It’s finally starting to feel like summer around here! The rain and cold fronts are finally starting to come to an end giving the local ponds and lakes a chance to remain at a consistent water level. Once that begins to happen you can guarantee that our local waters will start to show some heavier weed growth…some more so than others. This can be a really frustrating time for a lot of anglers because what worked in the spring is now getting piled on with weeds and muck every other cast. It makes it even more frustrating because the bass take shelter in the hot summer days underneath these weed mats and lily pads making them harder to access and catch. I remember fishing a local pond in my neck of the woods four or five years ago that used to get choked up with weeds every summer. It was nice because it kept the weekend warriors at bay for a while, but it also made it tough for me to figure out for the longest time until I started using a few key lures…
1) Topwater hollow belly frog
2) Zoom Fluke
4) Weightless Senko
5) Swim jig
6) Weighted Texas Rig
The lures above aren’t completely fool proof, but 9 times out of 10 you should be able to work the bait effectively without bringing in a 10 lb pile of weeds every cast.
The areas you want to target with these lures are…
1) Open pockets within the weedline
2) Thinner patches of weeds in the weedline
3) Outer edges of the weedline
Open voids and thinner layers of weeds always allow bass to blow up on a lure much easier than the thick matted weeds that line parts of the weed bed. The easier it is for them to see and get to the bait, the easier it will be getting a good hookset. Weightless lures like a senko and fluke should also be worked into open pockets and outer weed edges. What I like to do is throw the lure past the pocket….give it a couple good pops before it reaches the pocket to create disturbance on top of the weed bed…and then once I get to the edge of the pocket I give it one more good pop and then let it sink into the pocket. I have caused some major blowups by doing this and really gets them fired up!
If there were only a couple of things I would add to my gear line up for fishing in weedy areas, it would first start with braided line. Braided line has no stretch giving you solid hooksets after a fish takes a lure under into matted weeds, and it cuts through weeds and lily pads more easily than fluoro and mono. The second thing that I would have handy is a longer MH or H spinning rod or baitcaster. Braid does help you achieve a more solid hookset but means nothing if you don’t have some backbone to back it up. The last thing you need is a nice bass blowing up on a frog and you are throwing 10 lb mono on a medium light rod….that won’t end well.
Hopefully these tips will help you out on the water the next few months, and I guarantee the strikes that will occur will be heart pounding! If only I had video of the topwater strikes I have had on a frog the last few years….just incredible!