jig and a gulp minnow and hooked up a pumpkinseed. Tried other docks but resulted in the same thing. The rest of the lake was a flooded jungle. Tons of healthy looking grass and other plants but no sign of fish 

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Weeds don't get too thick for bass, they just get too thick for fisherman.  When there is weed everywhere, they could be anywhere.  If the boat cant navigate your dead in the water.  I hate that when it happens, and its not uncommon in our Florida waters.

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images (6).jpg

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Haven't found anywhere that's too thick.  I was tossing 1.5 oz. Jika Punch Rigs 2-4' into the standing brass and tules a couple weekends ago.  Epic, hand to hand combat fishing.  Love pulling bass out the jungle on a short leash.

 

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20525279_10212400058369698_2975886529045

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8 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Haven't found anywhere that's too thick.  I was tossing 1.5 oz. Jika Punch Rigs 2-4' into the standing brass and tules a couple weekends ago.  Epic, hand to hand combat fishing.  Love pulling bass out the jungle on a short leash.

 

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20525279_10212400058369698_2975886529045

yes that looks promising, but what im talking about is submerged weeds that fill the whole entire lake. 7 feet of water with 6.5 feet tall submerged weeds and bush over 300 acres

3 hours ago, Catt said:

images (6).jpg

Where is that? Almost looks like rice lake except the weeds in there are all different like a big salad 

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5 minutes ago, dan94 said:

what im talking about is submerged weeds that fill the whole entire lake. 7 feet of water with 6.5 feet tall submerged weeds and bush over 300 acres

 

Yes.  I have a couple shallow lakes lie this.  Look for any change in bottom contour, or creek inlets.  Also look for a breakline formed by two differing species of weeds.

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I'm with J Franco. You have to find the breaklines, pockets, structure and bottom contour that give bass the ability to ambush prey and move depending on conditions. This will take time and work, but there is nothing in bass fishing like the thrill of, "epic, hand to hand combat," with a big bass on a short line in very heavy cover.

 

Being able to visualize what is below the surface and how that relates to bass on any given day is what separates really good fishermen from the all rest. The best fishermen I know can do this pretty well...only after countless hours on the water. Be patient and enjoy the process! Good luck.

 

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1 minute ago, Turtle135 said:

 

that video the guy is in weedless water pitching into weeds, the lake i was in was all weed like there was no clear opening at all , apparently the lake has a weed problem that boats come in to remove them in september - october. 

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6 minutes ago, dan94 said:

that video the guy is in weedless water pitching into weeds, the lake i was in was all weed like there was no clear opening at all , apparently the lake has a weed problem that boats come in to remove them in september - october. 

 

What you have to try in the situation you describe is continue to cover the water with the techniques described in that video. It can be hard to get that first bite but when you do it is likely that there are other bass in the immediate vicinity. So you can punch grass for hours on end and then catch 3-5 in 10 casts in one spot. Presentations need to be more "vertical" and less "horizontal" (topwater, spinnerbaits, swim jigs)

 

 

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So far you've shot down every solution and tip offered for fishing heavy, matted weeds.  I guess you should find another lake to fish.

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7 minutes ago, J Francho said:

So far you've shot down every solution and tip offered for fishing heavy, matted weeds.  I guess you should find another lake to fish.

The tips are obvious, if you read my posts above you will see that ive already done that.  What im trying to get at is when an entire lake is weeds it may be possible that bass do not thrive in them.

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My second largest NY bass came from a weed choked lake, 7-1.  Figure it out, or not.  They do thrive in them, as several responses have mentioned.

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Yea I agree with J Francho, I fish lakes like that 99% of the time its hard work and everybody who has responded has given you solid advice. The baits that you have said you've been using in your responses are not the best for the situation you are fishing they're actually pretty bad. You can either learn the new techniques and put in the hard work to find fish on the lake or take up a different Hobby

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dan94, your question has been answered several times. Bass can grow and prosper in a weed choked body of water. Is there bass in your lake? We can't answer that, and neither can you without putting in the work. 

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4 hours ago, dan94 said:

 

Where is that? Almost looks like rice lake except the weeds in there are all different like a big salad 

 

That's one cove on Toledo Bend grown over with Hydrilla, 16' deep in the middle!

 

I fish grass flats that are a 1,000+ acres!

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8 minutes ago, Catt said:

That's one cove on Toledo Bend grown over with Hydrilla, 16' deep in the middle!

 

I was just fishing a VERY clear lake that had the same type of deal.  Some places were 20' deep with weeds just below the surface.  I just kept drifting over the line, making short pitches, picking off fish as I went. It helps to keep track of the bottom if you use StructureID (white line bottom on H'bird units) and trun the clutter filter on, and sensitivity down a bit.  You're just looking to track the bottom contour, not locate fish.

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2 hours ago, sully420 said:

Yea I agree with J Francho, I fish lakes like that 99% of the time its hard work and everybody who has responded has given you solid advice. The baits that you have said you've been using in your responses are not the best for the situation you are fishing they're actually pretty bad. You can either learn the new techniques and put in the hard work to find fish on the lake or take up a different Hobby

explain when pitching texas rigged plastics is "bad" for weeds and cover. 

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4 hours ago, Turtle135 said:

 

What you have to try in the situation you describe is continue to cover the water with the techniques described in that video. It can be hard to get that first bite but when you do it is likely that there are other bass in the immediate vicinity. So you can punch grass for hours on end and then catch 3-5 in 10 casts in one spot. Presentations need to be more "vertical" and less "horizontal" (topwater, spinnerbaits, swim jigs)

 

 

Yes thank you, i think id rather not spend a whole day chopping through weeds with my boat to find maybe a few bass. Too much trouble for not enough reward. This lake isnt know for trophy sized fish anyways so i think i will be going back to other lakes i know or trying less invasive plant choked lakes. But seriously all your tips were helpful. Thanks

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