Growing up fishing the vegetation rich waters of Lake Guntersville, Alabama, Jordan Lee knows a thing or two about fishing shallow vegetation. He’s taken that knowledge and applied it everywhere that bass and grass coexist as he fishes the Bass Pro Tour. For him, it all comes down to being efficient with lure selection and zeroing in on the high-percentage areas.
Lee typically starts by fishing the edges or in the thickest grass he can find when fishing vegetation.
“When I am around grass, I’ll either start on the outside edge or where it starts to taper off and become more sparse,” Lee says. “That’s always a good place to concentrate on. The next thing I’ll look for is the thickest grass, the nastiest and biggest mats. A lot of times, that I where the fish are going to congregate.”
Lee uses this approach for all types of vegetation, but at the same time, he believes that not all grass is created equal.
“Every type of grass is different and my favorite is hydrilla because it makes good edges and that makes it easier to pinpoint where the bass are,” says the Alabama pro. “Eelgrass is probably my least favorite because there are not a lot of holes in it. Coontail and milfoil are a little easier to find them in because they will get pretty sparse and create little points and patches.”
As the water cools in the fall, Lee says it becomes a little easier to determine where the bass will be as the grass slowly dies.
“The bass will go to the thickest stuff as the water starts to cool,” Lee shares. “Those fish that are on the outer edges will start to gravitate to the mats because that’s where all of the life is. The bluegill will start moving in because it is typically a little warmer inside of the center of those mats.”
When aquatic vegetation is limited, it makes things easier to pinpoint where to fish: find a good weed line and get after it. But, some waters have grass everywhere and that’s where it takes a little reasoning to determine the best place to start.
“When grass is everywhere on somewhere like in Florida, I look for places where it gets real clumpy and where there are holes in the grass,” Lee says. “There may be big hydrilla flats for miles and I’ll use my Lowrance StructureScan to look for holes in the grass that you can’t always find just by looking around while fishing. It makes it easier to target the fish in the scattered grass because they can be anywhere in the thicker stuff.”
Lee keeps it pretty simple when it comes to fishing grass, which lets him fish the cover effectively. A Texas rig with a heavy weight, frog, and ChatterBait are his top picks for fishing vegetation.
“The key is to be able to make a lot of casts in a day and be efficient and one of the best ways to do that is by punching with a big weight,” Lee says. “That’s probably the best way to catch them where there’s a lot of grass because you can drop it right in their home. Vegetation makes the water clear and when that happens, they usually want to be right in the middle of it.”
His other favorites are no big surprise, a frog and ChatterBait.
“It’s all about staying weedless and not hanging up and the frog is the best way to do that,” Lee says. “If the water is a little deeper and the grass is sparser, a ChatterBait will let you fish faster and cover much more water until you find them.”