We all know that trophy bass lurk under fields of lily pads and matted grass. We also know that you can fan-cast over these vegetable mazes for hours with little action. It all looks the same. The bass could be anywhere. Right? Wrong. Pro Michael Simonton says that if you look closer, you’ll find key spots within the vegetation that hold bass. By casting to these target areas—and skipping the rest—Simonton loads up on the fatties. Here’s how.
A. Chopped-up grass that has formed a mat near cattails creates an ambush spot for a fish.
B. Dance a weedless frog (see “Green Machines”) in any small grass-patch opening.
C. A small cluster of lily pads in a field of matted grass is always worth a cast.
D. Points along grass and lily-pad edges are ideal ambush spots for feeding bass.
E. Boat lanes create edges and canopies where largemouths roam and feed.
F. A small patch of milfoil or other matted grass in a lily-pad field is a bass magnet.
G. Largemouths hang beneath the inside turns on edges that form a shady canopy.
H. Long, straight, homogeneous grasslines offer few targets. Skip them.
I. In matted grass, concentrate on dark haunts you see under small canopies.
Spro Bronzeye Frog 65
Simonton works a Spro Bronzeye Frog 65 over edges, openings, and vegetation that isn’t too thick. For aggressive bass, he snaps the rod tip down on a tight line to make the bait’s nose slap the water. For finicky bass, he twitches the frog on slack line to make it walk back and forth. He limits his casts to 30 feet so he can pull fish out of the grass.
Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw Lure
Simonton fishes dense grass mats with a Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw. He Texas-rigs the lure on a 4/0 Gamakatsu Superline Worm Hook weighted with a 1- to 1½-ounce tungsten sinker. He makes short 8-foot pitches with a heavy flipping rod so the bait punches through the grass and falls vertically. Most bites come on the initial drop.