Breaking The Weed Barrier

Breaking The Weed Barrier

Andy Dear | Sunday, 7 July 2019

Yesterday Jackson and I spent the day fishing for Largemouth Bass on a private lake here in South Texas. The plan originally was to fly fish, but the unrelenting wind had other ideas. When we arrived at our destination just after daybreak, we also became immediately aware that the recent rain runoff and summer heat have initiated the growth of what looks to be an invasive species of aquatic plant known as Hydrilla.

   Over half of the lake had a seemingly impenetrable mat of weeds around its perimeter, in some cases extending significantly out from the bank. Many of our normal "hot spots" were completely inaccessible, due to the thick layer of vegetation. As a result, plan B went into effect immediately.

  We rigged up a couple of baitcasting rods with braided line, and plastic frog lures, that due to their unique design are EXTREMELY weedless. The key to the design is that the hook rides point up and is partially obscured by a hollow, soft plastic collapsible body that allows a proper hook set when a fish strikes. These lures when fished over heavy vegetation produce extremely vicious, explosive strikes. And although the hookup ratio is often quite low, the sheer excitement of the visual display of ferocity more than makes up for the lack of fish brought to hand. Many times you can coax the same fish to strike a second, occasionally even a third time after they've missed it on the initial presentation.

  The frogs didn't fail to excite. Although we only boated 5 solid Bass, we probably had 10 more that went full-on, tail walking aerial as they erupted through the thick layer of weeds. Many times leaving nothing more than a gaping hole where once was a thick green, shag carpet-like layer of salad.

  So, now we've got a new mission...figure out how to fish these weed mats with a flyrod. The problem is that any fly that is reasonably castable on an 8wt. is ultimately affected by the weight of the hook and wants to ride point down. The result of this would a glob of vegetation that as they say in Texas "would be thick enough to choke a Mule" on the fly with every cast.

  So, I am officially putting out the call to anyone in Sexyloops land. If you have a surface fly designed to ride hook point up, and stay weedless under the most extreme conditions, I am all ears. This type of fishing is WAAAYYYYY too exciting to be relegated to the conventional tackle fisherman's arsenal. In the meantime, I'll be behind the vise doing some experimentation of my own.

Hope you all have a fantastic week,