Fishing for bass in the grass

About the author

Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Chris Lane is a six-time winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail and the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Let’s start by reviewing one of the most basic rules for fishing grass. Fish it when it’s green and growing. Fish it when it’s green and not growing. Fish it when it’s dead. Never fish it when it’s dying. The dying process consumes oxygen. Bass will not hold in low oxygen water, at least not in my experience.

Another thing I want to mention is that we’ll not be talking about any specific kinds of grass. Different types of grass might have some subtle differences to them but for the most part if you think about grass as green vegetation you’ll be good to go. Besides, most fish are limited by where they live. They can’t move to a better neighborhood that offers their favorite vegetation. They go with what’s there.

With that in mind, let’s talk a little about summer grass. Deep weedbeds offer some great hot weather bass fishing opportunities. Bass will hold in them during the day but then move around a little bit at night or when the sun isn’t so bright and hot.

You can fish deep weedbeds with a variety of baits. Drop shot rigs are good. I especially like the new Luck “E” Strike Drop Dead plastic bait. (It’ll be available after ICAST.) I try to rig mine so that the plastic just barely touches the tops of the weeds. I think that contact triggers the bass’ feeding instinct. Texas rigged plastics and jigs are also solid producers.

Real early in the morning, late in the day and when it’s cloudy and overcast, topwater baits will be effective. Try poppers, walking sticks, buzzbaits and frogs. While you’re at it, don’t leave your propbaits at home. Sometimes they’ll produce when nothing else will. My grandfather caught a lot of bass in Florida. The only lure he ever threw was a Devil’s Horse.

The weedbeds I’m talking about are mostly on deep flats. Some of the best ones are on ledges. And the best spots on those weed covered ledges are along the outside edge where they drop into deeper water.

One of the most productive baits for those outside edges is a crankbait.  They’re not easy to fish down there, though. It takes a lot of experience to run a crankbait close enough to the weeds to provoke a strike but, at the same time, keep it from fouling in the weeds. If you’re willing, and able, to spend the time learning how to do it, you’ll be rewarded with some good catches.

If not, you can fish them with a big, Texas rigged worm. A carefully placed drop shot will also do the trick.

Earlier and later in the year, shallow weedbeds will hold bass. You can fish them basically the same way you fish deep weedbeds, with two important differences — spring and fall bass move around more, and they can be more aggressive at times. Keep that in mind. Make sure you cover every inch of a weedbed. You never know when they might move from one spot to another.

OK, now you have the basics. Put some sunscreen on this summer and get out there where the grass is growing. You just might catch a big bag.

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website, www.chrislanefishing.com.

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