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Matt Johnson

Weed Edge Largemouths off the Deep End

19 posts in this topic

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It’s no surprise to find out that bass spend most of their time in weedy areas, in fact, I would go as far to say that in most lakes that’s one of the only spots you’ll find bass. So, what better structure to begin our search then where the culprit lies—weeds—and in order to fish the weeds you need to begin with the infamous weed edge…

Bass are notorious for cruising the weed edge in search of an easy meal. Actually, bass will dominate the weed edge and even chase down prey regardless of how hungry they are. Bass can be bullies and bass will pound a presentation that crosses their path. Weed edge fishing makes things easy for not only locating bass, but for getting bit more than once.

Locating the right weed edge can be half the battle. You want to focus on areas where deep water is available. You also want to pay attention to what type of weeds are available. Areas with more than one mix of weeds can be very productive. Variance in weed type gives the bass more reasons so stay. It provides an abundance of prey species as well as oxygen and cover.

Other characteristics of prime weed edges include underwater points and inside turns, rocky areas amongst the weeds, and pockets or patches of weeds. Weed patches out from the weed edge can be very productive when honing in on schooling bass. These patches serve as spots where cruising bass can stop and relocate. It’s not uncommon to pull several fish off one small piece of structure when targeting fish on weed patches.

Outside of the weed patches it’s important to also pay attention to pockets in the weeds. These areas will offer bass a chance to ambush their prey, as well as a place where they can catch some rays. Bass like the feel of the warm sun on occasion. This is one of the reasons why we see a lot of bass cruising shallow flats when the sun is high. Besides the sun and ambush feedings, bass also see these pockets as weed edges in side the weed edges. Look at is as a spot-on-the-spot if you will. These open pockets, or sparse areas, are excellent areas to focus in on.

Rocky areas along the weed edge are some of the better spots available to bass anglers. We all know that areas where bottom composition changes can provide outstanding opportunities for fishing. Rocks are like a magnet for baitfish, crawfish, insects, prey of all types, and you can bet bass will follow. The temperature around rocky areas is also more appealing to bass, so comfort plays a role as well.

Inside turns and underwater points are probably two of the more productive spots for weed orientated bass. These areas are very appealing to bass and are considered long-term stopping points for bass that cruise the weed edge. Underwater points and inside turns serve as bass oases where they will school up and feed. These prime spots can be found on most lakes where a distinct weed edge is present. As one of the most prominent pieces of structure on a given lake, these spots will kick out a lot of fish. Inside turns trap baitfish and will definitely provide a home for hungry bass.

Outside of the many spots available to weed edge anglers, you still have to find a way to catch the bass using them. Jig-worm, jigs, drop-shots, crank-baits, spinner-baits… these are all examples of ways to target weed edge bass. Case-in-point here—bass will feed on the weed edge and sometimes it doesn’t matter the presentation. Finding the fish is oftentimes the name of the game, but if you’re looking for a few top options for catching these fish then here goes…

Jig-worming these fish can be very effective. Using more natural colors like watermelons, pumpkins, browns, blues, etc, can give you an upper hand. Yes, bright colors have their place and time, but amongst weeds it’s important to focus on the natural surrounding and do your best to mimic it. Ribbon-tail worms, stick-worms or even grubs can work. Have an assortment of colors and sizes and stick to it.

Tossing a jig along the weed edge is no new secret, but it works wonders and allows you to really hone in on pockets with a more accurate cast. Creature baits are good options when jigging, as are your standard variety of jigs or jig’n’pigs. These baits have won countless tournaments in years past and it’s safe to say you’ll see these presentations in line-ups for years to come.

One last technique we’ll touch on is the spinner-bait and crank-bait. These techniques are excellent for covering a lot of water and searching for fish. If fish are schooling out from the weed edge then a crank-bait can be the ticket. Tossing a spinner-bait into the sparse weed edge can work wonders at times too. The key here is to have a variety of crank-baits and spinner-baits along with you when targeting these weed edges bass.

Weed edge bass can provide constant action. Locating the right spot on the weed edge is first and foremost. After locating a few prime spots then it’s time to start finding the schools. After a school is found then it’s only a matter of time until you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a bass fishing flurry!

