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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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