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JBT1981

Weedless bass lures aren't

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Nothing is 100% weedless, I get that. But when I bank fish for bass, I always bring back more 'salad' than fish. Weedless Ned rigs, lipless crankbaits, jitterbugs; unless I'm using a Pad Crasher frog or getting bluegill with a bobber, my lures get pretty fouled up with vegetation.

Short of buying a boat to get away from the banks, how do I avoid the weeds I get caught up on?

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A weightless soft stickbait....Texas rigged with the swivel keeping it in place has been working best for me in a shallow grassy pond I've been hitting after work.

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Weightless soft plastics and topwaters are the best way to avoid brining up weeds.

If something has a wire guard I look at it more like I'm going to be able to fend off wood, rocks, and other hard debris, but not vegetation. 

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3 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

Weightless soft plastics and topwaters are the best way to avoid brining up weeds.

If something has a wire guard I look at it more like I'm going to be able to fend off wood, rocks, and other hard debris, but not vegetation. 

Yeah, the wire guard ned rig heads advertised as weedless have so far been a no-go for me.

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1 minute ago, JBT1981 said:

Yeah, the wire guard ned rig heads advertised as weedless have so far been a no-go for me.

They are amazing for me in my rocky river. If I use the ones without the guard I get snagged almost instantly. Around grass and other vegetation wire guards won't prevent it from bringing that crap up. I view wire guards more of a deflection off the hard stuff my hook would otherwise dig in to.

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I wanted to use something with a rattle or really anything that will draw attention to the lure since right now the water is so muddy.

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4 hours ago, JBT1981 said:

Nothing is 100% weedless, I get that. But when I bank fish for bass, I always bring back more 'salad' than fish. Weedless Ned rigs, lipless crankbaits, jitterbugs; unless I'm using a Pad Crasher frog or getting bluegill with a bobber, my lures get pretty fouled up with vegetation.

Short of buying a boat to get away from the banks, how do I avoid the weeds I get caught up on?

Weedless Ned rigs (jig), lipless crankbaits are not intended to be weedless, jitterbugs with treble hooks never were weedless. 

Weed guards protect the hook point only, weeds/grass is collected by your line wrapping around the front of the lure, unless it's bullet shape to let stuff slide off it collects on the front. To remove what collects on the front of lures you need to clean off during the retrieve by ripping it or gently jiggling the lure. What collects on the hooks can be reduced by weed guards. Surface lures with hook on top of the lure that also have weed guards are your best weedless lures because they slide over the top weeds/grass.

Options; buzz baits, weedless spoons like Johnson Silver minnow, grass jigs bullet shaped in lieu of mushroom(Ned) heads, weedless rigged soft plastics.

Tom

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Every little bit helps. Try using a peg stop in front of any exposed knot. I use them on spinnerbait/chatterbaits and cranks.

823.JPG

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I have a weedy pond on my home from work as well, flukes and senkos are about the only successful things I've found to fish

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Well... the lures you describe should do the trick. It sounds like you need to fish more deftly. What this means is:

-Right weight lure for water depth, so it doesn't crash or bury.

-Right type and diameter line to balance that lure weight. Fluorocarbon lines sink, nylons are buoyant, and braids float. Thin lines will allow the lure to plummet faster. Thicker lines buoy them up.

-Know how deep your lure is. Best way to familiarize yourself is to do this where you can see it -clear water so you can see how deep your lure and line combo's get as you fish them. This "knowing where your lure is", sight-unseen, is also how you map out the water in front of you as you work a lure, allowing you to ID where trouble spots are. You can then avoid, or even fish, them.

-Maybe the biggest issue can be trying to yank your lure through when you feel or suspect weeds. Frustration will kill you; The weeds will win. If you yank, you're setting the hook into those weeds and will have a mess. Fish deftly through weeds. Walk the bait through. Don't yank, unless you know the coast is clear (see "mapping the water" above).

-Lastly, some weeds are easier to fish through than others. Some are solid enough to walk through, even bounce off of, pretty well. Others, are impossible.

 

If you can do these things, you can fish in the weeds, and enjoy it!

 

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No lure is truly weedless. Weedless just means it was designed to come through the weeds as best it can. 

At every lake I fish there's parts where not even a spinnerbait would come through without a clump of salad on it. Either I use a frog here, or a punching rig / flipping rig. 

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Do you know what kind of weed you are dealing with ?  If its Chara, You will probably need to go with  a weightless  worm or frog . There are no other choices that I know of . I fish around and over it with a spinnerbait and buzzbait but not through it . Thats from a boat though . 

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2 hours ago, JBT1981 said:

Short of buying a boat to get away from the banks, how do I avoid the weeds I get caught up on?

From what I've seen at the lake I fish, 99% of people with boats still only fish the banks. A boat's just going to put you on the other side.

