It’s no surprise that bass spend most of their time in weedy areas, in fact, I would go as far to say that in most lakes that’s one of the only spots you’ll find bass. So, what better structure to begin our search then where the culprit lies—weeds—and in order to fish the weeds you need to begin with the infamous weed edge…
Bass are notorious for cruising the weed edge in search of an easy meal. Actually, bass will dominate the weed edge and even chase down prey regardless of how hungry they are. Bass can be bullies and bass will pound a presentation that crosses their path. Weed edge fishing makes things easy for not only locating bass, but for getting bit more than once.
Locating the right weed edge can be half the battle. You want to focus on areas where deep water is available. You also want to pay attention to what type of weeds are present. Areas with more than one mix of weeds can be very productive. Variance in weed type gives the bass more reasons to stay. It provides an abundance of prey species as well as oxygen and cover.
Other characteristics of prime weed edges include underwater points and inside turns, rocky areas amongst the weeds, and pockets or patches of weeds. Weed patches out from the weed edge can be very productive when honing in on schooling bass. These patches serve as spots where cruising bass can stop and relocate. It’s not uncommon to pull several fish off one small piece of structure when targeting fish on weed patches.
Outside of the weed patches it’s important to also pay attention to pockets in the weeds. These areas will offer bass a chance to ambush their prey, as well as a place where they can catch some rays. Bass like the feel of the warm sun on occasion. This is one of the reasons why we see a lot of bass cruising shallow flats when the sun is high. Besides the sun and ambush feedings, bass also see these pockets as weed edges inside the weed edges. Look at is as a spot-on-the-spot if you will. These open pockets, or sparse areas, are excellent
areas to focus in on.
Rocky or hard-bottom areas along the weed edge are some of the better spots available to bass anglers. We all know that areas where bottom composition changes can provide outstanding opportunities for fishing. Rocks are like a magnet for baitfish, crawfish, insects, prey of all types, and you can bet bass will follow. The temperature around rocky areas is also more appealing to bass, so comfort plays a role as well. (Read more about finding hard bottom – CLICK HERE – Vexilar offers some excellent tips!)
Inside turns and underwater points are probably two of the more productive spots for weed orientated bass. These areas are very appealing to bass and are considered long-term stopping points for bass that cruise the weed edge. Underwater points and inside turns serve as bass oases where they will school up and feed. These prime spots can be found on most lakes where a distinct weed edge is present. As one of the most prominent pieces of structure on a given lake, these spots will kick out a lot of fish. Inside turns trap baitfish and will definitely provide a home for hungry bass.
Outside of the many spots available to weed edge anglers, you still have to find a way to catch the bass using them. Jig-worms, jigs, drop-shots, crank-baits, spinner-baits… these are all examples of ways to target weed edge bass. Case-in-point here—bass will feed on the weed edge and sometimes it doesn’t matter the presentation. Finding the fish is oftentimes the name of the game, but if you’re looking for a few top options for catching these fish then here goes…
Jig-worming these fish can be very effective. Using more natural colors like watermelons, pumpkins, browns, blues, etc, can give you an upper hand. Yes, bright colors have their place and time, but amongst weeds it’s important to focus on the natural surrounding and do your best to mimic it. Ribbon-tail worms, stick-worms or even grubs can work. My personal favorites are the Mister Twister Poc’it Phenom worm and the Mister Twister Comida. Have an assortment of colors and sizes and stick to it.
Tossing a jig along the weed edge is no new secret, but it works wonders and allows you to really hone in on pockets with a more accurate cast. Creature baits are good options when jigging, as are your standard variety of jigs or jig’n’pigs. These baits have won countless tournaments in years past and it’s safe to say you’ll see these presentations in line-ups for years to come.
One last technique we’ll touch on is the spinner-bait and crankbait. These techniques are excellent for covering a lot of water and searching for fish. If fish are schooling out from the weed edge or instinctively crushing prey then a crankbait can be the ticket. Tossing a spinner-bait into the sparse weed edge can work wonders at times too. The key here is to have a variety of crankbaits and spinner-baits along with you when targeting these weed edges bass. Crankbaits can also be a go-to option for fish holding on deep weed edges and hard-bottom areas. Make sure to use a crank-bait that runs deep enough to keep contact with the bottom and hold on!
Weed edge bass can provide constant action. Locating the right spot on the weed edge is first and foremost. After locating a few prime spots then it’s time to start finding the schools. After a school is found then it’s only a matter of time until you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a bass fishing flurry!