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Great read Matt! Thanks for posting, I have very little knowledge of deep weedline fishing for bass and this will help me a lot. I fish a very clear lake and the weedlines can go down quite a ways, I bought an underwater camera last winter and I'm gonna put it to good use finding some deep weed edges!

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One thing to mention that I have noticed on past fishing trips is that bass will hold outside an weededge in different parts of the water column according to weather conditions,how the barometer is fluctuating, and what the light levels are.During periods of stable weather, with a steady barometer, bass have been observed holding higher in the water column, and further away from a weed edge.Conversely,during post cold front conditions, with a rising barometer, the bass have been closer to the bottom, and tighter to the weededge, or weedwall.Low light level will usually bring the fish out from holding tight to the edge, but high blue skies doesn't necessarily mean the fish are buried in the weeds.Water temps, and where the baitfish are holding, can counter the effect that high skies typically have on fish, if the bass are on the chew. These are only observations, not hard and fast rules.Wind associated with a passing front,blowing into a weededge could possibly turn on the bass,instead of the other way around. The point is with a moderate, or deep depth of water,make it a point to fish from top to bottom on that weededge, not just below the surface,or at one particular depth.All the lure options Matt covered are great tools to let an angler do just this.

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Great posts you guys! I haven't been on the water yet this year, and am wondering how this cold spring has affected the deep weed lines. Are the deep weed lines fully developed in metro area lakes?

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I'm with you, Rockman. You are right on.

I think all too often people are passing up fish that are riding high in the water column because their bait just plain sinks too fast. Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than having a fish grab a 1/16 oz. jigworm rig after it sinks about two feet on a weedline. I know right then the next cast will receive a similar greeting.

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Thanks for the great info Matt!!

A few questions for you though.

1) What jig worms, ribbon tail worms do you recommend?

2) What is a "stick worm"? What kind do you recommend? How do you fish these.

3) What do you mean by a "creature" bait? What do you recommend? How do you fish these

4) What kind of jigs do you recommend?

5) Is there a brand of spinner bait you recommend?

Thanks again for the great info. As a newby to bass, this is great stuff.

N2B

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Awesome information Matt! Looks like the Comida did it again for ya!!

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Great post Matt. Nothing beats fishing those Comida's wacky this time of year!

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Great read Matt, and thanks for the help last Wednesday the info paid off.

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I like the Mister Twister Ribbon Tail worm. They come in both 7.5" and 9.5" models. Very durable too.

A stick work is like a senko-type bait. I like the Comida from Mister Twister as well. Mister Twister hasn't let me down yet. I've tried almost every major brand out there and have been stuck on the Mister Twister line of plactics. You can fish these baits several ways. You can wacky-rig, carolina-rig, texas-rig, jig-worm... the options are endless. A very versatile presentation.

Creature baits are baits with various arms or tentacles. Sweet Beavers, Ugly Otters, BA Hawgs... these are all examples. I like to fish these baits with a Title Shot jighead.

As far as spinner-baits go, I've been using Flammin' Lures for the most part. They run true and have been very productive for me. CJ also makes a bass spinner-bait now. Everyone knows CJ's for making one of the best muskie spinner-baits out there, but now he's put together a very nice line of bass spinner-baits that I'll be playing with this year too...

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Thanks for the great info Matt!!

A few questions for you though.

1) What jig worms, ribbon tail worms do you recommend?

2) What is a "stick worm"? What kind do you recommend? How do you fish these.

3) What do you mean by a "creature" bait? What do you recommend? How do you fish these

4) What kind of jigs do you recommend?

5) Is there a brand of spinner bait you recommend?

Thanks again for the great info. As a newby to bass, this is great stuff.

N2B

N2B- Great to have you with us.. and great questions.. Gear is a lot of personal preferance. Its what works for you.. what works well for me may or may not be what works for you.. but I will try and quickly answer your questions..

1)I use the Comida as a jig worm a lot.. or 4" curly tail worms.. I use Mr.Twister, but most brands make a decent 4" worm.. 6" works well too..

