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Specifics on how you work a soft plastics in submerged vegitation

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Im going on my 3rd year of really bass fishing.  One thing I have learned/matured in is learning to fish the submerged grass versus just the visible target grass/weeds.  I fish in Central FL so most lakes have a ring of vegitation around the edge.  Its very easy to only fish/flip that but I have discovered the fish are often in the stuff you cant see outside/deeper from that grass.

When fishing that sumberged, short vegitation (12-24 inch stuff) with say a texas rigged soft plastic...how do you work the bait?

Usually I will drag it with the rod tip, maybe kinda hop it a little and then pause but then I start thinking...well I am probably just dragging it though the grass on the bottom.  I get some fish this way...are they just coming up and picking it up off the bottom?  I dont think of bass as bottom feeders...so then I start thinking maybe I should be repeatedly picking it up and letting it fall (with my rod tip up).  Seems like that is mainly what I see in the bass TV shows...rod tip up then they get a hit, reel down and set the hook.

How do you fish submerged grass?  What do you envision your texas rigged plastic is doing down there?  When are the fish hitting it (on the fall, on the rise, as it drops and sits on the bottom?

I guess I usually drag it with both texas rig and carolina rig but maybe I am not doing it right.

Lets discuss.

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My 3 favorite ways to work submerged grass are....

1.  Split-shot rig.  I like a 1/32 or 1/64oz water gremlin bullshot weight and I use a Gamakatsu 1/0 ewg hook.  It's a super finesse rig that the fish can't stand.  It has a real natural fall and movement when you barely twitch it.  Plus, because it's so light it won't burry down in the grass.  I like using a straight tailed worm like the *** Finesse worm.

2.  Wacky rigged cigar type worm like the *** Trick Stick.  Pop this thing on a 2/0 Gamakatsu Widegap Finesse hook and your in business.  I throw this when I think the fish are suspended over the grass.  When it falls past their faces, they are done.

3.  GYCB Swimmin' Senko.  Take this bait and swim it over the top of the vegetation, and then kill it when you get to a hole or other oddity.  The Swimmin Senko slays the fish because you basically have a weedless crankbait, and when you kill it, it falls just like a regular senko style bait.

I know you said you only want advice on soft plastics, but I gotta ask if you've tried lipless crankbaits?  If you haven't go pick up some Spro Aruku Shads and rip it through the grass......and hold on.

Hope this helps man.  Good luck.

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Good links.  So when you are going from 3oclock to 2 to 1 to 12 are you piking the bait up and letting it fall or doing it slow enough to drag it?

Last Sat I caught 3 dragging it with the rod tip to the side in a sweeping motion but I couldnt help to think about the fishing shows how their rods are always straight in front of them more like the 3,2,1,12 oclock described.

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My 3 favorite ways to work submerged grass are....

1. Split-shot rig. I like a 1/32 or 1/64oz water gremlin bullshot weight and I use a Gamakatsu 1/0 ewg hook. It's a super finesse rig that the fish can't stand. It has a real natural fall and movement when you barely twitch it. Plus, because it's so light it won't burry down in the grass. I like using a straight tailed worm like the *** Finesse worm.

2. Wacky rigged cigar type worm like the *** Trick Stick. Pop this thing on a 2/0 Gamakatsu Widegap Finesse hook and your in business. I throw this when I think the fish are suspended over the grass. When it falls past their faces, they are done.

3. GYCB Swimmin' Senko. Take this bait and swim it over the top of the vegetation, and then kill it when you get to a hole or other oddity. The Swimmin Senko slays the fish because you basically have a weedless crankbait, and when you kill it, it falls just like a regular senko style bait.

I know you said you only want advice on soft plastics, but I gotta ask if you've tried lipless crankbaits? If you haven't go pick up some Spro Aruku Shads and rip it through the grass......and hold on.

Hope this helps man. Good luck.

1) When you use a splitshot, how do you work the rod? Same as a texas rig or more of a side/twitching motion?

Do you use it on a baitcaster or spinning reel? I cant get a splitshot to cast on a baitcaster, only a spinning rod which makes me warry of using it. I guess Im paranoid that someday the big one will catch me on 10 or 12lb monofilament in weeds/sticks and Ill end up loosing a fish of a lifetime. Im much more confident on my baitcasters with 50lb braid and 20lb florocarbon leader.

2) I do use lipless crank baits a good bit and Ive heard everyone say to "rip it over the vegitation" but what about all the junk you get on there? Every time I get it to the boat it has vegitation hanging or is completly balled up in weeds. Do you just ignore that and keep pulling it off before casting back out or is there some trick I am missing?  Maybe I should learn to be more aware of how deep I am fishing it and keep it closer to the tops of the weeds.  Thats can be hard...maybe part of the learning curve.

