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Hydrilla Frustration!

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My lake is slowly being taken over by Hydrilla - about a foot below the surface.  (Very thick in pretty clear water)  The water is about 80 degrees here in New England.

I tried wacky rigging a senko under a small bobber and that produced a few, but I didn't care for the presentation.  Using a bobber didn't seem right.

We have been picking up some with soft plastics, but I was wondering if you guys have any other ideas to get the hydrilla gorillas!

All suggestions are welcome.  Thanks in advance.

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Bomber Square A and/ or Norman Fat Boy, retrieved slowly, just above the hydrilla.

Floating Rogue which is kind of a topwater/jerkbait hybrid.

Slug-Go (fluke).

Floating Rapala (steady retrieve with an occasional pause).

I would also try a GYCB Kut-Tail, weightless and fished like a jerkbait, but with more subtle action (slow, steady retrieve with intermittant twitches).

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Punch the grass with heavier tactics.   If the lakes drops, it cause the grass on the surface to be real thick and hard to penatrate.

Try a 1 ounce pegged sinker or florida bullet Texas style.    We pitch the weight straight up into the air to punch the grass.

A heavy jig does the same.    Its not uncommon to fish an ounce and half jig in the grass.    

Once you have penatrated the grass, lift your bait few inches off bottom and give it a shake, repeat couple of times on the lift and shake.   Hit another spot.

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Hydrilla my man is not your enemy, quite the opposite, it 's your friend, all you need is to take a good look with calm at the weedbed, use your powers of observation and you will start noticing things. If the weedbed is a huge expanse of weeds all of the same size with no pockets get out of there, there ain 't nobody there, a quck glance is not good enough you need to take a real good look at the weedbed. Weeds don 't grow just because, emergents like hydrilla only grow under very special conditions, water quality and clarity, depth and bottom composition are key elements in the way weeds grow. Weeds grow only as deep as there 's enough light to support them, weeds grow only if the water quality is good, weeds grow only if the substrate ( bottom composition ) is adequate otherwise they either don 't gro or grow stunted. Casting a bait on a weedbed without thorough study of the weedbed is just a waste of time, you 'll be casting to nothing and nothing will hit it.

Stand up on your boat and look at the weedbed, look for:

1.- "pockets": you can differentiate pockets from the rest of the weedbed because they look different, you can see "holes" that can be only a couple of feet wide up to several feet wide, those pockets are caused by either greater depth in that area or different bottom composition, something is stunting the growth of the weeds in that area, COVER ON STRUCTURE. If you see holes cast past the hole and retrieve towards the hole then drop your bait as soon as you reach the edge of the hole.

2.- points: just like you look for points in the lake weeds also create points, those points are formed because the water around is deeper or has different bottom composition, COVER ON STRUCTURE again.

3.- eddies: if there 's current eddies will form around the weeds, it doesn 't necessarily mean current as in a river, wind also causes that effect, wind and current are elements of cover, COVER ON STRUCTURE.

Topwaters, súper shallow runners, lightly weighted or weightless soft plastics, spinnerbaits all of them are good baits for fishing the salad.

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Raul said it best. Think pockets, potholes, and points. If I were to fish your lake, I would make trips around first and last light for a little finesse fishing.  Wacky-rigged or weightless t-rigged senko or trick worm is never a bad starting bait. 2 under-utilized baits for this kind of lake is the zoom speed craw and speed worm. Throw in the horny-toad and have a zoom trifector.

Some hard baits to consider are the LC LV-0(surface trap), LC flat cb medium runner, LC pointer SR, LC slender pointer, LC splash-tail, or a Yellow Magic popper. Many different baits will work in that lake. You just need to expand your thinking and do a some experimenting.

And remember hydrilla provides a sanctuary for every living organism in that lake. :)  

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Rapala floaters. Fish 'em real slow and near death...the action of a dyin' minnow, I mean. Don't over do it. Try a blue / shad on cloudy days.

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I agree with Raul on every thing said.    Our waters were up on most resorvoirs coming out of spring and the grass was coming to the surface nicely.    Those pocket was visible early on and bass have been there.    

As summer presses on and rains are far and few between, the lakes drop fast and the grass mats on the surface get thick and the pockets disappear.   Those mats are great canopy's in the summer and bass are homesteading in the thick stuff.

That is why pitching some weight into the air penatrates better than other presentations.

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Guest the_muddy_man

T-Rigged worms work for me However you have to trim all your knots close and tight otherwise you will be dragging a lot of the hydrilla with your rig

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Some outstanding replies so far. In addition to what some have said already I would add this:

When fishing thick grass I like baits with no appendages, no curly tails. Just plain jane straight baits such as a trick worm or centipede. Why? Because those baits will slide down through the grass better then a brush hog, lizard, curly tail, u-tale, craw anyday. Plus you won't have to use quite as heavy a weight either. But make sure the weight is attached to the hook or bait. Can be superglued if no Florida type weight is in your area. Just superglue the weight to the plastic bait not the line. Poke a tooth pick into the head of the weight to help also. Break it off so it is flush with the weight.

No one mentioned a buzzbait. Not sure why but buzzbaits work awesome over thick grass. It really calls them out of that grass to the top.

Personally I like change that I LOVE fishing thick hydrilla beds right smack dab in the middle of the hot sunny summer day. It is as predictable as any other pattern you can come up with. Bass will bury themselves down in the thickest grass in deep water you can find. Sometimes in not so deep water. Rememeber this too. If the Hydrilla is matted is it matted because it is longer then the water column and bends over? If so, you have a canopy that will hold fish under it. By dropping your bait at the edge of this you might not get bit as the Bass may not venture over there to get it. However punch down through that top canopy as close to the stalks and be ready. If it is matted without forming a canopy ie it is thick everywhere then look for the pot holes as one so adequetly mentioned earlier.  In that case find sparser grass and I believe you will do better.

Also, make sure you are using braided line. or high 17lb mono or bigger with a stiff 7' rod. Catching the fish is half the battle fighting them out of that stuff is the other.

Good luck.

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TOPWATER all day. toads

yep, that's what i was gonna say. for toad colors try a white zoom horny toad.

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