2)A stick worm is what the Comida is... Senko, yum dinger.. ect.. its a straight worm with nothing sticking out at all.. looks dumb, but the fish sure like them. You can fish them just about any way.. texas rigged, carolina rigged, flipped, weightless, wacky.. its up to your imagination!

3)Creature baits are very popular as well.. The first may have been the zoom Brush hog. IF you do a google search you will see what I am talking about. Both Matt and I use the BA Hog by Mr.Twister quite a bit. Again to fish it, its really up to you.. I would say most popular is texas rigged on weed edges or flipped/pitched in nasty cover.

4)I use 2 different brand jigs.. I use OutKast and Strike King.. OutKast is a local company and make a very good jig.

5)Spinnerbaits... there is a gazillion on the market. I usually try to get the least expensive that is still quality.. has to have a good hook and swivle.

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shhhhhh about the flaminn' spinnerbaits! you're gonna cause a run on them!

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Hiya -

Right on. Man I love weedlines. You guys can have that dock stuff smile

Ray, Rockman, I think you're absolutely right about bass suspending along weedlines a lot. Pretty easy to fish under them. I think a lot of guys fish jigworms and use too heavy a head so they can feel it better, and it ends up rocketing right past the fish on the drop. I use a 3/32 oz about 80% of the time. Have to get used to just fishing the weight of the jig and REALLY watch your line. Seeing the line jump is the coolest...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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Great article.

Jigworms are still my go-to bait - to check out the activity on weedlines.I prefer using Gopher mushroom jigheads from 1/16 to 1/4 oz, depending on depth, cover and activity of the fish. I'm still a little old-school, I guess - as I use any plastic, as long as it's Berkley - and any color as long as it is purple. But I am entering the 21st century - and have a pile of Senkos, and assorted other creatures.

Fun stuff!!!!

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Yeah, it seems funny the times I have had bass nail a floating Rapala,shallow crankbait, or a topwater bait,next to a weedline in a moderate depth of water.Not to push aside plastics for weededges,but at times the gut feeling said to throw a floating bait, or a shallow runner crankbait/minnow lure.The fish that were caught on these alternative baits to plastics made the trip interesting, to say the least.Thinking out of the box might possibly put more fish in the boat on a given day.I really have to go with jig worms, and other plastics, for the standard go to baits on the weedline.

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we hammered the bass (and a couple nice northerns) on small rattle-traps burned 2-4 feet down along a 12 foot weedline the other day. it was a ton of fun. So I'm partial to agreeing with the guys who say people fish under the fish occasionally smile

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i have a question about using creture baits and senkos on weed lines. what is the most successful way to rig these?and how deep is to deep for a weedline to hold bass?

thanks

zach

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zach- texas rigged is probably the most popular, but you can carolina rig bass with those baits as well...

As far as too deep, as long as there are weeds growing, there is no where near too deep.. Deepest "weed" bass I caught was on a clear lake in 26 feet of water. But I have caught bass in MN in 30 feet before.

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what do you usually fish with Deitz? im gonna try some yum dingers or a power tube or a lizard

are those pretty basic lures to throw?

thanks

zach

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      December 18, 1992|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau

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      His new administration would also take domestic action on assisting workers, protecting the U.S. environment, helping farmers, encouraging public participation in consideration of the agreement and closing loopholes for foreign workers, he said.

      "I believe these steps do not require renegotiation of NAFTA," said Mr. Clinton, promising to work closely with the two neighboring governments and with congress to "move this process forward."

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      "I think probably Bill Clinton is relieved that Bush signed it today," said Thea Lee, trade expert at the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute. "Clinton is on record as saying he does not want to renegotiate the basic agreement. Now Bush has tied that up for him but has left him quite a bit of room for maneuver in drafting implementation legislation."

       

      Quote

      Following diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1990 among the three nations, U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed the agreement in their respective capitals on December 17, 1992.[5] The signed agreement then needed to be ratified by each nation's legislative or parliamentary branch.

       

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    • I'm saying be more aware then the average "well my doc says" person. Also educate yourself on the human body a little bit. Not saying that you can cure cancer but going to a doctor and walking out with a bottle of pills isn't always in your best interest. 

