As the sun comes up bass will move from open water and into either deeper water or a shallow water with cover. Floating grass mats and deep submerged grass provide that much needed cover.
When choosing a bait, most of the bait clearly don’t look like something the bass would naturally feed on. But it’s the color and vibration the bait makes is often similar to what the bass normally eat in these areas. And so the bass has to make a split second decision on whether to eat your lure or potentially let an easy meal pass them by.
Here is a great list of bass baits for thick grass to get you started:
Not only will bass eat the small fish and crawfish in the water they’ll always consider an easy surface meal like a frog.
Frogs are slow, soft, and lack any sharp spines so bass go crazy over them and they’re found close to shore and around both submerged and emergent grass.
This gives you the opportunity to capitalize on those facts.
Keep the colors simple. Green, white, and black
Examples of hollow body frogs
- Booyah Pad Crasher
- Strike King Sexy Frog
- Spro Bronzeye Frog
- LIVETARGET Hollow Body Frog
- Scum Frog Bassrat
Fishing a spinnerbait or chatterbait over and around grass can be a game changer for you. If you see bass exploding on fish that’s a clear indication that you should have a moving bait tied on.
Fish the channels, points, cuts, and parallel to the floating or emergent grass beds.
Simple colors such as white or sexy shad work great. If you know there are bluegill or perch around then made sure you have a couple of those ready to be tied on as well.
Examples of best spinnerbaits and chatterbaits
How To Punch Grass Mats
The Punch Rig - Bass Fishing in Thick Grass
A punch rig refers to a slender bait with a stout heavy-gauge flipping hook that has a heavy lead or tungsten flipping in the front.
Often the weight is pegged close to the hook right behind a plastic or glass bead.
Punching or flipping weights are commonly found in the 1/2 – 2-ounce sizes. The heavy weight needs to have a enough mass to punch through heavy vegetation.
The great thing about creature baits is they can be so versatile. It’s no wonder they have exploded in popularity.
Normally found with a longer profile, they are often found with multiple flippers and tentacles that just seem to drive the bass crazy!
Great for clear water and semi-murky water these work not only are these great for fishing submerged grass, these little guys flipped around tree stumps, docks, bluff walls and other vertical structures.
- Zoom Brush Hogs
- Big Bite Baits Flying Squirrel
- Culprit Incredi Craw
- Googan Baits Trench Hawg
When the beaver-style bait hit the market it filled a much needed niche in the bass fishing world. It has a large bulky profile that displaces a large amount of water and paired with a solid flipper tail, it was not seen by the bass until then.
The first beaver baits were the Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver introduced in 2002 by Bass Pro Andre Moore, who founded the Reaction Innovations company. Since then multiple other companies have come up with their own versions of the beaver bait.
One of the most interesting features of the beaver bait is that the main “tail” section can be cut down the middle to add even more action.
Often viewed as more finesse than a flipping jig, a beaver bait often is paired with a punching weight to create one of the best baits for punching grass.
- Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver
- Gambler Ugly Otter
- Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Rodent
- Z-Man Palmetto BugZ
- Yum Wolly Bug
Like the beaver style baits, craw baits are also bulky and displace a lot of water. What makes them different is the craw pincer appendages will flap in the water creating an added disturbance.
However, too much of something is not necessarily a good thing. Many craw manufacturers will make the pincer appendages really big. Unfortunately, those pincer appendages will get wrapped around a branch, a twig, or something else and will prevent the lure from flipping into that deep grass.
So to solve that problem some lure manufacturers have made compact appendages that flap like crazy and will not get hung up, or will remain in a compact craw pincer shape
Examples of compact craw baits that are great for flipping into grass:
- Zoom Speed Craw
- Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw
- Missile Baits Missile Craw
- Gambler Burner Craw
- Googan Baits Krackin’ Craw
Fluke baits & Soft Plastic Swimbaits
Fluke baits are perfect for flipping and pitching into grass they’re long, narrow and bass go crazy with their soft natural feel…
And soft plastic swimbaits also have a similar body shape but have a little tail that kicks back and forth on the fall.
Made with the intention of looking like a real baitfish they are made in a variety of colors, anything from shad, to bluegill, to perch! If you’re first starting out with flipping a fluke choose a bream or bluegill color first because those are the most common forage fish you’ll see around grass mats.
Helpful TIP: If you’re flipping swimbaits make sure you pick a swimbait with a smaller paddle tail. It will prevent from it getting hung up or wrapped around a branch.
Examples of fluke baits and soft plastic swimbaits:
- Zoom Salty Super Fluke
- Berkley Powerbait Jerk Shad
- Lunker City Fin-S Fish
- Z-Man Scented Jerk Shadz
- LIVETARGET Twitch Minnow
Many anglers overlook worms as a good bait for thick grass fishing. But that can be farther from the truth. Worms are also long and thin and can shimmy their way through the heavy vegetation.
