The weedline is a great place to throw a bait during the fishing season. As soon as the weedline is established, and even before, predator fish will be there looking for something to eat.
In the autumn months, a variety of fish will be lurking along the weedline. You might have a school of crappies suspended just off the edge of the deep weedline, there might be a group of largemouth at a corner of the weedline, or, just a little farther down the weedline where the vegetation juts out a bit forming a point, there could be some walleyes. It’s not unusual to find a bonus muskie or northern pike roaming over the tops of the weeds or along the deep edge as well. Although there may be more fish grouped tighter in different areas, the deep weedline in the fall will often provide a smorgasbord of fishing action.
Lots of techniques will take fish along the weedline in the fall, but if you’re just looking for something to pull back, you can’t beat a jig and soft bait or live bait combo. Start with a jig tipped with Impulse plastic. The species of fish being targeted will help determine the shape of bait to use.
If largemouth bass are the target, tie on a Jungle Jig and attach an Impulse Brush Beaver or Ribbon Worm. The Brush Beaver and Jungle Jig are preferred because they are bulkier and so they will appeal to larger fish. Work the jig/soft-bait combos along the deep edge of the weeds.
If you want walleyes, use a four-inch Smelt Minnow on a Slurp! Jig. Slurp! Jigs were designed to be used with soft baits. Rip the jig/plastic combo through the base of the weeds quickly for the desired affect.
If the walleyes want a slower presentation, you can’t beat a redtail chub in the four- to six-inch size. In the fall we almost always have some redtails in the boat; they’ll turn a slow day into a productive one. However, redtails can be expensive. Keep them in one of the aerated Frabill minnow containers to make sure they stay lively.
If it’s a calm, late afternoon or early evening when you start fishing, and you see fish dimpling the surface near the weedline, move very quietly toward the dimpling and throw a 1/16-ounce jig tipped with an Impulse Water Bug. Swim it slowly through the area being dimpled and you’ll probably catch some crappies. The dimples are created by crappies sucking bugs off the surface. Since the crappies are feeding on the surface, you’ll want to swim your bait just a couple of feet below the surface of the water.
The weedline can provide lots of fall action. Make sure you’re fishing healthy, green weeds and keep moving until you find the fish. Catch a few, then when action slows, move farther along the weedline. You’ll get bit, you’ll have a good time, and that’s what fishing is all about.
Image courtesy Bob Jensen