      I'm glad you know surgery will fix things and not create additional issues, cause severing tissue never has a backlash.

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    • You take a trip to the city lights
      And take the long way home

      Last week’s torrential rains provided a real test for the scurs and the Weather Eye. Will our break come soon or will we continue breaking records? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of an evening shower or thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, partly sunny with modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm.  Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. Partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy for Tuesday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. The normal high for October 1st is 67 and the normal low is 43. Now that the flood waters have subsided, they will be confined to swimming in their own backyard.

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    • Bush signs North American trade pact Clinton says he won't renegotiate December 18, 1992|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau WASHINGTON -- President Bush signed the North American Free Trade Agreement yesterday, and his successor-in-waiting Bill Clinton immediately announced that he would not seek the treaty's renegotiation. Mr. Clinton, in a statement issued in Little Rock, Ark., said the signing represented "an important step" toward the economic integration of North America. He repeated his campaign assertion that there would have to be new job and environmental protections, and safeguards against sudden trade "surges," but these could be settled without renegotiating the treaty with Mexico and Canada before he submitted implementing legislation. "I will pursue those other things that I think need to be done in the public interest, then I will prepare implementing legislation and try to pass it in Congress," he said. His new administration would also take domestic action on assisting workers, protecting the U.S. environment, helping farmers, encouraging public participation in consideration of the agreement and closing loopholes for foreign workers, he said. "I believe these steps do not require renegotiation of NAFTA," said Mr. Clinton, promising to work closely with the two neighboring governments and with congress to "move this process forward." By putting his name to the pact that will open the borders of the United States, Mexico and Canada to a market of 360 million consumers with a joint annual output worth $8 trillion, Mr. Bush took some of the heat from the agreement's critics off the president-elect. "I think probably Bill Clinton is relieved that Bush signed it today," said Thea Lee, trade expert at the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute. "Clinton is on record as saying he does not want to renegotiate the basic agreement. Now Bush has tied that up for him but has left him quite a bit of room for maneuver in drafting implementation legislation."      
    • I'm saying be more aware then the average "well my doc says" person. Also educate yourself on the human body a little bit. Not saying that you can cure cancer but going to a doctor and walking out with a bottle of pills isn't always in your best interest.  I'm glad you know surgery will fix things and not create additional issues, cause severing tissue never has a backlash. Insinuate much though, wow.
    • #1 - No clue. I assume that if you get to the point on the ice that you need more fluid that you are prob SOL anyway... #2 - I thought the same thing and found a ladder online that works great. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050EIUOY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 #3 - I had some made up and put on the door #4 - Whatever fits the bill #5 - Can't go wrong with the Honda, but I broke outside of the mold and went with the BLUE Powerhorse from Northern Tool and couldn't be happier. I am cautiously optimistic on how long it will last.... I guess we will see     #6 - I just put in a new BOSS system that I got cheap off of Amazon and couldn't be happier. The blue tooth feature works well for running the TV audio through the radio without having to use cords. #7 - I have an under the cabinet holder that I picked up cheap, but never leave the rods in there while going down the road. The only ones that I would probably leave rods in while going down the road is the vertical PVC-style  
    • You take a trip to the city lights
      And take the long way home Last week’s torrential rains provided a real test for the scurs and the Weather Eye. Will our break come soon or will we continue breaking records? Starting Wednesday, sunny with highs in the low 60’s and lows in the mid-40’s. Thursday, mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Mostly sunny Friday with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the upper 40’s. Saturday, mostly sunny with highs in the upper 60’s and lows in the low 50’s. Mostly sunny on Sunday with a slight chance of an evening shower or thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the mid-50’s. Monday, partly sunny with modest chance of a shower or thunderstorm.  Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. Partly sunny becoming mostly cloudy for Tuesday with a chance of showers and thunderstorms.  