by Bob Jensen
This time of year, whatever body of water you’re on, if that body of water is home to largemouth bass, some and maybe most of those bass will be on the weedline. Here are some ideas for catching those bass that live on the weedline.
Depending on the body of the water, you’ll find the weedline in different places. In clear water lakes the weedline will be deeper, ten or twelve feet might be an average weedline depth in lakes that have clear water, but it will be deeper in really clear water.
In stained water lakes the weedline might only be five or six feet, and the weeds might be sparser.
Additionally, there will be a shallow or inside weedline and also a deep weedline. A typical weedline might lay out this way: You start out from the shoreline and it’s mostly a sand bottom, but there might be some scattered weeds. Then at say about five feet, the weeds get thicker. In Midwest waters much of the time the weeds will be cabbage weeds. Then the water gets gradually deeper and the weeds are pretty thick. This is the weedbed. As you go deeper, eventually the weed growth will stop. That’s the deep edge of the weedbed, or the weedline.
On cloudy days or early in the day, the bass will be on the shallow edge of the weeds. A Reed-Runner Pro Model spinnerbait buzzed over the tops of the shallow weeds will be productive, but also fish the spinnerbait slower if the bass don’t respond. A Jungle Jig tipped with a Power Hawg or some other form of Power Bait or Gulp! worked slower will also produce.
During the day, the bass activity will usually be better on the deep weedline. The bass will be scattered along the weedline and grouped on points and pockets on the weedline. As you work along the weedline you’ll find that you can catch one here and another there, but when you come to a point or pocket or some sort of irregularity, you’ll catch several.
There are lots of ways to catch bass along the deep weedline, but it’s hard to beat a crankbait or a jigworm. In fact, it works really well to have the angler in the front of the boat throw a crankbait and catch the more aggressive fish and have the angler in the back throwing the jigworm. Sometimes the jigworm will catch the ones that don’t want the faster moving crankbait.
I like to throw a #7 Flicker Shad. The shape of the Flicker Shad appeals to bass, but also is more appealing to walleyes, pike, and any other predator fish that is cruising the weedline. There are times when the fish want a particular color, so keep trying different colors until they show you what they want. I like to fish the crankbait on 20/8 FireLine because the FireLine rips through the weeds better.
For the jigworm setup, use a Lip-Stick Jig-Worm head for the edges, or, if you want to be more weedless, tie on a Jungle Shakey Jig. The eighth ounce size is a good one to start with with either jig. Try a Power Worm or Gulp! Super Worm. The seven inch size is a good starter, but if the fish are finicky, go to the four inch size. Eight or ten pound test Trilene Sensation or XT is a great jigworm line.
Right now is a wonderful time to be on the weedline chasing bass. Tie on a crankbait or jigworm, position your boat about a cast away from the weedline and start fishing. You’ll find out just how great a time this can be.