Tips On Fishing Weed Beds
When it comes to fishing weed beds can result in both the best and worst days on the water. Many times this is where the biggest and best fish are going to be found. But it comes at a price – tangled lines, lost lure and missed opportunities. The key is learning to optimize the opportunities while reducing the risks.
Fish are attracted to weed beds for a wide variety of reasons. Smaller fish use them as cover. Larger predators use them as ambush points (often for the very fish seeking shelter). Weather can even drive fish to weed beds, although the exact reason isn’t really understood. Point is fish like weeds and that means sometimes you need to take the plunge and go into the jungle.
The first consideration is preventing snags or tangles. This is most commonly done by using a weedless lure. There are a wide weedless lure options ranging from plastics with the hook tip buried or spoons with a wire loop to allow it to ride over obstructions. In low to moderate weed cover you can also you a crank bait by removing the front hooks.
Sometimes snags and tangles cannot be avoided, especially when it is the result of a fish that has been hooked running deeper into the weeds to escape. When this happens most loses are the result of the line tangling and eventually breaking off, something you can avoid by switching to braided line. This will provide two advantages; one, the line is much stronger & less likely to break and two, it is capable of cutting right through most weeds.
Finally, you can adjust your tactics.
- Instead of blindly casting into the deepest, thickest grass work the narrow cuts. Not only will this reduce the chances of getting hung up it makes your lure more visible to fish looking for an easy meal.
- If there is a strong current cast into the bed from downstream this allows you to retrieve with the current. A strong current will often make the weeds laydown, by fishing in the same direction your lure will move in the same direction reducing friction.
- Another favorite tactic is to fish above the weeds. Pop the lure across lily pads. Drift your bait above submerged grass. Use a bobber to keep live bait from swimming too deep into the bed.
- Jig small pockets of open water. This is especially popular in extremely heavy cover when any other tactic is unlikely to succeed regardless of the gear used.
So now all you need to do it find some weeds and show them who’s the boss!