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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping some more experienced bassers can provide some insights into Matted Weeds (Milfoil, Hydrilla etc . . .) and their growth characteristics . . . Pretty much a fancy way of saying I want to know what's under there and how the bass are relating to it. . . Obviously, I understand some things about it, so its not like I have no clue. But, are the weeds canopy-like with more open water underneath? Are the bass creating swim tunnels/lanes? How thick is too thick? I was out on SilverMine (Harriman) last weekend, and some of that stuff seemed really thick, do you fish the really thick stuff? I was trying to fish the edges, but should I be punching through and trying to swim the bait from the shore to the weed edge? I know a vertical presentation works well, flipping it and letting them take it on the fall. This also works well right on the edge if they are actively ambushing, what I'm interested in is getting "reaction" middle of the day type bites, when they are holed up in there just chillin'. Any advice/insight is most appreciated.
 

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Silver one has some nice weeds. There I usually find a little hole and drop an unweighted brush hog. I jig it to try to get it to drop deeper in the hole and often have success. Getting them out is another case. I usually just frog weeds and drop the frog off the side. Sometimes I think they track it until it comes to the side and then pounce on it. The down side to frogging the top of heavy weeds is that if they are too thick the fish can't get to the bait. If I'm punching them I usually use a jig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I usually just frog weeds and drop the frog off the side.
Thanks - I don't know what it is but I can't seem to get a frog bite to save my life and I do use it and have watched the pros fish it, so I know the action, (Dean Rojas Spro, both Black and Green colors) . . .I do get top water bites, I have a lot of confidence in the Spook you recommended back in the spring, appreciate that one.
 

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Locate the outer edge , follow and where there are changes irregularities in the contour of th weed edge especially at points target those areas just outside . Pay attention to the current making your initial cast at the edge where the wind direction is coming from . Those are areas where bass hold up to ambush and thought would have it they are facing the direction the wind current approaches them . The weeds are thick and Silvermine depths where you are targeting ranges from 6-15' , I'd go 1/2 oz to 1oz and vary your trailer to alter the fall rate . As when we were at Rickland where I caught that SM . Good luck Dallin
 

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Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the hollow body frogs. I catch fish on them but have more luck on solid rubber ones and now the mad mouse. I hit an area where I think a fish is holding and throw the frog fast, medium and slow. Pull it without stopping, and try jerking it fast in a cadence. Once I get those first few blow ups I adjust. Sometimes I toss out a frog and just leave it and work another bait while its sitting there. Remember if you miss a fish have another rod ready with a senko or other bait to toss in the spot where you had the blow up. Don't even reel in the other bait. Let it set and get the other lure in the spot ASAP. Sometimes they expect the initial hit to stun their prey and when another drops in they crush it.
 

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Remember if you miss a fish have another rod ready with a senko or other bait to toss in the spot where you had the blow up. Don't even reel in the other bait. Let it set and get the other lure in the spot ASAP. Sometimes they expect the initial hit to stun their prey and when another drops in they crush it.
Very true and I was always told this by NYBass, Seb2fn, and Addicted Angler BUT duriung the 2013 BASS U Seminar, Ish Monroe dispelled this theory- or just told us what he does. He said earlier in his career he always followed up a senko after a missed blow up but now he throws his hollow body back 6-8 more times. His analogy was "Your wife tells you she making steak for dinner and your set on it then you get home and now its chicken.. where is my steak, bitch?" In other words if they are hitting top water frogs in cover, they are keyed in on the frog bite he explained. Of course follow up with a senko/something else that goes under water so the fish can look for his target but Ish Monroe's theory does make sense. I have been trying it out this year.

TLDR?
Hollow body frogs rule over cover. Less fish but betty quality size. Follow up with a senko if it misses. Win.
 