If the water you’re fishing is fairly clear, then flipping a worm into that vegetation should be one of your options.
But the key to finding a good worm to use as a pitching bait is to make sure it isn’t super long and flexible otherwise, you’ll risk getting wrapped around a branch or something. Some of the worms also come with an added kicker tail
Stick baits are great baits for flipping into grass. They’re long and thin, and not overly flexible, so you don’t have to worry about getting hung up.
Shorter straight tail worms can be great flipping baits too, especially if they have a little flipper or paddle tail.
Examples of best worms for fishing submerged grass
- Yamamoto Senko
- Yum Dinger
- Mister Twister Poc’it Phenom Curly Tail Worm
- Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm
- Missile Baits Quiver Worm
Let’s get something straight… bass hate lizards. During the spring, lizards and salamanders will raid a bass nest and will eat thousands of bass eggs throughout spring.
The lizard bait is slender, long, and can slip through small cracks and openings in the vegetation.
Keep it simple when it comes to choosing a size and color for flipping grass. Lizard baits between 4-6-inches will do just fine.
If water is clear or if the bass are skittish, downsize to a smaller lizard.
You really need only need four colors. For clear water, green pumpkin or watermelon red flake works great. stained to muddy dirty water, have a couple of packs of either junebug or black/blue.
Many anglers think the ol’ lizard has fallen out of fashion. But the surprising answer is ‘no’. In an article in Bassmaster magazine, a Zoom Baits employee reported that they are selling more lizards more than ever.
Examples of best lizards
- Zoom Lizards
- Yum Lizards
- Berkley Powerbait Power Lizard
“The thing that makes a soft plastic lizard special is the flat belly paired with a tail and legs that have great but subtle swimming action. As for the reason you don’t hear about it more – I think it’s because guys don’t want to spotlight it. They keep it kinda under the collar. But again, come check my boat, and you’ll find a box full of lizards right now.” -Mike Iaconelli via Bassmaster.
Flipping jigs made out list of the top jigs for bass fishing.
Designed specifically for this purpose, the best flipping jigs have these main features: arrow-like pointed noses, a stout-but-flexible weedguard, and a thick unbendable hook. Many times you’ll also see them paired with a bait collar and a loud rattle.
The pointed jig head allows it to slide through cover and be incredibly snag proof.
The weedguard are often color matched to the jig head color to give it a more natural appearance.
The hook you’ll see on most flipping jigs are thicker and stronger than your standard casting jig. You need a stout hook that won’t bend under all the weight from the fish and the grass.
You’ll also see on the better flipping jigs is a collar that will hold the soft plastic trailer in place. As your jig is smashing through the grass you don’t want your trailer to slide off the hook.
Finally you may notice the jig will have either one or two rattles. The rattles will call the fish in like a dinner bell and get the attention of some of the biggest bass.
What are the best jigs for grass fishing?
The jigs that will most likely give you the most success are jigs that are normally considered larger in weight. Half ounce-to-three quarters ounce jigs are best go-to size if you’re just getting started.
If you’re punching floating mats… use a much heavier jig than that. Jigs that are ¾-1½-ounce normally work great.
In submerged grass that has less than 8 to 10 ft depth, reach for a half-ounce size, and anything deeper than 10 to 12 feet, go for a three quarter ounce size.
But wait…there’s an exception… If it’s windy automatically upsize your jig by a quarter ounce no matter what the depth is. This will allow you to stay in contact with the bottom much easier.
- Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Jig
- Missile Baits Ike’s Mini Flip Jig
- Trashmaster Cover/Flipping Jig
Best flipping jig color
The color is more important than the brand. The color needs to match the surrounding forage such as green pumpkin, watermelon, sprayed grass, black and blue, and all black.
Depending on the time of year, use different soft plastic trailers. On a regular day (slight breeze, no clouds) a Strike King rage craw or a Berkley chigger craw works great
If the weather is cold and you decide to fish deep grass, you should thread on a Zoom Super Chunk or even an Uncle Josh Pork Chunk trailer.
Don’t forget about pork chunk trailers and cold water… Pork trailers will remain flexible and will maintain it’s natural appearance. Soft plastic baits in the cold water become stiff and will lose action.
One last thing to remember when you’re fishing bass that are held up in deep thick vegetation you want to use a trailer that has a narrow profile. This allows it to slip through the vegetation much easier than a big bulky profile.
As the sun comes up bass will move from open water and into either deeper water or a shallow water with cover. Floating grass mats
Bass Fishing In Heavy Grass 101 Like anything worth mastering, patience, understanding the process and practice and the means to the end. When it comes
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