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  Article 25...

Aquatic Weeds
By Denny  Brauer

Milfoil is probably my favorite type of vegetation to fish, primarily because it will grow out into fairly deep water. I've had great success on when by pitching jigs down through the holes in the vegetation. Usually what I try to do when I'm fishing a jig on a milfoil or a hydrilla pattern is get on the outside edge and make pitches anywhere from 5 to 10 foot back into the hydrilla or the milfoil. I let the jig free-fall to the bottom, shake it a few times, bring it out, and put it down through the next hole until I catch that first fish. Once in a while I make some presentations completely on the outside edge too, but all I'm doing is poking along and working my way in. Maybe the grass will come out and make a point or go back in and make a pocket, I'm just following the contour edge of that grass until I catch the first fish.

When I catch that first fish I kick a marker buoy out so I don't lose track of the exact spot of the bite. Then I start working in a circle, working my way back into the grass, because a lot of times a school of fish are there, and the one that was a little closer to the edge told on his buddies. If you work back in the grass you may find the whole mother lode nested up.

I remember a tournament when I was fishing down a grass line, and that's exactly what happened. I caught a fish on a white Strike King Pro Model jig and kicked the buoy out. We fished around the area a little bit and my partner caught a bass by fishing a red worm down through the milfoil. That was the second bite we had, and we fished around a little bit more but couldn't get any more bites. I felt, as quick as we caught the first two, there had to be more fish around, and decided to try another color. I reached down and picked my rod up that had the black-and-blue jig on, and in eight straight pitches down through the same hole in the milfoil, I caught eight three to five

 

 
 









 

 

 

  pound bass. It can be that fast and furious, but they can also be that particular. The key is getting in the right area, so when you hit one bass in vegetation, definitely scour the area really well because more than likely there is a whole school of fish.

Fish can be tough to get out of these at times, especially when they are in the deeper milfoil and hydrilla. They can wrap you up in the stalks, and your line will just get tight, and you can't budge the bass. The tendency is to start jerking and going crazy to try and get him up out of there. Usually all you end up doing is breaking your line or tearing the fish off. What I find works best is just to keep a constant pressure on him and almost let him work his way out. Or, if everything else fails, get directly above; put real slow, steady pressure on; and gently increase it. With that tactic the roots will usually slowly give way and break before your line. Then you can bring up a whole wad of grass, and inside of it could be a big old bass. Once in a while you have 10 lbs. of grass and 10 lbs. of bass. Those are great opportunities for jig fishing.

When I get into the deeper milfoil and hydrilla fishing, I normally like to move up to the ? ounce bait. On rare occasions where it is real, real thick, I go to the 1-ounce bait, which is very good at busting down through and getting to the bottom. This is especially good when the bass are buried up and laying right at the bottom. The heavier weight jig is then an excellent choice to get down into the strike zone. If the fish are suspended in the grass, then the ? ounce is truly a better choice.


 
 
 

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