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Catt

Grass-N-Bass

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The reasons most anglers are unsuccessful at fishing is they lack the patience required to be productive. They watch television shows which do not show the hours spent to produce a single bass, even the coverage of Pro Tournaments. To put it into prospective let's say KVD fishes for 8 hours to catch his 5 bass limit that's 96 minutes per bass or a little over 1 ½ hours. Most angles give up on their bait selection, technique, or area long before either can be productive.  Fishing grass like any type of cover you may work 70 yards or 700 yards to locate the fish but when you do hang on!

To effectively fish grass one should use techniques that keep your bait in contact with the bottom. Am I saying top water baits, spinner baits, or crank baits will no produce; absolutely not. It is however a proven fact that Texas Rigs, Carolina Rigs, or Jig-N-Craws will out produces the other 3 hands down in both quality and quantity.

The first key zone to explore is the edge of the grass since we all know that bass like edges, the second key zone is the sparse area from the edge towards the matted area which is in fact another type of edge, and the third zone is the matted area itself.

Some areas to key on are points formed by the grass, cuts, guts and ditches that run through the grass, and little areas of isolated, clumped up grass.

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Agree totally with you Catt, and when fishing the outside edges, I like to lighten up on weight and slow down so that I can intentionally bump the bait down the grass edge carefully and not get tangled in it too much so that when the bait reaches the bottom it is "right in the strike zone", the outside grass edge where it meets the bottom. This is definitely a slower approach because you are feeling your way down to the most productive spot, but it is absolutely the best way to catch, not just more fish, but more quality fish in grass. The biggest fish in the grass will most always take up the best real estate to ambush and feed from and that is most often the edges of grass to open water.  Edges are created just as you said by open pockets, ditches, points and thick mats. Absolutely one of my favorite patterns to fish. Are we giving away too many secrets here?  

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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Believe it or not....I was fishing grass yesterday evening, caught 2 small bass on junebug carolina rig and changed to a shallow crankbait and nothing. Went to spinner bait also nothing. Even threw ol'faithful sammy. Went back to junebug and started catching more fish. Your post on fishing grass confirmed I just might be on right track.

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I'm not very patient thanks for the advice.

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Good post, but I have a few questions.

When you say that you need to have patience, I assume that means fishing the bait slow along the bottom.  But what does fishing "slow" really mean?  Does that mean that the retrieve is slow and the presentation (however effected) is also slow?  Also, with having patience, does that mean that you stick to one area for some unknown period of time?  At what point do you change bait type and color?  At what point do you decide to move to another area?

I am not the most talented fisherman.  However, I will work a small cove (about 2 or 3 acres) for a couple of hours using different baits from spinnerbaits, cranks, topwaters and senkos.  Is this the level of patience you would expect?

I hope you do not consider this a hijack of your thread.  Thanks for any guidance you can give.

Tom

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GREAT post and insight/advice, Catt!!! THANKS! Sure would like to see a LOT more like this one from the more knowledgeable guys and gals on the BR forums.

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Hey Catt, I was really paying attn. earlier   ;D

Forgot who I was responding to. Must have been concentrating on that barbecued chicken lunch. Come to think of it, it was pretty tasty.

Big O

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good stuff catt.  thanks.

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Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay.

I have struggled with a proper way to explain this where everyone can relate to and understand it. I know for a fact grass flats hold huge quantities of bass, I also know for a fact grass flats hold huge quantities of large bass. What makes grass flats difficult to fish is the fact that the bass can not see my bait from a distance even if the water has a visibility of say 15-20'. This means I have to put my bait in close proximity to the bass before the bass can become aware of the presents on my bait; meaning I have to almost hit them on the head. This is where patience come into play is; I have to saturate the entire grass edge or mat with numerous flips, pitches, or cast to get bit. Once you do catch one bass the odds are extremely high you will catch many more from the same area.

A day on the flat with Catt :)

I simply pitch/flip my bait to a near vertical presentation. My main objective is to keep my bait in contact with the bottom at all times; after making a pitch/flip I will strip about 3 or 4 arms lengths of line letting my bait fall near straight down. Then I shake my bait to make sure it has not stopped on the grass stems.

