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snagger

Curly Pondweed

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It's that time of year when my favorite bass lake in W. WI is infested with curly pondweed. The biggest problem I have is presenting my bait effectively through curly pondweed. I have yet to find a jig that doesn't collect at least some of the weeds. T-rigged Senkos work ok but they are so slow to fish. T-rigged creatures or worms have been my best bet. It also seems like the bite gets tougher when the weeds are at their peak. My guess is that the bass have so much cover that they don't have to move much and I have difficulty getting a bait at them.

Anyone else have this challenge and tricks or tips for success?

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I use All-Terrain Tackle Grassmaster jigs. They come through fairly clean, but it's almost inevitable for every lure to have some kinda plant on them if fishing thick vegitation. I use 3/4oz and try to snap the jig when I'm near the end of my retrieve. Works pretty well for me.

If getting to the bottom is the issue, try pitching your bait higher in the air in order to help it crash through the junk.

Hope that helps.

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Wait a week or two for it to die. Otherwise there are plenty of bass to pick off the outside edge of it (usually bigger fish too). Or frog it over the top.

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In the really thick crud, a Texas-rigged tube is hard to beat. So many creatures out there it's easy to forget about tubes, but they slither through stuff awfully well, and fish eat 'em. For whatever reason, a punch skirt does help them stay weedless. You have to use the right hook too so the tube doesn't slide down - the Eagle Claw Shaw Grigsby HP hook is the best, but something with a pin like KVD weld pin hook, or the Trokar tube hook works too. A regular worm hook will give you fits.

If there are pockets in the stuff (there usually are) or irregular edges, one of my favorite things to do - which I actually learned from a friend of mine while walleye fishing - is to pitch a 4" Power Minnow on a 3/32 or 1/8 oz mushroom head into the pockets and to all the little points and dips on the edge. Pitch it in, let it drop, pop it once or twice, then on to the next pocket. I do this with a 7' MH spinning rod and 10# mono, and don't have much trouble wrestling fish out of the stuff. Make short pitches, and you can buzz down a weed edge pretty fast. Fish smoke the power minnow as it's spiraling down, What's cool about this is you catch bass, but everything else too. Caught some huge crappies, and an ungodly number of walleyes. Amazing how many walleyes will be in 4-6 FOW at 3 in the afternoon... It's fun because every hookset is "what is it this time?"

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Cool. Great advice. Can't wait to try pitching the tubes. Honestly, the only time I use tubes is smallie fishing on the river. I forget to use them for largies.

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Yep, my home lake has had had a ton of curly leaf and that's been the way to fish it, a vertical presentation by flipping and pitching into the holes.  A 1/4 oz jig was working well last weekend too.  

Thanks for the tip on the power minnows RK. I have a tub of 4" Gulp alive minnows sitting in the garage that would probably work just as well.  I'll have to try that technique sometime.  

Edited by Juan Grande

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Gulp minnows work, but what's great about the Power Minnows is they're narrow, so they dart on the fall when you pop them. Gulp minnows kind of...don't. They're better if you either nose hook them or rig them flat though. One thing I didn't mention above is that you can dead stick the jig once it hits bottom and fish will pick it up off the bottom. Gulp would be great for that part of it I bet.

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Find the year round weeds.  Most of the lakes I fish have milfoil somewhere. Milfoil chokes out alot of pondweed. Edges between the two can be great. Today I fished Chisago - plenty of pondweed everywhere. Tough fishing in alot of the usual spots but deep, thick milfoil was loaded with bass. Pitchin pockets made the day, and alot easier to fish than pondweed - just had to feed off line to get a straight drop. I used a t-rigged, pegged pitboss. It's become my #1 heavy vegetation lure.

  Also look for bare spots in the same depths as where there is pondweed everywhere. Those bare pockets are key spots all the time - Hard rocky bottom. If I'm cruising around at 8-12 ft with pondweed showing everywhere on the screen and then bare bottom, thats a spot.

 

BTW, the pond weed is farther along (dead) on Green. Great crankbait bite Mon. night. KVD 1.5 squarebill.

 

rascal

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I cringe when I pull up to a lake and it is loaded with mats of this stuff. I do think it gives the bass alot of area to hide and it is slow to fish and find those bass. I did have a little better luck this year fishing it though. I used beaver baits to just motor along a pitch in the holes. I didn't throw unless I saw an opening.  In the past I would try to fish over it or thru it with spinnerbaits and such. Basically still trying to cover alot of water. That created alot of frustration. I think I will try a tube also, that does sound like a good bait for those holes.

Another spot to look for is the inside opening between shore and the mats. I have had some success there in the past, but not all lakes have this opening. Jig worms on the outside edges work too, but only if it is a good sharp weed edge. I hate the stuff that just feathers out for 20yards with no good edge.

My favorite time to fish these lakes, is when it is all gone! Then the fish seem to stack up on docks, trees and other shoreline cover. Its great fishing then.

    

Edited by RuddyDuck

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Rascal, how heavy of a weight do you typically use on that setup? I know it depends on how thick the stuff is, but what is your go to weight? 

I have a pit boss rigged up on my flipping stick right now with a 1/2 oz tungsten weight.  Can't bring myself to spend $10 for an 1 or 1 1/2 oz yet.  Good thing is, I won't have to worry about losing it with 65 lb braid.  

Edited by Juan Grande

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Rascal, how heavy of a weight do you typically use on that setup? I know it depends on how thick the stuff is, but what is your go to weight?

I have a pit boss rigged up on my flipping stick right now with a 1/2 oz tungsten weight.  Can't bring myself to spend $10 for an 1 or 1 1/2 oz yet.  Good thing is, I won't have to worry about losing it with 65 lb braid.

​except to pike.... they snip through braid better than shears

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Cabelas has the Eco Pro 1oz sinkers at $10 for 2. Still spendy, but better than $8 for one Strike King 1oz weight. At least you get two! I haven't used them much though, so I don't know how good they are. I agree with you, I won't be buying any 1.5 ouncers any time soon.

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​except to pike.... they snip through braid better than shears

​Yup. As much as I like tungsten, I go back to lead when there are pike in any numbers. Hate losing $25 worth of tungsten sinkers in an afternoon. Bad enough losing jigs to them. (Just ordered 3 dozen jigs... ouch) 

I've started using Conquistador hard lead weights for punching. They're harder than ordinary lead, but not as hard as tungsten obviously, so they do have better feel than lead, and they're under $5 for 10 of them. Plus they have 1/2 oz, which is what I end up using most of the time, vs 1 or 1.5 oz.

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Juan,

 

1/2 oz is probably as big as I go.  I still have a mindset about going as light as possible to get down and maintain contact. I'm rarely punchin through real heavy stuff and 1/2 oz give or take has seemed to get the job done. I stick with lead - just cant justify the cost difference. Also, i've been using a 3/0 straight shank hook with a plastic keeper. It does'nt rip up the plastic as much as a z -bend hook. Plus the bend seems to catch weeds sometimes as well.  This rig is ALWAYS on a rod. I'll even swim it - pitboss has great action.

rascal

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I use punch rigs to get down into the thick stuff.  I usually plop a 3/4 or 1 oz tungsten bullet weight with a slip skirk and plasic of my choice.  Lately I've been using Powerbait Chigger Craws.  I use Lazer Tungsten weights to help keep the cost down and peg them with an Eagle Claw rubber bobber stop.  I don't lose too many to toothy critters but it does happen every once in a while.  Oh well, that's fishin' I guess...

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Can someone explain why tungsten is worth the extra money over lead?  Does a W weight really penetrate better than a Pb equivilent? 

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