Largemouth bass are at home in heavy cover. They are built perfectly to navigate and feed amongst the tangled branches of a laydown or thick canopy of a grass bed. For that reason, they spend much of their time relating to such places.
For anglers, the presence of heavy cover takes away many presentation options. Forget anything with treble hooks or light line because it won’t get the job done.
The fish are there, though, so don’t give up on heavy cover – just rely on one of these presentations to put fish in the boat when they’re buried in the thick stuff.
1. Hollow-Bodied Frog
Designed for riding weedlessly over thick mats of vegetation, hollow bodied frogs like the Lunkerhunt Combat Frog are one of the absolute best baits for catching bass in heavy cover. When paired to the right rod, reel, and line combo (think heavy) – they can land upwards of 90% of the fish that bite. Don’t limit their use to grass either; hollow bodied frogs are also excellent when skipped around flooded bushes, laydowns, and docks. If there are bass in thick cover, you can probably catch them on a frog.
2. Punch Rig A Creature Bait
If they won’t respond to a frog going over their heads, sometimes you’ve got no choice but to dig them out with a heavy punching rig. Start with a flipping stick, peg a ¾ or 1 ounce tungsten sinker, and Texas-rig a creature bait like the BioSpawn VileCraw – then flip or pitch it right into the heart of the cover. Use enough weight to get it through the mat, then shake it a few times and make another pitch. Focus on areas with transitions or edges amongst the cover.
3. Bubba Shot A Worm
The bubba shot, a somewhat uncommon rig, is another way to dig bass out of heavy cover, and it can be particularly effective in places where angler pressure or frontal conditions have the bass less aggressive. The bubba shot is basically an upsized drop shot on a heavy baitcasting setup. Add a worm like the Rage Tail Recon Worm to the rig, and instead of light fluorocarbon, use 15 or 20lb test, and a ½ to ¾ ounce bell sinker. Rig the bait weedless with about a 6-10 inch leader and flip it into pockets and holes in the cover. Once it hits the bottom, let it sit and shake it. Curious bass can’t resist the bait just sitting in their faces, suspended off the bottom.
For more tips on how to catch bass in heavy cover, check out this video below from Z-Man:
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