Highs in the low 70’s with lows in the low 50’s. The normal high for October 1st is 67 and the normal low is 43. Now that the flood waters have subsided, they will be confined to swimming in their own backyard. What a weather week last week turned out to be. Early harvest activity came to a screeching halt as heavy rains raked the area in the overnight hours of the 21st and 22nd. At the ranch the storm total was 5.42” although .35” had fallen the day prior. Another .55” followed over the weekend. In town it was even more generous with 7.91” of rain falling on the 21st and 22nd, being supplemented with another .47” over the weekend. It’s just wet all over as of this writing and while sunny, breezy, low humidity conditions prevailed on Monday, the temperatures only reached the mid-60’s after starting out in the in mid-40’s. Not a rapid drying day although at least it wasn’t raining. Some crop remains in standing water after everyone had been banking on no holes in fields due to a near storybook growing season in terms of rainfall locally. There will be some loss in those areas due to crop unable to be recovered mechanically and perhaps some damage to the grain itself. The rains probably left their most noticeable mark in area towns where flooding caused road closures, evacuations as well as business and school closures. It became extremely difficult to get around with all the road closures with the flooding of 2010 already being a distant memory. As it turned out, we were more fortunate this time around. Rainfall in the eastern part of the Le Sueur River watershed was less than it was in 2010 allowing waters to recede perhaps a little more quickly. Some were quick to point that it was drier in 2010 so this episode should’ve been worse. However, when it rains with the kind of intensity that it did in either event, the water isn’t going to infiltrate these soils very rapidly. If anything this time the already full soil moisture profile in the top 5’probably allowed surface runoff to occur at even a little more rapid pace than in 2010. After the storm at the ranch there was some debris to pick up in the yard but not to the degree those in town had to deal with. That said, it was time to attempt to fish the vine crops in the garden out of the mud before they started to rot. It was extremely wet to say the least. The Gator left some nasty ruts but at least the gourds, squash and a few pumpkins were salvaged. Most of the Indian corn also made it into some buckets so fall decorating can commence once and for all. Be nice if it dried up before attempting to harvest corn stalks for the corn shock. Getting stuck harvesting the garden would be a little embarrassing. The sheep have made some contribution to the decorating cause as well. The leftover gourds, squash, pumpkins, etc., from the year before find their way over the pasture fence. Some of the seeds in turn manage to make their way into the soil. The vines then became huge this summer with all the rain and warmth. The sheep do a good job of keeping the stuff weeded. Only trouble with the sheep is if there’s something out there you might want to use for decorating, best claim it before they decide it’s time to start eating it. It’s too late when you look out at the vines and it suddenly looks like a stampeding herd of elephants has trampled them. Alas it appears we may have seen the last of the hummingbirds at the ranch for the year as of the 21st. They apparently were getting out while the getting was good ahead of the storm. They’ve suddenly been replaced by the marauding group of giant blue jays that shows up in the fall. There were eight of them hopping from limb to limb, making them bend downward with each movement they made. The jays gobbled down the ear corn and greedily helped themselves to the sunflower seeds. For the time being the goldfinches are back to being their nomadic selves again. Just a smattering of them now versus a few weeks ago. In all likelihood, there is an abundance of seed that should be ripe in the CRP so that’s probably where some of them are spending their time. And finally, fall along with the wet weather has caused some of the four-footed critters to start moving about looking for places to hole up for winter. On Sunday morning we smelled strong skunk odor in the barn when we did chores. Then after playing in the Studebaker much of the day, upon our return Mrs. Cheviot came to the house with news that a skunk was sleeping under the trailer. I quickly loaded my trusty blunderbuss and trod barn-wards to do battle with the stinky striped squatter. Found it in a good spot where it was easy to dispatch and then dispose of the body. One thing about it, if you’re a skunk, raccoon or a possum, odds of your living to a ripe old age are pretty slim at the ranch. See you next week…real good then.  
    • Wow one minute your making sense realizing at this moment in time there are 2 choices of candidates that can win and talking about voting for one of them.  The next minute your asking Carlos, Dingle, and Dave for a tinfoil hat.  
    • Gary Johnson plans on bringing in a sack of Panama Red and opening the boarders to all planets.     Of course that is after Weld has shielded his life long friend Hillary from sniper fire.
    • Found 8 hens around one tree today.  A bit past prime, but I've got coordinates saved for next year.  Here's pics of a walk around the tree:
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