California Delta: Fishing the weeds
With the California Delta having so many areas to choose from that hold excellent weeds, the techniques discussed below can all be utilized throughout an entire day of fishing during the right conditions. Fishing docks, rocks and tullies will produce fish, but weeds are a key for bass and should be to you as well.
Weeds help filter an area and keep the water clean, provide oxygen and provide a huge spectrum of forage for the bass, so really this is an excellent type of cover that bass can set up shop in and wait out hot summer days, cold fronts and even heavy fishing pressure. A good weed bed or patch will even block the current and make life a little easier for a bass that wants to relax, but at the same time allows it to take advantage of what the current brings to the hideout. It’s like ordering room service in a sense.
The weeds provide food sources for bluegill, perch and even crawdads which in-turns, provides food for the bass.
Topwater is hands down the most exciting way to fish for bass around and over the top of weeds because of the anticipation of the water surface becoming broken as an explosion occurs and your lure disappears while you watch the entire process unfold right before your eyes. There are several lures that can be used, a few of them being: a spook or other walking bait, a buzzbait and a buzzfrog (ex: Berserk Baits Freaky Frogz and Strike King Rage Tail Shad). Mornings and evenings are said to be the best times to use topwater, but there are times you can catch fish all day long on topwater.
As the bass stop committing to topwater and the bite shuts down, you don’t have to leave the area, you just need to get after them in another way. There are several lures and techniques that can accomplish this, but I like 2 in general which consists of punching a 1 ounce or bigger tungsten weight with various plastics to get down to where the bass feel more comfortable and the other rig I like to utilize is the drop shot and a 1 ounce tungsten weight, which allows you to keep that bait in another zone of the weed patch you are fishing and really put that bait on their dining room table. Both of these rigs will require braid and a superline hook so you can get the fish out of there hiding spots after hooking up.
Throwing lipless crankbaits on braid and ripping them out of the weeds is another way to attack the weeds in the Delta and this method can create some crushing reaction strikes as well. As the bait tics the weeds, give it a little pop and this can trigger the fish to take the bait. You can also use a yo-yo style retrieve if the weeds are in deeper water, which allows you to let the bait drop down to the top of the weeds and then pull up towards the surface. Strikes can come while the bait is taking off towards the surface and even while fluttering back down.
Try adding some of these techniques to your arsenal and hold on, because you never know when there will be a monster bass ready to explode out of the weeds after your bait.