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FCPhil

Ribbon tail worms in heavy weeds?

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I bought a pack of large ribbon tail worms and I don’t want to waste them. Problem is almost all the water I fish has very heavy vegetation on bottom that grows a few feet up from the bottom to within a few feet of the surface. If I Texas rig them they seem to get lost in the weeds and brings back a bunch of vegetation on the lure. Unweighted, they are difficult to cast.

 

I’m hoping to fish them slowly but through the tops of the weeds. Any suggestions?

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A Texas rigged worm buries the hook point back into the worm. What type of worm hooks are you using?

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Use a light worm weight and peg it to the nose of the worm. The weeds won't get caught between the weight and hook and the rig should move through the weeds fairly easily.  You will also find that a good dose of an oily scent of your choice, will help keep the worm from 'sticking' to the weeds.

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3 hours ago, Fishin' Fool said:

A Texas rigged worm buries the hook point back into the worm. What type of worm hooks are you using?

Lunker city Texposer hook. The weeds get bunched up where the line meets the bullet weight. 

3 hours ago, Catt said:

Thanks! I was reading through that post and I just wan to make sure I understand it. Slowly working a Texas rig through the grass feels like the bait is too buried in the roots of the vegitation for bass to find, and you’re often having to pop it free of the vegetation that clings to it, but there are indeed bass down in the depths of the vegetation and with patience will find the worm. 

 

I think it is milfoil, is submerged grass ever too dense for a Texas rig to be found by the fish?

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Although the subject is jigs I apply the same techniques to Texas Rigs.

 

Ribbon Tail worms would not be my #1 choice for fishing grass.

 

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/11960-jigs-n-grass/

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Does this look like the weed you are dealing with ?

8d34cc9da213a3079683b5eb78e67b2e.jpg

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A ribbon tail wouldn't be my first choice for grass, I always seem to lose the tail because something bites it off.

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In many cases, there are channels under the thick canopy of weeds that fish hang out in and travel through. Weed growth depends on sunlight penetration, so where weeds are too thick on top for the sun to filter in, there won't be as much growth underneath, and fish can actually get around pretty well. The trick is to get it down to them, and then get the fish out when they hit.

 

Read this post in the thread that Catt linked -- you have to finesse the bait through the weeds patiently and carefully to prevent hanging up at the weight:

 

 

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I'd prefer a lighter weight "grass jig" with a vertical line tie. If the jig is too bulky try a jighead with a craw or a T rigged craw that doesn't have the curly type appendages. 

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14 hours ago, FCPhil said:

I’m hoping to fish them slowly but through the tops of the weeds. Any suggestions?

Weightless?

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A Texas rigged ribbon tail worm was my first heavy weed cover lure.  I was amazed at where I could put a bait, back when was around 12 or 13.  Rig one up with a 3/8 oz. bullet, and offset worm hook, and toss it in the slop.  That's what it was designed for.

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4 hours ago, scaleface said:

Does this look like the weed you are dealing with ?

8d34cc9da213a3079683b5eb78e67b2e.jpg

No, more like this:

oxigenadoras%2002.jpg

I should mention I am shorebound, so I can fish close to vertically through grass, I have to drag them horizontally through the grass. 

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You should be able to fish them horizontally.  You aren't yanking them through the weeds, but sort of jiggling, and finessing them through.  You work the bait until you feel a weed, and gently pop it through.  A a somewhat sensitive rod helps greatly.  Braid helps, but isn't a 100% necessity.  I used 17 lb. mono for years before braid was available just fine.

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You can also snip off a chunk of the ribbon tail to make it more of a cut-tail look, it will wrap around the weeds less that way. 

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On 1/29/2019 at 8:39 AM, J Francho said:

You should be able to fish them horizontally.  You aren't yanking them through the weeds, but sort of jiggling, and finessing them through.  You work the bait until you feel a weed, and gently pop it through.  A a somewhat sensitive rod helps greatly.  Braid helps, but isn't a 100% necessity.  I used 17 lb. mono for years before braid was available just fine.

Thanks for the input, I’m going to try Jika rigging one along with a Texas rig see which works better. I saw in some other places you talk about jika rigs working well. How heavy of a pencil weight do you recommend?

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I fish 12 inch worms with 3-8 tungsten weights through thick weeds all the time. Like Francho said it's a slow process with a lot of touchy feely going on. It takes patience but it sure does catch some decent bass.

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On 2/3/2019 at 3:24 PM, FCPhil said:

I saw in some other places you talk about jika rigs working well. How heavy of a pencil weight do you recommend?

I use 3/8 all the way up to 1.5 oz. home made Jika Punch rigs using a pencil trolling weight.  How heavy depends on how thick the cover is, and how far I want the bait to penetrate.  Sometimes you have do a bit of tinkering.

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I like using the Anaconda from Strike King or a the Ol' Monster from Zoom and a 1/2oz - 1oz punching weight.  I also use 65lb braid as well. 

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In thick grass where the tail is unable to get decent action, I would usually go with a senko or jig over a ribbon tail worm. Other than that and maybe sight fishing or pitching into hot spots, I generally do prefer a ribbon tail worm.

On 1/28/2019 at 7:48 PM, Catt said:

Truth!

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@dodgeguy and @J Francho, any recommendations on color of ribbon tail worms in thick grass? The pond I fish is very clear. Will green pumpkin blend in too much to the grass?

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19 minutes ago, FCPhil said:

@dodgeguy and @J Francho, any recommendations on color of ribbon tail worms in thick grass? The pond I fish is very clear. Will green pumpkin blend in too much to the grass?

I like junebug and purple but do use other colors sometimes.

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I usually pick whatever I feel like.  I like darker colors most of the time.  I might dip the tail in JJ's chartreuse.

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What I found helps a lot in grass is to keep the rod tip high. My rod tip is usually no lower than 10°clock & I work whatever piece of plastic with a series of short hop/strokes. This allows for multiple opportunities for the bass to hit it on the fall.

 

Colors 

Black-N-Blue, Black Neon, South Africa Special 

Red Shad, Redbug, 

Watermelon Neon 

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