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mj

Fighting fish in the weeds with light line...

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Alright, so the other day I went to my local lake to shore fish. This small Minnesota lake is soooooo weedy that it is almost impossible to fish with anything but texas rigged soft jerkbaits or weedless frogs and buzzbaits.   After catching nothing by buzz or frog, I resorted to a jerkbait on a ML spinning rod with 8 lb line, because that was the only way to cast it far enough to get into water where the weeds didnt come all the way to the surface.

On my first cast a nice bass exploded on it, but I wasnt too ready and missed it. on the next cast I managed to hook one about 30 yards from shore, and it immediately got down into the weeds. Im not sure what you would call this kind of vegetation, but its the kind of stuff that you can always easily pull a snag out of normally, and with nasty scum on the surface.

Once the fish was in the weeds and nicely tangled up, the waiting game began. My gear was too light to pull him up and out, so all I could do was sit there, letting up on the tension and giving him just enough slack to work himself free, and then pulling steadilly to try to work him out. I would repeat this process until the fish decided to wiggle out of a tangle.  Of course once he was free again he would head right back down and managed to get stuck 4 different times.

Is there a better way to do this? because working him through those 30 yards took just short of 2 hours!

And heres the kicker: After searching for this sure lunker in a massive ball of vegetation, all I could manage to find was an exhausted 2 lb largemouth.     :D

I could never really tell how big it was because the actual time I spent reeling was about 2 minutes, but I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips for maybe being able to work out fish tangled in thick cover a little quicker.

It was nice to at least get a fish out of the fight, but when my bait was so hot its hard to look back and not think about how much prime time was wasted on this one fish, because afterwards it was 10:45 and pitch black.

thanks-

matt

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Guest ouachitabassangler

You have two ways to get the bass out and a line option plus a bait option.

1. Motor through the slop to the bass, backing in with outboard, or using trolling motor with a weed cutting blade. Get right over the bass and work it out of the weeds. You might have to reach in and grab it.

2. When the slop gets that thick I carry a cane pole that's no less than 2" thick. I raise the motors and pole my way around in the slop. That's a stealthy way to slip up on bass that are used to hearing lots of prop noise.

Use braid. 30# braid will cast a long way on a ML rod. But I'd switch to a heavier rod to prevent rod breakage. You'll still need a medium slow action (fairly soft tip) rod, at least MH in power. If the bass decides to take off after getting a nice rest while you are moving to it you could have a sharp blowup on the light rod, snapping it.

C-rig the light lure into the slop, using the heaviest rod you have, preferably a heavy power fast action (stiff tip) 7' rod and 50# braid for a mainline. You can sling a one ounce Carolina-rig bearing any size lure using the right rod for slop.

Jim

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Theres a lot better ways to do this. Get your self a med heavy to heavy bait caster rod. Then i would get a bait caster with no play in the handle so you can get a good hook set. I would also get a spool of 50-80 lb braid. Most frogs can be casted a great distance even with a med heavy to a heavy rod. Hope this helps.

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thanks for the tips. I have some heavier combos with braid, but for this lighter jerk there was just no way to cast it far enough. Ill try some other lures though. Also, the fact that I was fishing from shore was really the main problem. If i had been in a boat I definately would have at least drifted in there to pull it out.

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One other thing; a fast reel allows you to get the fish up on top where you can keep it out of the weeds. The faster you can get it on top the better off you'll be IMO. Good luck.

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When the fishing is tough one of my favorite techniques is a soft jerkbait on a M spinning outfit with 6 or 8lbs line in weed beds.  When the fish are finicky sometimes they'll take this better than anything else IMHO.

You just have to deal with the fact that you may loose a fish or two with this method, but getting bit and catching fish while loosing a couple is better than not catching any at all.  I agree with some of what was said before.  Sure I'd rather throw braid and jigs/trigs in there but sometimes you have to use finesse.

What I do is when I get a fish on get him up and on top as soon as you can.  I know this goes against what you usually do, which is you want the fish to stay down so it doesnt' jump and throw the hook.  But with light line in weeds I'd rather take the chance of them trowing the hook than burrowing down into the slop.  Besides with a weightless soft plastic jerkbait I rarely have a fish throw it.  I notice too that the fish seem more reluctant to jump in weeds.

If you hook up with a real monster your chances of landing her are probably slim but I've landed 4lbs using this technique.

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Thanks for the help. The reel i was using had a 6.3:1 retrieve speed so it was plenty fast. The fishing was tough, which is why I was using the jerkbait to begin with.

I went back today with a heavy c rig and the same light weight gear for my jerkbait. i tried the carolina first, but with no success so I switched back to the jerkbait and got a few dinks that were no problem to just reel in quickly. the last fish I hooked in to was a little bigger, but he hit it in one of the thinner weeded spots and wasnt a problem.

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You need to use a 30lb braided line, it will cut through the grass and it will cast as far as anything. If you think the fish will see the line you can tie on a 18" leader of Vanish

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you've got some patience at least   :P

i think after 2 minutes i would have tried to horse him out and take the chance on snapping the line

2 hours  :o

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