Aquatic vegetation provides great cover and shade for summer bass. However, fishing those grassbeds and weedbeds can be frustrating because many times you end up fighting a wad of junk that builds up on the end of your line. Dave says that when fishing these locations, you have to change your tactics to accommodate the situation on the retrieve. Maintaining steady pressure on the fish is key instead of pulling and forcing it which can lead to pulling the hook or breaking the line. By keeping steady pressure on the line, you can bring the boat to the fish and increase your chances of landing those grass bass. Dave will also highlight the case for slowing down and says this lesson was learned through failure for him. Being rushed, feeling pressured, not thinking – these things can all work against you as you tend to just go through the motions instead of staying focused on what you were doing to catch fish previously. Instead of working fast and furiously, you have to be mindful of your speed and how even the slightest increase in speeds can completely change your presentation.
Sometimes, all it takes is a different approach to get the bites you need. Dave says that fish aren’t smart, however, they do get used to things which help them evade an angler’s hook, so he’ll talk about a couple of different approaches to take to change things up. First up, Neko rigging is a popular technique right now that is an adaptation of the nail-weighted worm. Using a weighted worm in combination with a midsection hook position allows the bait to fall slowly but with a unique action that the fish really react to. Dave will explain the benefits of this approach in grass. Next up, microbaiting. The name itself is attention getting but it’s also highly effective. Previously, swimbaits were always large, eight plus inches in length, but now you can get two to three-inch swimbaits as well and these miniature versions are a great way to get a lot of bites. Dave says that microbaiting is a good way to cover water and get reactions because, it’s something different, something the fish aren’t used to yet. While the technique uses “micro” baits that doesn’t mean they only work on small fish. Dave says that they are effective at catching big and small fish and are a great way to take the pulse of the body of water you’re fishing.
Finally, fishing a new body of water can be intimidating to some. Whether you’re competing or just spending the weekend with family at a new location, Dave says there are things you can do to maximize your success. To begin with he says you should do a Google search of the body of water you’ll be fishing. There will be a lot of information online so read up! Next, local bait shops can be effective sources of information, but don’t be the goon that goes in and asks where the fish are or what to throw. Instead ask questions like where at in the water column the fish tend to be this time of year and what their forage base is. This information can help you better pinpoint productive locations. Once on the water, it’s not time to fish just yet. Instead, Dave says he takes a lap round the body of water to familiarize himself with what is available, taking mental notes of rocky points, milfoil, pad beds, docks and more. Armed with all this information, then Dave says he picks a location he thinks will be productive and starts with faster moving baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits to get a feel for the fish.
Get your microbait on!