Learn How to Fish in the Weeds for Big Bass

By Andy Whitcomb

Sep 14, 2016

Boating and fishing in aquatic vegetation can be challenging. Here are some tips to finding the big fish that lurk there.

Dense aquatic vegetation of late summer and during the transition to early fall can provide some boating and fishing challenges in lakes and rivers. Some boaters avoid these areas or decide to “sit this one out” until the vegetation begins to die off with a cold snap. But those that do don’t learn how to fish in the weeds, might be missing some great bass fishing action.

Here are some ways to deal with dense aquatic vegetation:

Boating in Aquatic Vegetation

1. Pay attention to the electric trolling motor. If it bogs down, stop immediately and carefully clear the propeller. Continued operation with a clinging big wad of “weeds” will drain the battery, and maybe blow a fuse, or damage the motor. Also, set the motor as high as it will go without chopping the water noisily.

2. If you can’t run the trolling motor don’t give up. Lift the trolling motor out of the water and paddle or row. If the bottom is firm enough you might even be able to pole.

3. For greater access, it is difficult to beat a fishing kayak or canoe. Boating in aquatic vegetation is no challenge, as they will glide over some of the thickest vegetation, in only a couple of inches of water.

How to Fish in the Weeds

1. Spinnerbait. Probably one of the best methods of landing fish in weeds. It is amazing what vegetation you can get these large lures through with the hook on top and the wire bend clearing the way like a snow plow. If it bogs down, give it a couple of jerks and see if you can get that blade wobbling again.

2. Topwater lures. If there is a little bit of water showing, a buzzbait will get through it and attract attention. When fishing in really heavy weeds, it is hard to beat a plastic frog. Just be sure to wait a second before setting the hook. If you can!

3. Soft plastics, “weedless hooks.” This means burying the hook tip back in the lure to keep it from excessively grabbing vegetation while you’re dealing with how to fish in the weeds. When you feel a thump, stop, let it run for a second or two, then set the weedless hook hard because the hook will have to come through part of the lure body too.

Compare boat types to see what might be best suited for boating in aquatic vegetation. Heavier line might be helpful for landing fish in weeds and other thick vegetation. With a little more work and patience, there are big bass in those weeds.
Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.