With my bait now resting on the bottom I pause several seconds and the shake my bait once or twice with pauses between each. If no strike is detected simply reel up & pitch/flip again moving locations about 20 ft from the previous. I do not pitch/flip only straight in front of the boat instead I cover the left and right sides as well.

Once I get bite quickly kick or toss a buoy marker over board because fish on grass flats tend to school up so when you catch one there is usually more. Circle the buoy in increasing diameters & depths working the jig slowly.

I once worked a grass flat 7-8 hours with out so much as a bump only to catch nine 6 lb + bass in under 30 minutes.

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i know many people have said this but thanks a lot for the post. it is very informative and has helped me out a lot with understanding grass fishing.

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Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay.

I have struggled with a proper way to explain this where everyone can relate to and understand it. I know for a fact grass flats hold huge quantities of bass, I also know for a fact grass flats hold huge quantities of large bass. What makes grass flats difficult to fish is the fact that the bass can not see my bait from a distance even if the water has a visibility of say 15-20'. This means I have to put my bait in close proximity to the bass before the bass can become aware of the presents on my bait; meaning I have to almost hit them on the head. This is where patience come into play is; I have to saturate the entire grass edge or mat with numerous flips, pitches, or cast to get bit. Once you do catch one bass the odds are extremely high you will catch many more from the same area.

A day on the flat with Catt :)

I simply pitch/flip my bait to a near vertical presentation. My main objective is to keep my bait in contact with the bottom at all times; after making a pitch/flip I will strip about 3 or 4 arms lengths of line letting my bait fall near straight down. Then I shake my bait to make sure it has not stopped on the grass stems.

With my bait now resting on the bottom I pause several seconds and the shake my bait once or twice with pauses between each. If no strike is detected simply reel up & pitch/flip again moving locations about 20 ft from the previous. I do not pitch/flip only straight in front of the boat instead I cover the left and right sides as well.

Once I get bite quickly kick or toss a buoy marker over board because fish on grass flats tend to school up so when you catch one there is usually more. Circle the buoy in increasing diameters & depths working the jig slowly.

I once worked a grass flat 7-8 hours with out so much as a bump only to catch nine 6 lb + bass in under 30 minutes.

Catt, I would love to fish with you. I too like to fish the grass and I have found that finding scattered patches 10-100 yards out from the deeper edges will hold a lot of big bass and most do not take the time and effort to locate them. I have put many 20+ bags on the scales by locating the isolotated patches that most will not look for.

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i totally agree,but would like to add something.several of the lakes im fishin has some good stands of young hydrilla that is 3 to 4' tall in 6 to 7' of water.this leave about 3 to 4' from the surface.i tx. fish these lakes every weekend and on tues. nites,so, covering water is imperative to try and find fish.traps,spinner biats,and shallow cranks work at times and sometimes are whats necessary,but for me i consistently find and catch fish w/ a modified c- rig w/ a ultravibe speed worm.i use a 1/8 oz. rattlin florida rig weight w/ the rubber insert above a 18'' swivel and a zoom speed worm.i cast it out and let it settle on the grass and then give it a little pop reel a couple ft. and repeat process.i feel the rattlin weight and the vibe tail draw them uop out of the grass.at times i use a 1/4 oz. swimmin jig w/ a ultravibe speed craw w/ good success. once i locate fish then i work the area w/

verticle and bottom bumpin techniques to see if they are congregated.

just a twist to locating fish in the grass!

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As much as I love fishing I love teaching just as much; I love seeing that little light go off in someone's mind. Lately I've been teaching my youngest son the fine art of the Texas Rig and I think the light finally is starting to flip on.

If anyone wants to add commits on their techniques please feel free to do so, I will never feel like someone is high jacking my topic by adding their point of view or asking questions.

