Here are a few tips for largemouth bass fishing in dense vegetation, such as hard-to-reach areas with thick vegetation or murky waters.
Bass fishers will notice that bass have changed tactics when targeting submerged cover like logs, stumps, or grass mats; rather than suspending from the bottom, they often opt to hunt this way instead.
Use Larger Lures
One of the key strategies for fishing largemouth bass in dense vegetation is using larger lures. Larger baits can help intimidate smaller bass while drawing larger ones to your boat – you can find glide baits in sizes between 5 to 10 inches that mimic fish that look similar.
Another tip for fishing bass in dense vegetation is to outfit your lures with heavier hooks and lines than usual to present your bait more slowly without alarming fish. Doing this allows them to react more naturally while preventing you from scaring away potential prey.
As part of your lure rigging plan, it’s also essential to consider that dense cover can contain lots of water that absorb light. A lighter line (6-7 pounds instead of 12) or braid is usually better to increase visibility for bass fishing.
If you’re using a topwater lure, pause its presentation a few times before retrieving it. This gives bass time to take in more details about what they might find before striking and taking down your lure.
Reeling in bass with soft plastic lures such as frogs or soft plastic plastics on topwater effectively draws their attention in dense vegetation. Many of these lures feature hollow bodies and Texas-rigged frogs for easy casting even among thick brush or vegetation.
Make use of topwater jigs, which lure bass by mimicking minnows and other baitfish. Different models come with various colors for you to choose from and are designed to wiggle side-to-side when reeled back in.
Similarly, jerkbaits are excellent lures for drawing bass out of dense vegetation. These lures feature paddle tails and other moving parts designed to mimic minnows.
Many jerkbaits come with multiple color combinations and can be fished with either a treble hook or worm hook rig, or you could add a shaky head for a more realistic appearance.
Spinnerbaits or wacky worms may also work to entice bass in dense cover. Or you could try lipless crankbaits or soft stickbaits – either can be fished in similar areas to where jerkbaits would work best. They work especially well when combined with weedless jigs.
Present Your Lures Slowly
When fishing dense vegetation, lure presentation should be slower. This is especially relevant during early-season fishing sessions when bass may still be slow due to cold temperatures.
Start off by casting long, then allow the lure to sink to its desired depth before using a jerk-up retrieve, encouraging bass to bite before becoming lodged in vegetation. This technique has proven highly successful.
Fishing dense weedy areas requires using techniques such as punching through floating weed mats with crawdad or jig. This gives big bass the cover they need, allowing you to catch them if equipped properly.
As with presenting lures slowly, casting quickly or making loud casts will only alert the bass, making catching them that much harder.
Crankbaits, swim baits, and frogs are some of the best lures to use in weedy environments, as they mimic real baitfish and attract bass quickly. These baits make great choices when fishing dense weedy environments as their small size mimics what bass commonly feed on.
When selecting your crankbait, ensure it can penetrate thick weed mats effectively to capture larger bass from these dense areas. Doing this will increase your chances of success and allow you to find success faster!
Frog lures are great tools to use when fishing dense weedy areas as they allow you to cover water quickly while searching for active bass. Frogs can be fished several ways – either as a shallow running jig, spinnerbait, or lipless crankbait – for maximum effectiveness.
Glide baits work great in dense weedy areas for targeting bass that have difficulty seeing their lures due to being obscured by vegetation. Glide baits work best at depths between 10-16 feet; when slow rolling your lure as it twitches along the bottom it should attract bass that are startled by it and come investigate further.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go in Hard-to-Reach Areas
One of the key strategies for fishing largemouth bass in dense vegetation is not being afraid to venture into difficult-to-reach places. Fish often hold close to cover, making it easier for you to put your lure where they are hiding.
Fish are usually found hiding under boat docks, wood, lily pads, stumps, grass, and other forms of cover, such as boat docks and wood piles. Don’t be intimidated when working these areas when weather becomes severe; be patient as bass are waiting!
Bass are notoriously voracious eaters, eating baitfish and crabs to crayfish, frogs, and even baby ducks if given a chance. While this sometimes makes fishing difficult, their availability makes catching one easier in almost any freshwater body.
Don’t be alarmed if bass move to deeper waters during the fall – they will likely be feeding on insects, worms, and crustaceans!
These fish will also be on their spawning grounds, so regardless of the weather you should be able to catch some. You can rely on time of year, water temperature, and moon phase as indicators to see if bass are present and potentially spawning in an area.
If bass are spawning, they will often gather around isolated pieces of cover such as logs, stumps, or dock supports that lie shallower in water than elsewhere in the lake – making them harder to see than elsewhere.
Flipping and craw baits can be effective ways to target bass spawning areas. However, making repeated casts rather than creating noise will increase your chances of successful fishing as bass may shy away from following your bait.
To successfully locate these areas with your lures, it’s necessary to locate chunks of thick grass or weeds in shallower waters that have been blown over and settled on the bottom. You might find the grass concentrated around deeper parts of ponds or lakes or concentrated near points, channels, or currents.
Go Through the Weeds
Bass that are seeking shelter from the summer sun often seek refuge beneath dense weed cover, where they can ambush prey as it moves through.
At this time of year, weedy areas will be full of active bass that you can expect to catch some high-quality fish with. Try different lure presentations that appeal to them; spinnerbaits and buzzbaits may work, as will lipless crankbaits and soft-stick baits.
Aspiring windfall fishermen should seek out areas in which lily pads have begun to thin out and die – this provides ideal fishing spots for horizontally-oriented lures like spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits and floating worms.
As bass fish move towards their spawning areas, they take advantage of this windfall feeding situation by taking advantage of this windfall feeding situation and taking advantage of this windfall feeding situation. To successfully fish these weedy areas, select a long rod and slow-speed reel capable of withstanding their weight.
Uncle Josh offers weight-clipped Okeechobee jigs that help penetrate even thickest weeds with their bait piercing abilities, keeping the soft trailer behind its hook. This technique ensures maximum bait penetration.
One method of maneuvering through the weeds is simply allowing your jig to fall with no tension or movement for at least four seconds, before stopping it and picking it back up again.
VanDam explained that his method could be applied to any structure, be it reedbeds or stumps. Bass have been seen holding tight to both kinds of structure; to target them effectively he likes letting his jig drop freely with a loose line and watch as it drops, eventually stopping its fall after four seconds at which point VanDam sets his hook and sets off fishing again.
Dense vegetation can present bass anglers with unique challenges and rewards. To be successful, they should become familiar with bass biology and behavior, have access to various equipment and lures designed specifically for this environment, and be willing to put in the work required to succeed.