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Set the Table, Serve Them Steel

Finding the right pocket in the weeds can often produce some pretty impressive numbers for early season largemouths.

It was one of those perfect mornings. The wind was calm, the temperature was cool but comfortable and the bass season was open. The table was set for a great day on the water. The only thing left was to feed these bruisers some steel!

My fishing partner, Duane Osgood and I, have spent quite a number of hours together in a boat. We both relish the shallow water fishing that is associated with early season bass angling and usually put together an impressive catch during our outings.

Although we were not the first ones at the landing on this perfect bass fishing day, we were the first ones down an undeveloped shoreline on this noted bass lake. We were moving slowly to make sure we were hitting the open pockets on the inside weed line and were picking up a fish here and there.

I remember seeing the change in the weed structure while we were still some distance off. From what we could tell, there appeared to be short stretch of water where the weeds were not growing. This pocket held promise.

Osgood was the first to toss a chunk of plastic into the opening. Almost instantly, his PowerBait worm was inhaled by a giant largemouth. I quickly followed with a wacky rigged worm and also hit pay dirt.

The next hour was undoubtedly the best hour of bass fishing I have ever experienced. We caught a fish on nearly every single cast and most fish were 18 inches or larger. There were so many big bass in this small area there was little room left over for the water.

Eventually, the incredible bite ended and we were forced to continue up the shoreline. Although we still managed to catch scattered fish, it did not compare to the school we had worked over in the weed pocket.

As is usually the case, there were a couple of lessons to learn from this outing. The first lesson has to do with the inside weed line. This is often an ignored transition area that is found on many lakes. Because the inside weed line is associated with shallow water, many anglers do not pay enough attention to this location.

A second lesson that came from this outing was the need to fish irregularities and pockets in the weeds. Many times, the inside weed line is shallow enough that it is possible to actually see the edge. The subtle points and dips in the weeds will often hold fish. 

It is also important to have a variety of rigs primed and ready to go. I always have a wacky rigged rod and a Texas rigged plastic worm at my disposal. In addition to that, I have great success with the Northland Lip-Stick jig fished as a jig-worm combo. The bait holding collar on this jig makes it superior to others on the market.

Duare Osgood holds one of the many big bruisers we caught.

Twitch baits are also necessary for this early season shallow water bite. Osgood has given me a number of lessons on how to entice bass with a shallow running crankbait that is twitched on the retrieve.

Being able to cope with the weeds is often a concept that needs to be considered when rigging rods. Lure options must be compatible with working through and over the greenery.

Bass love the shallows for the first couple weeks of the season. Focusing your efforts on pockets and edges in good cover can definitely pay big dividends.

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April 17, 2011 - Posted by | Bass, Open Water Fishing

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