 

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light weight spinnerbaits fished over the weeds... light weight sled rigged plastic fished slowly through the weeds.

 

oe

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

Johnson Silver minnow,

Tied on, not with a snap, is the most weedless lure ever invented.  It works really well crawling over lily pads, too.  I had forgotten it, nice catch, Tom.  Gotta find some real white pork strips!  The kind in the jar that has the cap that rusts on when you don't use them for a while.  So soft they do not catch any vegetation, just fish.

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5 hours ago, JBT1981 said:

I wanted to use something with a rattle or really anything that will draw attention to the lure since right now the water is so muddy.

Insert worm rattles in your plastics? 

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Bury the hook point back into your plastics the best you can. This will help make regular plastics mostly weedless.

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So I spent a few hours at a lake today with my MH baitcaster, some 20# mono, a 3/0 EWG hook and a slew of 5" plastic worms. I'm only now trying to catch something other than panfish, so I haven't really messed with a Texas rig. 

It performed very well in the veg! I had three strikes on it from under the algae piles it was sitting on (I missed due to early hook sets, I think), but I was able to catch a largemouth with that setup! 

 

Going back to the idea of making noise: I'd read that some people set up a Texas rig with a bead between the eye of the hook and the bullet weight to make a slight noise. Any thoughts?

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4 hours ago, scaleface said:

Do you know what kind of weed you are dealing with ?  If its Chara, You will probably need to go with  a weightless  worm or frog . There are no other choices that I know of . I fish around and over it with a spinnerbait and buzzbait but not through it . Thats from a boat though . 

No, I'm not really sure. I'll have to look around on Google.

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1 hour ago, JBT1981 said:

So I spent a few hours at a lake today with my MH baitcaster, some 20# mono, a 3/0 EWG hook and a slew of 5" plastic worms. I'm only now trying to catch something other than panfish, so I haven't really messed with a Texas rig. 

It performed very well in the veg! I had three strikes on it from under the algae piles it was sitting on (I missed due to early hook sets, I think), but I was able to catch a largemouth with that setup! 

 

Going back to the idea of making noise: I'd read that some people set up a Texas rig with a bead between the eye of the hook and the bullet weight to make a slight noise. Any thoughts?

Yep! I use a brass bullet weight and a glass bead rigged just like you said, it takes away from the weedless factor a little, but it does at noise. 

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53 minutes ago, JBT1981 said:

So I spent a few hours at a lake today with my MH baitcaster, some 20# mono, a 3/0 EWG hook and a slew of 5" plastic worms. I'm only now trying to catch something other than panfish, so I haven't really messed with a Texas rig. 

It performed very well in the veg! I had three strikes on it from under the algae piles it was sitting on (I missed due to early hook sets, I think), but I was able to catch a largemouth with that setup! 

 

Going back to the idea of making noise: I'd read that some people set up a Texas rig with a bead between the eye of the hook and the bullet weight to make a slight noise. Any thoughts?

When you say 5" plastic worm, what worm?

3/0 EWG hook is a big hook for any 5" worm, 20 lb mono is heavy line for bass fishing T-rigs, especially small soft plastic worms. Standard MH bass rods bottom out at 4-5 lbs lifting weight.

I am not a fan of heavy 3/0 EWG hooks for T-rigs.

Brass n glass the painted brass bullet weight and 8mm tempered glass faceted bead is a good combo. 

4 1/2" to 6" worms are finesse size usually used with smaller lighter wire hooks 1/0 or 2/0 size, 1/8 to 1/4 oz weights using 8 lb to 12 lb mono or FC line.

Tom

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There's only two ways to fish vegetation, above it or below it!

 

I prefer Texas Rigged plastics because of their versatility. It's common practice to fish weightless plastics in vegetation but many times I'll go weighted up to 1/8-1/4 oz. It's heavy enough to flip-n-pitch to holes in the cover but I can still buzz it on top like a frog.

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

When you say 5" plastic worm, what worm?

Gary Yamasenkos. Green pumpkin with a red flake.

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7 hours ago, JBT1981 said:

I wanted to use something with a rattle or really anything that will draw attention to the lure since right now the water is so muddy.

Teckel Sprinker Frog

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Weedless is a very misleading term. Most often when a fishing lure is described as "weedless", it's not really very "weedless" at all, but actually snag resistant. 

 

Just the nature of vegetation makes it impossible for any bait to come through them very well unless it avoids them completely because they'll either wrap around the line and follow the line down bait and drape over the top of the bait, or they'll wrap around the bait itself when it drops down into the weeds. Any bait that rotates will often foul easier because it wraps the weeds around itself and fouls. This is why most baits that work well for fishing down in vegetation have very few moving parts and appendages. 

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