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What baits to use (besides frogs) bank fishing in shallow grass mats?

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I'd love your thoughts on what baits to throw for a new lake I've been fishing this year.  The lake is pretty shallow, most of the bank fishing area is 1-4' deep.  I was fishing it in early April and there was tons of sub-surface grass and I was killing it with swimbaits and ned rigs.  Now that it is mid-spring, the grass has turned to grass mats and there is a ton of slimy algae.

 

I've been catching fish on frogs and texas rigged stik-o worms but I'm looking for any other ideas of what to throw on this lake.  Most of the bass are smallish, 1/2lb - 2lbs.  I was wondering if punching would work in such shallow water, and if so, what plastic should I use?

 

Thanks for any suggestions you have.   

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Punching would work. Use any small profile beaver type bait. Depending on how far the matted grass extends from the shoreline you can throw weightless plastics(flukes, senkos, trick worms etc) into the areas where the grass dissipates. 

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 If your bank fishing with a lot of sliimy algae you are very limited as to what will work .  The senko worm Texas rigged without weight is a solid choice . I like to use the Yum Swurm weightless. 

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My home lake is similar.  From shore, I'm limited to Texas rigged plastics, frogs & buzz toads after mid-June.  The lake is heavily settled, so I often target docks.

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Lighter (1/4 -3/8oz) swim jigs dragged over the top, dropped into holes, and yoyo-ed in place.

 

I had a tourney partner clean my clock from the back of my own boat doing that last season while I was frogging. I found it's also an excellent way to catch fish that blow up on the frog and miss. It's become one of my primary techniques when the weeds get thick.

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I punch while bank fishing a lot, I do it just like if I were in a boat. 

 

Plastics anything without a lot of  appendages!

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11 hours ago, Catt said:

I punch while bank fishing a lot, I do it just like if I were in a boat. 

 

Plastics anything without a lot of  appendages!

I’ve never punched before. When doing that from the bank, do you pick up slop every time you retrieve? 

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3 hours ago, Dorado said:

I’ve never punched before. When doing that from the bank, do you pick up slop every time you retrieve? 

 

The key to flipping-n-pitching-n-punching vegetation is to try & stay a vertical as possible.

 

Well that & picking "grass" off your lure!

 

But the results are well worth it 😉

 

 

catchoftheday.jpg

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Most of us start out fishing from the bank and shoreline aquatic plants (weeds) become a problem during the summer period. You usually have some open water or a few open water pockets. 

My 1st lure was a surface weedless spoon Hawiian Wiggler #3 a skirted spoon that swam near the surface and would slide over the top of mats. The Jognson Silver Minnow weedless spoon is still made with a similar action but doesn't have a skirt. The Nemire Red Ripper spoon is weedless and has a short skirt plus a rattle that works good as a sliding on top of mats and swimming in open water pockets like the old #3 Wiggler.

Tom

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13 hours ago, WRB said:

My 1st lure was a surface weedless spoon Hawiian Wiggler #3 a skirted spoon that swam near the surface and would slide over the top of mats. The Jognson Silver Minnow weedless spoon is still made with a similar action but doesn't have a skirt. The Nemire Red Ripper spoon is weedless and has a short skirt plus a rattle that works good as a sliding on top of mats and swimming in open water pockets like the old #3 Wiggler.

  Tom

 

 

61hhA1ktvbL._SL1500_.jpg

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It would be very difficult to punch  in the pond down the street .  Its covered in " gorilla snot' . If thats what you are dealing with keep throwing your weightless senko .

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I've really struggled with this with my local pond over the past year and a half. My fish are picky, like 5 year old chicken nuggets and mac n' cheese picky. It took trying a number of different baits, colors, techniques, and picking off nasty slimy weeds to dial things in.

 

A bluegill chatterbait with a bluegill ragetail menace trailer has been my savior. Start reeling immediately, and give it a quick pop to shake off any gunk collected from entry. Play around with your retrieve and rod angle until you find a speed and position where you feel the vibration and are in contact with the vegetation, but not constantly in the gunk. Pop the rod when the vibration stops, and keep winding away.

