Aquatic vegetation can be both a friend and foe to fisherman. As habitat goes though, it is probably the best that nature has to offer for bass. Bass love vegetation. At the same time, it can be a nemesis to those trying to catch fish. Aquatic vegetation sometimes makes it difficult to present lures effectively and can intimidate anglers by the vast areas it can cover. For the anglers who are persistent and confident enough, vegetation can produce the honey hole of a lifetime, especially during the summertime.
Aquatic vegetation can be classified into two categories for fishing purposes â€“ submergent and emergent. Submergent does not reach the surface of the water and emergent reaches or grows above the surface. Often, by late summer, submergent vegetation becomes emergent. A good example of this is milfoil or hydrilla that becomes matted on the surface in late summer or fall.
Submergent is the easier of the two to fish. An angler can reel a crankbait or spinnerbait over the top of the vegetation without many problems. Emergent does present more of a challenge. Very precise presentations are usually required to get a bait down to the fish. Flipping and pitching are great for this.
Using a 1-ounce weight with a Strike King Rage Craw or Rodent works great. It is definitely a good idea to use braided line for pitching into mats, this gives you a better hook set and you will be able to pull the bass out of the cover. Do not forget about the frog bite as well. Lake Guntersville in August over the matted grass â€“ there is nothing more exciting.
One of the toughest factors about fishing vegetation is that bass tend to bunch up in it. This can make them hard to find at times, but once you do find them, you can usually catch several in one area. Bass will often bunch up in areas that present some unique feature that distinguishes it from the surrounding vegetation. This feature may be a point, a depth change, an open area, or simply a change in vegetation species.
Anytime you find a unique feature like one of these; it is worth your time to check it out. If you do not have any luck around these features or if there are none present, the best advice is to put down your trolling motor and start covering some water. Pick a starting point along a weedline and fish along it until you find some fish.
Keep in mind that it may take you a while to find them, but when you do, you will often be very happy. Also remember to either use a GPS or mark the spot so you can find it again because the fish will likely stay there a while.
Aquatic vegetation is probably the best habitat there is for producing bass. Though often it is not easy to fish, it is well worth the effort when you find the bass. This is definitely one time when persistence is the key to success.