Southern California Fishing Guide Service – Early Season Grass Fishing 06/06/2017 – Well here we go it’s that time of the year for our bass fishing guide clients at Lake Casitas in Ventura California and most of our western reservoirs as we are beginning to see photosynthesis that is creating grass beds and grass fields throughout our California lakes. I thought I would go over some simple basic principles for fishing grass that most bass anglers overlook. I've always told my fishing guide clients at Lake Casitas in Ventura California grass is natures way of constructing high-rise apartments and condominiums for bass. I've always felt like these grass fields are at basses way of staking claim in a new housing development. Let's face it grass beds provide fantastic cover and the fish absolutely gravitate to these spots all throughout the west. One of the keys early in the season is trying to find the location on your lake where the greatest amount of grass is growing. This is where you want to focus your efforts. You want to try to find what area of the lake harbors the best grass especially early in the season. Once the entire lake is covered with grass the proposition gets much trickier. But early in the season and you can have a tremendous edge and actually be able to be lead right to the fish if you concentrate on where these first areas of grass begin to grow. When you're fishing this early grass it is never a question as to whether or not the bass are there. The fish are there! Just trust me it's one of the few times and fishing when you find grass especially early in the season there is no question you are fishing in the correct spot. Once that grass begins to grow everywhere like I said things will get much more difficult for you. The grass filtrates the water and provides nice clear water with good oxygen content so it's a perfect situation to harbor large areas of fish and perfect for baitfish to move through. The best part about fishing grass is the anglers confidence in knowing that they are fishing the correct spot. There's no question about that. Now the question is whether or not you can catch these fish they are located in this early-season grass.
I want to make this very clear and it's actually super simple. Everything about grass fishing is about keeping your bait clean. Let me repeat that. At all times do everything possible to keep your bait clean and your way ahead of the game. Let me make this clear what I mean by "clean" is a lure that has absolutely no grass hanging from it or attached to it after each and every cast. Do not choose lures that do not work properly in the grass and come back after each and every cast with grass hanging on them. You need to limit your selections to baits that come back "clean". This is crucial. Let me give you the easiest example that I can. You elect to go ahead and fish a grass bed with a drop shot plastic worm. You want to make sure that you have a Texas rig hook that is small and sleek and will work through the grass in a clean fashion. You want to select a drop weight that is made for fishing grass. For instants I use a "Bakudan skinny drop shop weight" when ever I fish grass. Once again I'm just trying to make my rig as grass free as possible. Do you not pull up to grass field and throw the same drop shot plastic worm set up that you have fished all winter when there was no grass around. Put away the round drop shot weights. Put away the open hooks that you nose hook your drop shot worm with. Those are used for winter and spring when there's absolutely no grass in the lake. Now listen if you're going to fish in deep water outside of the grass lines that's a different issue. But if you're going to fish where the fish are right up in the grass you have to have a clean bait. Another good example: you love to use a football head jig it's a great fishing lure. But it's a terrible lure in grass. You can still fish a jig in grass but you got to put the football head jig away. Pick up a jig that is made for fishing grass. Most manufacturers make jigs that our grass specific. I don't care how much you like that one particular football head jig it's just not going to work when fishing is thick grass. You have to make the change. No matter how much success you had this winter and spring the world is different now the grass is growing so you have to change your approach. Every bait that you select when fishing grass say to yourself how clean will bait come through the cover. I know I'm going on about this but it's without question the biggest mistake I see anglers make. They make absolutely no changes to their lures or rigging and continue to fish in the grass and wonder why their results fall off dramatically. It's because your bait is covered with grass and it's what we call "dirty". You can't have anything hanging on your bait when you're fishing it. Your bait has to fish nice and clean. You'll know when you have the right rigging when cast after cast your bait will come through the cover clean and be ready for the next cast. If you find yourself every other cast having to pick away at your lure you have made the wrong selection. Another great example is if the grass is not matted on the surface a buzzbait can be a fantastic lure. But if you cast a buzzbait and every other cast you have grass hanging off your best bait you've made a poor selection. Maybe you can continue with the buzzbait but the style of the buzz bait you're using just catches too much grass. Just try to make modifications to your lure selection so that your lure is always clean. A perfect example is the success of the top water frog. It's greatest asset is that in matted conditions the frog can come through the area clean. I've never really believed that the frog is the absolute reason the lure works so well I think it's the fact that the frog comes through the water so clean.
So next time out once you've located that first good patch of grass on your reservoir remember to look at your tacklebox in a different fashion. Try to make lure selections and modifications to your rigging so that your day is as clean as possible. That your bait each and every cast comes out of the water with little or no grass on it. Preferably with absolutely no grass at all is always best. I understand that all of us have to pick away at our bait just a little bit during the day when fishing grass but it should not overcome your day. It should be a small part of the day. Many many lures will work in grassy areas but the best ones are the ones that fish clean in and around the locations in the grass where the fish live.
Byline: Anyone with questions about this article or have any questions for Rich can always contact him at RichTauberFishing.com