 

Although I haven't had a ton of success on it yet, the rage rig has really surprised me with how clean it stays throughout the whole retrieve. Dragging a Zoom lizard across the vegetation and down into holes has also done very well, and was a cheap investment for testing. Punching does work from the bank, but can be very frustrating. Cast to your spot, pause jiggle pause, reel it in and move on to the next hole or spot. Lizards, Senkos, Ragebug/beaver style baits, trick worms, speed worms have seemed to work through the vegetation best. I know a lot of folks recommend swim jigs, and I wouldn't advise against it, but I found them to be the most difficult and biggest cabbage collector of anything I've tried. Good luck, and once you figure some things out, it's incredibly rewarding 😃

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Get some heavy line > a shallow squarebill with oversized treble hooks > make a few casts dragging that slop towards you > this will create some "lanes/edges" you can work some baits thru you may not have been able to before. 

 

Nasty but worth it

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Conditions like that can be a pain when you're bank fishing. For me one of the keys is trying to get the correct angle on the vegetative mass and I'll throw a buzzbait as parallel as I can along the edge of the vegetation.

 

Another option is to toss a Pop-R along the edge of the vegetation and fish it slow to draw them out.

 

Finally, instead of the traditional frog route I sometime prefer to toss a Teckel Sprinker Frog so that the paddle tail splash gets the attention of the bass as I retrieve it over water and then pull it over the matted grass. Once on the matted grass it's a traditional frog with the occasional turn and thump of the paddle tail.

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11 hours ago, wcjohnson said:

I've really struggled with this with my local pond over the past year and a half. My fish are picky, like 5 year old chicken nuggets and mac n' cheese picky. It took trying a number of different baits, colors, techniques, and picking off nasty slimy weeds to dial things in.

Lucky for me, these fish are not very pressured and I've had great success (well great for me) on this lake so far this year.  My last trip out I caught 5 on a senko, 4 on a frog (with about 10 blowups total) and 1 on a swimbait.  I usually average 1-2 fish on the other ponds around here.

 

11 hours ago, BassNJake said:

Get some heavy line > a shallow squarebill with oversized treble hooks > make a few casts dragging that slop towards you > this will create some "lanes/edges" you can work some baits thru you may not have been able to before. 

 

Nasty but worth it

I really never thought of this.  I will definitely give this a try!

 

11 hours ago, Koz said:

Conditions like that can be a pain when you're bank fishing. For me one of the keys is trying to get the correct angle on the vegetative mass and I'll throw a buzzbait as parallel as I can along the edge of the vegetation.

 

Another option is to toss a Pop-R along the edge of the vegetation and fish it slow to draw them out.

Unfortunately there are't many edges I can fish, the grass mat is pretty much a solid wall from 0-3' from the shore out to 20'.  I can cast to the far side of the mat but anything with trebles (and really any exposed hook) is out of the question.  Would a buzzbait drag over the top of the grass mat without picking up vegetables?  Although, I hadn't thought of making my own edges as BassNJake suggested so maybe that could work.

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19 minutes ago, twigss said:

Unfortunately there are't many edges I can fish, the grass mat is pretty much a solid wall from 0-3' from the shore out to 20'.  I can cast to the far side of the mat but anything with trebles (and really any exposed hook) is out of the question.  Would a buzzbait drag over the top of the grass mat without picking up vegetables?  Although, I hadn't thought of making my own edges as BassNJake suggested so maybe that could work.

 

You could throw a buzzbait, but I would take the trailer off. Better yet, throw a buzztoad or the Teckel Sprinker Frog. The Sprinker has the traditional weedless frog hooks.

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rs.php?path=GFLWO-BG-1.jpg&nw=302

 

burn it ...

 

good fishing ...Image result for gambler floating worm

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