When grass mats at the surface, it can create opportunities to catch the biggest bass on any given body of water. Although it’s sometimes difficult to penetrate, the rewards can be huge.
Big bass will hide beneath matted vegetation at any time of the year, especially during periods of extreme temperatures — hot or cold. This carpet-like cover conceals and insulates them. It also provides plenty of oxygen and a steady food source.
There are many types of matted vegetation, and virtually all of them can hold fish. Among the more common are floating plants like duckweed, water lettuce, hyacinths and dollar weed. There are also subsurface varieties that top out on the surface, such as hydrilla, milfoil and peppergrass. As these submerged varieties reach and spread across the water’s surface, sunlight is denied to their lower portions and subsequent thinning occurs. With it, cavernous voids are created. Big bass will find these underwater caverns and thrive within them. Getting to them is the challenge.
Penetrating thick, matted vegetation isn’t always easy — even with an ounce or more of weight. Then there’s the problem of where to start. In many cases, it all looks the same. But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s discuss lure selection.
The proper tools
The most common choice for penetrating thick, matted cover is a Texas-rigged soft-plastic craw or creature-type bait, and there are countless to choose from. My only advice here is to keep them compact. Soft-bodied baits that are oversized or feature bulky appendages won’t penetrate thick cover easily. In fact, you might not get them through at all. So keep the lure body simple and as compact as possible.
I prefer small craws and tubes designed for flipping, as they tend to slide right through the mat unhindered. I pair them with just enough weight to penetrate the cover — no more. The standard rule is: Use only the amount of weight necessary.