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Fishing the Grass


Lake Fork Pro Jim ReaneauArticle October, 2006
This months article will cover fishing the grass. The grass here on Lake Fork is good in many areas but not like it should be in others. I only wish it would get like it did in the early nineties. The grass got out to fifteen feet deep. This grass grew along creek channels and made a wall. For the jig fisherman this was paradise. For some it was a nightmare. Lets talk about the best approach to grass fishing. There is really no problem. First tackle is the key. For The weightless baits and top waters a medium heavy six foot six rod should do the trick. Remember you need some back bone to get them out of the grass. For the jig fisherman a six foot six heavy action rod will do the trick. Some fishermen like a long rod when fishing the grass but over the years I have learned the shorter rod will work fine. Because you are in thick cover I recommend at least twenty pound line. Some like the braided, this is fine. The braid makes some noise that I don’t like. Mono line is my choice. You know you can’t throw a deep diving crank bait out in the middle of it. Common since will tell you that a weedless bait is in order. First let us talk about morning fishing the grass. Scum Frogs, rats, frogs, weightless flukes, Wave worms Tiki Stick, Lake Fork Ring fries and Zig Zags, and buzz baits. This is only a few of the baits that come to mind. Cast any of these over the thick matt and pull the bait along slowly and when you come to a hole in the mat stop the bait and let it sit for a minute before you start up the retrieve again. The matt will have some open areas under it you can’t see and the fish will be there waiting for a good meal to come by. The weather controls the grass. If the temperature drops at night the grass will sink down and as the sun comes out it will come back up to the surface. Some mornings the area you start in the grass will be just under the surface. The buzz bait will work here along with the rat or scum frog. The weightless bait’s are a good bait all day around the grass. Slow moving and slow falling it looks like an easy meal. Let the fish have the bait for a short time before you set the hook. Top water is another good choice till the grass gets to the surface. When the sun gets up the fish will start moving back in a little tighter. This is where jigs and heavy weighted worms will penetrate grass and get down to the fish. Here I like to pitch the jig or worm beside trees or stumps sticking out of the grass. Drop the bait beside the stump or tree and lift the bait up slowly. Let it fall and watch your line. Remember your depth and if the bait doesn’t go back down set the hook. I may pitch a stump several times on all sides. Then move to the next. Look for points in the grass as they hold fish just like a main lake point. Drop the jig or worm around the sides of the point and then move on. Several years ago when the grass was thick and you dropped a jig down through the grass you knew the water was ten foot deep. If the bait took more than ten pulls of line to get to the bottom set the hook. If the matt is thick you may have to use a one ounce jig or weight to get through. This can be fun fishing because you never know what size fish is waiting to grab your bait. The outside of the grass is another fish magnet. The grass will have a taper edge moving away from the thick matt. Texas and Carolina rigs fished along these edges can be very productive. Lipless crank baits worked around the edges is another good bait. If your bait gets stuck in the grass a quick snap of the rod tip can dislodge the bait and some times when it is falling back down the fish will jump all over it. When we are fishing the lipless crank bait in February we will some times let the bait get stuck on purpose and rip it out of the grass and let it settle back down only to rip it out again. This can catch you some winter time fish. This will also work with the Carolina rig. When you fish the grass and if you miss a strike on a top water or spinner bait keep a weightless bait close at hand and fire it back to the area and let it settle. Sometimes that fish will hit this bait. Don’t let the grass intimidate you. Learn it and you will be surprised to find the grass will hold fish all year long. The grass holds warmth, gives cover, and makes a great ambush area for the fish.
PS: This is also a great spawning area.
Thanks and Good Fishing,
Jim


Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau

 

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