Grass is arguably one of the most important elements of a good fishery. Almost any time of year, if you find grass, you find bass. Fish gravitate to and thrive in it because it not only provides shelter for them, but it shelters the forage they eat and helps ensure the survival of their fry. Imagine, then, that you’re on a hot grass bite one week, and the next week, all the grass is gone. That’s the subject of this recent post on Bassresource.com, in which the poster complains that he was having trouble finding bass after his favorite beds had been sprayed and eradicated. It’s a pretty poignant subject, as spraying happens often in many parts of the country. So, whether the grass is gone from the entire fishery, or just a small portion of a body of water, what should you do next if this happens to you?
Bass that lose their grass castles suddenly will temporarily shift their location to closest non-grass structure. Hard cover like docks, wood, brush piles, or rocks are common secondary choices. My personal experience when fishing around grass-eradicated areas has actually been pretty good, at least immediately after spraying. I suppose that’s because the healthy population of grass bass now have fewer places to hide, making whatever cover is left overpopulated bass magnets. They’re very easy to find. But as time passes and the bass population has an opportunity to adjust and spread out well beyond the location of their old green home, that’s when the fishing gets tougher.
Most of the time, these fish will end up on new grass, but let’s suppose spraying has killed all the grass in the lake. In that scenario, I think many bass suspend, becoming rogue bait school chasers in deep open water. That means easy pickings no more! It’s a sad reality in many bodies of water, but spraying can ultimately force an angler to either pick himself up by his boot straps and relearn the fishery, or move on to grassier pastures if easy and consistent are the only bass fishing you ever want. After all, many waterways are used for a lot more than recreational boating and fishing, so spraying isn’t something likely to just go away.