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I think Ish moreso refuted the theory than dispelled it . for me it has worked too many times to buy into it . Wild Bill told me If I wanted to gain my confidence frog bass'n go out with just frogs and commit to it . It was not that simple the first time out but it did make me pay more attention to what works and the confidence followed. Ish for sure knows how to frog bass for fish and not many more than Dean Rojas are in the know to catch a hog with a Spro frog . When it comes to frog bass'n our side of those Pros I would always be a listener of Wild Bill nybass.coms Frog Whisperer. Check the topic in the search he put up some great frog 101 threads and post . I can not today cast a frog without Bill coming to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's really the thing, I believe it will take - Just commit to the Frog. I also believe the tendency to change baits too often can actually hurt my fishing, its tough to commit though when nothing's striking, then I start diggin' through the tackle box. If they are actively biting its easier for me to fine tune the baits. Otherwise I'm just guessing, In these circumstances I've committed to the Jig.

I got some new top water stuff last night, gonna try for that grand daddy pike next weekend, and of course some monster Bass. - I picked up some more Zara Spooks, 1 full size. Also, 2 of the XT Spooks, they look like a Perch, it says Saltwater but its got Pike Strike written all over it. . . .I hope
 

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A couple things. I've heard and seen in practice the what to throw back after a miss debate. It will always end, "up in the air." The deal with tossing a senko back at a topwater is it's easy hookup. A fluke sometimes works better, especially if throwing a minnow style bait.

In the case of hollow frogs and misses, I give them steak. A Stanley Ribbit, lathered with Megastrike, and nose hooked on a weedguard Gamakatsu 2/0 Wide Gap Finesse hook. I recommend using a jig/worm rod and braid for this. The toad is plenty heavy for tossing on casting gear. They wanted the frog? Toss out a frog, and let it sink a bit. You can pinch on a bit of Bull Shot if you need to get it down, but usually the initial strike blows a big enough hole in the weeds to get it through.

Last tip about hollow frogs: When you think the bass are "missing" and blowing up around your bait, and I mean missing by a foot or more, take a very close look at what is happening. Sometimes those bass aren't missing at all. They are eating blue gill and sunnies that are following your frog, and possibly nipping at the legs. This is where a floating blue gill type swimbait will clean house. Even just a Mini Slammer (can be thrown on mos MH tackle) will work. Throw it out where you threw the frog, assuming there's some open water next to the mats, and dead stick it. My favorite to throw is a Mattlures Hard Gill Floater. I imagine a Black Dog Shellcracker G2 would work too.

On to weeds. The canopy of milfoil is usually pretty open underneath, with just stems rising to the surface, where the weeds spread out to compete for sunlight. You might find some coontail moss under there, but it's usually in isolated clumps. A good grass jig or a punching rig will penetrate this stuff, and often with good results. A couple of good jigs for this is Siebert Outdoors Big-O jig in the brush head. Others are the Hack Attack jig or the Outkast RT jig, though I always prefer a wire tied jig, since they last much longer. For punch rigs, I just started using these hand tied versions from Mike Siebert. What I like is they are all in one, and easy to rig. Tie them up like a standard Texas Rig, just add a bobber stop, toothpick, or rubber T-stop to peg it.

Those matted milfoil beds can produce. Just because you aren't getting bit all over the place doesn't mean it's a bad spot, either. Often times, the biggest fish occupy a large area, and being territorial, chase other smaller bass off. So, be sure you pick the place apart.

A nice slop fish on a jig, barely hooked, lol.

 

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Along with skinnybear , and basskwondo , seibertoutdoors are of the best custom jigs I've used unless I can get Justin, to price me right a few if his customs . A pegged beaver is not a bad follow up if you must . The rage tail shads as well to get the bass to track to they strike . They are like using a jitterbug over vegetation .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks JFrancho - Appreciate it - I'll definitely be punching through the slop and pulling out some fatties, hopefully this weekend, keep Jerome's Baits in Mind also. Most Appreciated Fellas.
 

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John, I got a 5# this week on one of the strike king tournament jigs. It has the wire arm that holds the trailer. The fish fought hard and when I got her in I realized that she didn't have the hook in her. The metal arm was in her lip.
 
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