Now let's look at baits

I start by targeting the scatter clumps, then the actual weed line, and then sparse area between the edge and mat. My weapon of choice is of course a Texas Rig be it a worm, creature, or craw worm. The #1 complaint I hear is my bait stays hung too much aggravating me to no end. When I do get hung I will simply rock my bait kind of like you would when trying to make a worm flip over a tree limb. How hard I rock it depends on how hung up it is, some times it'll only require 2 or 3 times. The reason behind this is similar to ripping a Trap out of the grass because many times this rocking action will alert bass to you bait and the moment the bait clears the grass the bass will attack.

Fishing grass is an excellent time to think about using a lubricant to help your plastic come through the grass easier, there are dozen of choices out there so pick one and use it. I use Fish Formula II or Baitmate (clear) with a ½ oz of pure anise oil added.

Depending on the thickness of the grass, how much wind is blowing, and water will determine what size weight I'll use. I prefer to start with a 3/16 oz bullet weight and move up as conditions require. I do not pig my weight ever because when I feel the need to keep my weight and bait together I'll switch to a Jig-N-Craw.

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Thanks alot Catt. I've been waiting for a post like this. My local lake is FULL of vegetation. My problem is finding the edge of the mats. I watch my depth finder, and it just seems like it's everywhere to me!!! Any suggestions? Thans again!!!!

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Thanks Catt. Here's how I approach the day fishing the grass:

Early I will fish topwaters, spinnerbaits(I especiall like to find a wall and cast parrallel), and get behind it and throw out away from it and throw a S/B out into open water and run it up to the line and kill it. Also do that with plastics. I tend to key on ditches and drains and creeks. On Rayburn there are a lot of deep creeks with grass out deep on the edges. I like to fish these with a worm or crawworm as the sun gets up. Mid day and bright sun I tend to still kee on the same areas; however, I will switch to a jig and crash the grass mats and work the deeper outer edges. I just have a lot of confidence with the jig and I will fish most plastics vertically.  

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Hey guys what about lilly patches. I was fishing one the other day and caught one 2lber. I was using a 3'' weightless T rig Trick Stick and 3/o gama EWG hook. I kept getting tangeled though in the lillys. id there a bait that works best for this situation or tecknique I could use? I also tried the brush babys a few bited but missed the set. What about the * for LMB should I try this bait?

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Hey, Catt.  Thank you for the information.  Your follow-up posts give me a much better idea of how to work an area and find the patience for the time expended.

Wish I could fish with you so I could learn some refined techniques and have the light go on.  Besides, fishing TB would be an experience I would not forget.  Thanks again.

Tom

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Hey guys what about lilly patches. I was fishing one the other day and caught one 2lber. I was using a 3'' weightless T rig Trick Stick and 3/o gama EWG hook. I kept getting tangeled though in the lillys. id there a bait that works best for this situation or tecknique I could use? I also tried the brush babys a few bited but missed the set. What about the * for LMB should I try this bait?

Trying tickin those lily pads with a spinnerbait. Hold on.  :)

Same with downed trees or other plant life. Hit those edges with a double willow in white or white/chartruse. You'll git bit good. Just another option for you. ;)

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How do you go about fishing a lake where slimy weeds cover literally every square inch of the bottom and stick to anything that goes near them?

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Hey guys what about lilly patches. I was fishing one the other day and caught one 2lber. I was using a 3'' weightless T rig Trick Stick and 3/o gama EWG hook. I kept getting tangeled though in the lillys. id there a bait that works best for this situation or tecknique I could use? I also tried the brush babys a few bited but missed the set. What about the * for LMB should I try this bait?

Trying tickin those lily pads with a spinnerbait. Hold on.

Same with downed trees or other plant life. Hit those edges with a double willow in white or white/chartruse. You'll git bit good. Just another option for you.

Hey Buddy thank you would buzz bait work in this area?

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How do you go about fishing a lake where slimy weeds cover literally every square inch of the bottom and stick to anything that goes near them?

I was fishing the same 2 days ago and I used Trick sticks and brush babys

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How do you go about fishing a lake where slimy weeds cover literally every square inch of the bottom and stick to anything that goes near them?

Welcome aboard!

Here's your answer:

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1180909581

8-)

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For those using Senko style baits in vegetation, just put the hook in the skinny end instead of the blunt fat end. It will hang up less in grass and pads.

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