Texas rig

bass with texas-rigged soft plastic

For starters, with extremely dense cover like matted vegetation or other matted debris that’s floating on the surface, a Texas-rigged soft plastic with a large punch weight is the way to go. The key with this style of fishing, otherwise known as punching, is getting a bait through the mat and doing so as efficiently as possible. A Texas-rigged soft plastic has the cleanest profile of these three bait categories and slips through a mat the easiest.

But you can also fish a lighter weight Texas rig shallow around all sorts of cover. Pitching a Texas-rigged creature bait with a 3/8-ounce weight around stumps, laydowns, docks and submerged vegetation is a great way to trigger strikes when the bass are a little more finicky up shallow. It’s easier to pitch this lighter weight around with a streamlined bait without making a big splash like you might with a heavier, bulkier jig.

Lots of creature baits like this have a gliding fall to them versus the more vertical fall of a jig or Tokyo rig. This makes them particularly appealing to pitch around dock posts and stumps. The bait kind of glides by this type of cover, imitating a bluegill or bream swimming more horizontally. The lighter the weight you use for this and the more slack you’re able to have in your line, the more of this look you’ll get.