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Bass in the Grass..and Other Aquatic Vegetation

Aquatic greenery is a bass magnet. Depending on your geographic location watery vegetation emerges and greens up in the spring and stays well into the fall. Moss, grasses, cattails, lily pads and more will draw bass (and other game fish) into an area and hold them. Providing primary needs of cover, oxygen and offer potential food sources for months.

Many forms of vegetation offer a tip as to bottom composition and give shelter to newly hatched fish of all types while also providing shelter and an ambush spot for bigger fish of all types. Weed chocked waters are a dilemma for many boaters and a boon for kayakers. Gliding unrestricted into a virtual field of pads will get you pumped up if you are one of the legions of frog flingers. Picking apart the lily pads and slowly “hopping” a in and around the pad tops will have you holding your breath in anticipation of a bass busting through to attack the intruder.

pad patterns

Pad Patterns –

In the wild world (on the water or in the woods) edges are highly prized travel routes and resting areas. The edges allow for easy visuals of any activity, a quick escape into thicker cover and feeding opportunities. Armed with this knowledge approach for bass casting in the greenery should start with the edges. Most froggers lose bass because they get tangled in the heavy weeds and shake loose or never get a good hook set. Fish on the edge give you the highest probability of boating your bass. open pockets and holes in the pads are good but sneaking a frog or other bait through entices the fish using the overhead cover to rest, hide or feed comes from some of the thickest cover.

Topwater Tricks –

The retrieve is key to the hit and eventual catch. A slow steady speed makes it easier for the fish to track down the bait. A slow retrieve is a good way to start but NOT the only tactic for topwater bass. A sharp raising and quick drop of the rod tip will make a bit more commotion and minimize the movement of the bait. When a frog hits open water if you leave slack and twitch the frog will impart a side-to-side action. (I caught a seven-pound largemouth over a set of submerged stumps doing this) and occasionally catches the bass following the bait.

Other Vegetation –

Game fish of types and sizes are drawn to the aquatic greenery. Pencil grass, hydrilla, coontail moss, arrowheads and cattails harbor bass, northern pike, musky and more. While many weeds are found in shallow water many of the mosses grow and flourish in deeper water. Fishing around pads AND over moss is a great way to “get bit.” Many kayak anglers run lipless crankbaits over the and rip through the moss. A little less utilized and highly effective tactic is the floating worm. Bass burst out and attack floating/darting/diving weedless, weightless rigged worm. Dog walking baits suck as the Strike King Sexy Dawg and the old Zara Spook are also good.

Bass in the Grass | Kayak Fishing

Rods, Line and hook Sets –

Dedicated frog fishermen tout the use of a heavy rod, a heavy action rod is your friend in winching fish of any size from heavy vegetation. I personally prefer a medium heavy action rod to facilitate the hook set. (more on that later) Working in concert with the rod is the line, the key to boating more bass in this case. Braided line has absolutely zero stretch, while many frog and pad fishermen brag about spooling up with 80-pound test braid I have had great results with 30-pound braided line. I believe anything over 30-pound test is overkill, just my opinion. One of the toughest parts is the hook set. If you react too quickly you rip the bait away. As hard as it is you need to wait until you feel the weight of the fish or the solid pull before leaning into the hook set. Even the fish you miss will get your blood running.

Paddle in or pull up you pedals and treat yourself to bass in the grass.