3) I use stick baits all the time, love em. Lost my biggest fish on one over submerged grass. Casted out, bent over to get a swig of water and looked up to see the biggest bass Ive ever seen in real life (at least 8lbs is my guess) coming out of the water shaking its head with a senko. As I frantically tried to take up the slack I saw the senko with hook fly out of its mouth and splash about 2 feet away from the fish. To add insult to injury it swirled and did a little half hop again just to re-affirm that it was gigantic. I let loose a triad of cuss words and almost threw my rod in the water before I came to. A guy down the way that was pretty close by when it happend trolled past a little later and said "man, that was a big fish ya lost there, that thing musta been 10lbs!" :'(

Oddly enough that incident probably drives me to fish longer and harder than all the ones I have landed :)

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My 3 favorite ways to work submerged grass are....

1. Split-shot rig. I like a 1/32 or 1/64oz water gremlin bullshot weight and I use a Gamakatsu 1/0 ewg hook. It's a super finesse rig that the fish can't stand. It has a real natural fall and movement when you barely twitch it. Plus, because it's so light it won't burry down in the grass. I like using a straight tailed worm like the *** Finesse worm.

2. Wacky rigged cigar type worm like the *** Trick Stick. Pop this thing on a 2/0 Gamakatsu Widegap Finesse hook and your in business. I throw this when I think the fish are suspended over the grass. When it falls past their faces, they are done.

3. GYCB Swimmin' Senko. Take this bait and swim it over the top of the vegetation, and then kill it when you get to a hole or other oddity. The Swimmin Senko slays the fish because you basically have a weedless crankbait, and when you kill it, it falls just like a regular senko style bait.

I know you said you only want advice on soft plastics, but I gotta ask if you've tried lipless crankbaits? If you haven't go pick up some Spro Aruku Shads and rip it through the grass......and hold on.

Hope this helps man. Good luck.

1) When you use a splitshot, how do you work the rod? Same as a texas rig or more of a side/twitching motion?

Do you use it on a baitcaster or spinning reel? I cant get a splitshot to cast on a baitcaster, only a spinning rod which makes me warry of using it. I guess Im paranoid that someday the big one will catch me on 10 or 12lb monofilament in weeds/sticks and Ill end up loosing a fish of a lifetime. Im much more confident on my baitcasters with 50lb braid and 20lb florocarbon leader.

2) I do use lipless crank baits a good bit and Ive heard everyone say to "rip it over the vegitation" but what about all the junk you get on there? Every time I get it to the boat it has vegitation hanging or is completly balled up in weeds. Do you just ignore that and keep pulling it off before casting back out or is there some trick I am missing? Maybe I should learn to be more aware of how deep I am fishing it and keep it closer to the tops of the weeds. Thats can be hard...maybe part of the learning curve.

3) I use stick baits all the time, love em. Lost my biggest fish on one over submerged grass. Casted out, bent over to get a swig of water and looked up to see the biggest bass Ive ever seen in real life (at least 8lbs is my guess) coming out of the water shaking its head with a senko. As I frantically tried to take up the slack I saw the senko with hook fly out of its mouth and splash about 2 feet away from the fish. To add insult to injury it swirled and did a little half hop again just to re-affirm that it was gigantic. I let loose a triad of cuss words and almost threw my rod in the water before I came to. A guy down the way that was pretty close by when it happend trolled past a little later and said "man, that was a big fish ya lost there, that thing musta been 10lbs!" :'(

Oddly enough that incident probably drives me to fish longer and harder than all the ones I have landed :)

Work the split-shot rig with tiny twitches of the rod tip and reel in slowly to keep picking up the slack.  Most of the bites are realy soft so pay attention the whole time.  I fish it on a spinning reel.  If you are worried about hooking a good one and losing it in the grass, put 15-20lb braid with a 12lb Flouro leader.  That should give you enough to get the big girls out of there.

First off, a bait like the Spro Aruku Shad is made for fishing in grass so it's more weedless than other baits in it's class.  What I do to make it more weedless is to take both hooks off and to put a #1 Gamakatsu treble hook on there.  It will weigh down the nose even more and make it so the hook points snag less grass.  When you cast it out, keep your rod tip up high to control the depth and experiment with retrieve speeds until you feel the bait touching the grass and you only get a small amount on the hooks after some of your retrieves.  

Bummer about that big fish man!  Losing a big one like that is what keeps the fire burning.  But the good thing is if you fooled her once, you can do it again.  I'm sure she's got some friends in there too that wanna be caught!

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That's the beauty of a Texas Rig the bass don't care how you work it ;)

I'll use short hops, long hops, slow hops, fast hops, & then I'll drag it; it's called finding the rhythm and it's all good.

I totally disagree with the statement the bass always hit it on the fall; I fish Texas Rigs and Jig-N-Craws extremely slow even dead sticking at times. The bass will find you lure when sitting absolutely dead still on the bottom in 20' of water during the pitch blackness of a New Moon.

Not everyone in this round world is tournament anglers so it will not hurt you to let your lure lie still.

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