Working the Weedline

by Bob Jensen

In the summer, fish can be found in a lot of places in a body of water.  They’ll be wherever their food is, and their food can be in a lot of places and take a lot of forms.  In some lakes the fish will be eating suspended shad, or crayfish that are over rocky bottoms, or perch that are hugging the bottom, or leeches that are just out swimming around, or…well, you get the idea.  Fish can be in a lot of different places in the summer.  One really consistent place to find a wide variety of fish is a weedline.  Weedlines attract a variety of fish, and these fish are usually willing to eat your bait.  Here’s how you can catch fish on the weedline now and for the next couple of months.

The weedline that holds the most variety of fish is the deep weedline.  The deep weedline will be at different depths in different lakes.  In stained water the deep weedline might be in six or seven feet of water, in really clear water it might be in sixteen or seventeen feet of water.  A common depth for a weedline is ten to fourteen feet.

In many Midwest lakes the weedline is composed of cabbage weed, but in a good number of lakes across the country milfoil is the vegetation that creates the deep weedline.

A casting presentation is usually going to be best on a weedline.  Trolling works, but much of the time you’ll catch more fish by casting.  There will be fish spread out all along a weedline: You’ll catch one here, then another one twenty yards farther down the weedline.  You just keep moving, catching a fish every now and then as you go.

Eventually you’re going to come to a pocket or a point or some change in the weedline.  Changes in the weedline will hold concentrations of fish.  When you come to a change in the weedline, instead of catching a fish here and another one there, you’ll catch several fish off that one spot.  You might catch five or six fish in ten casts.  If you were trolling, you’d have to turn around and come back through that area.  Turning around takes time and will slow the catching down.  By casting, you get the fish off your hook and get the bait right back in there.

Lots of baits will catch weedline fish.  Crankbaits and jigs are two of the best baits.  Even when fishing is really tough, a jig and minnow combination will almost always fool a bass or a walleye or a crappie or something.  The best jig to use on the weedline is a Weed-Weasel.  Weed Weasel’s have a weed guard which allows us to slither the bait right through the weeds with minimal hang-ups.  When the fish are active, many of your bites will come as the bait falls to the bottom.  When the fish are not so active, many of the bites will occur right on the bottom.

Hot describes the weather pretty well right now, but it also describes the action you can find on the weedline.  Next time you’re on the water, find a weedline and see if the fishing is as hot as the air temperature.

Working the Weedline