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FatBoy

coontail?

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This time of year here in central Illinois all the ponds are FILLED with coontail.  This stuff is bad!  It's very thick, winding, vine-like weed.  It comes up to within a foot of the surface or even closer.  

Any tips for fishing in this stuff?

I can't tell if there's open space below the part that I can see.  If there is, I guess I can punch through a jig or heavy t-rig.  Does anybody know if that's possible with coontail?

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Just to be sure we're both on the same page, the scientific name for coontail

is "Ceratophyllum demersum". It's a very widespread weed, for example,

I've fished it extensively in the Thousand Islands district of the St Lawrence River, New York,

and have also seen coontail in Lake Okeechobee, Florida.

It's considered to be a beneficial plant, but as you suggest, it can be tough to fish.

The problem being, coontail is an "unrooted" plant and when it gets fouled on the lure,

the whole stem is coming back to the boat. I've retrieved stalks of coontail

from the St Lawrence River that measured 16 feet in length!

It's usually better to bypass areas where it grows to the surface, and find open water. Although coontail is unrooted, it will stop aggregating at a given depth,

and the "deep weed line" is typically pay dirt. Wherever coontail falls short of the surface,

subsurface lures can be worked in the corridor between the top of the weed bed

and the water's surface.

      Actually, gamefish are not particularly fond of the heaviest weed thickets

but prefer patchy weed growth with an irregular weed line and variable height.

In my opinion, the best lure for working smack in the coontail is a 1/2 oz swim jig,

for instance the Outkast Swim Jig with the trailer of your choice. When you feel the

added resistance of coontail, snapping the lure sharply will usually rip the weeds off the jig.

It's really worth the effort because bass, pike and muskellunge all love coontail.

Roger

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Guest the_muddy_man

We have that stuff growin in NE Pennsylvania its in Mauch Chunk Lake and IT HOLDS BASS BIG TIME

 Good spots for weedless t rigged senkos ;)

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When I encounter weeds I resort to floating lures.

I read an article a while back that talked about using drop shot rigs with weedless worms and tubes but I haven't had the opportunity to try it out.

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Just to be sure we're both on the same page, the scientific name for coontail

is "Ceratophyllum demersum". It's a very widespread weed, for example,

I've fished it extensively in the Thousand Islands district of the St Lawrence River, New York,

and have also seen coontail in Lake Okeechobee, Florida.

It's considered to be a beneficial plant, but as you suggest, it can be tough to fish.

The problem being, coontail is an "unrooted" plant and when it gets fouled on the lure,

the whole stem is coming back to the boat. I've retrieved stalks of coontail

from the St Lawrence River that measured 16 feet in length!

It's usually better to bypass areas where it grows to the surface, and find open water. Although coontail is unrooted, it will stop aggregating at a given depth,

and the "deep weed line" is typically pay dirt. Wherever coontail falls short of the surface,

subsurface lures can be worked in the corridor between the top of the weed bed

and the water's surface.

      Actually, gamefish are not particularly fond of the heaviest weed thickets

but prefer patchy weed growth with an irregular weed line and variable height.

In my opinion, the best lure for working smack in the coontail is a 1/2 oz swim jig,

for instance the Outkast Swim Jig with the trailer of your choice. When you feel the

added resistance of coontail, snapping the lure sharply will usually rip the weeds off the jig.

It's really worth the effort because bass, pike and muskellunge all love coontail.

Roger

Need anyone say more?

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Yep, Roger, that's the stuff.  Like you said, when you snag some it's usually a BIG piece.  It's nice to know that bass like this stuff.  I'll have to try getting a jig down in there.

Thanks!

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you could also go topwater if you get there eraly or later in the day and see if any of the nice bass will come up from outta that thick stuff. That's what I would do just because I can't stand all the coontail coming into the boat.

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The section of resaca that I fish most often is about a half of a mile long, in the middle there is a 100yd stretch or so of dense coontail.  The stuff is so thick that it comes out of the water about 1/2 an inch. (pics of the area are in most of my recent posts in the My Fishing Tournament or Outing section:

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1155866776

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1154940532

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1154570324

I was pretty intimidated by the density of this stuff, but the action I would see in it was to hot to ignore.  The bass love this stuff, other species of panfish and baitfish thrive in this stuff, and it provides the bass with an excellent place to hide and ambush their prey.

For me, buzzbaits are the weapon of choice.  The single, upturned hook is almost 100% weedless in the coontail.  Stay clear of anything w/ a treble hook for sure, or you'll be puling up 20lbs of the stuff.  If you are going to throw a jig, stick to the edges of the vegitation, to avoid foul-ups.  In my experience, few things work well in this environment.  Poppers will work, so long as the coontail is far enough beneath the surface of the water to allow clearance for the hooks.  I'm not sure of the formation of the colonies in your body of water, but in mine, there are clear (or significantly less dense) areas between the thicker patches.  Through these you can run shallow cranks, suspending jerks, and floating Rat-L-Traps pretty well.  The stuff is a pain in the butt to fish in, but it just may be a pandora's box of nice bass.  Good luck.

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Guest avid

BAss love coontail.  I used to fish a johnson silver minnow with a curly tail trailer and did very well.

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When the coontail is at least several inches from the surface, I've had good success with super flukes as well. Bass and pickerel will pop out of the coontail and grab them as they zigzag by.

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BAss love coontail.  I used to fish a johnson silver minnow with a curly tail trailer and did very well.

The lake that I fished when growing up has coontail all over it.  We always fished johnson silver minnows and caught lots of bass, too.  I also used rapala floaters over the top and rapala countdowns in the gaps.  I fished this lake again with my Dad this spring and we caught quite a few healthy bass using rapalas and super flukes.  This lake has never failed to produce.  It is so thick with coontail that many people avoid it.  Don't avoid coontail.  It's a bass haven.  

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ive snorkled around coontail and it sustains a lot of fish and bass like alot of fish. you just got to be there when their cruisin the strip.ive accually seen a strike right underneath me while watching. their not as shy as some might think.

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