The Change Up
The recent Walmart FLW tournament on the Potomac River was classic community weed flat fishing. Large areas held wads of bass. Anglers quickly realized the bounty and pounded it for all its worth. Scott Martin, the winner and leader each and every day of the event used skill to keep atop the leader board.
Pitching craws is a standard grass technique. Scott switched to a paddle tail worm. This isn’t old school thinking but more of a Florida standard that doesn’t get a lot of play. The tail provides pulsing vibration plus it’s slim profile slips through cover with ease. Sometimes offering a different profile is in order.
Recently, Florida tournaments, especially on Lake Okeechobee, have been dominated by black blue jigs. For years, Florida was the domain of soft plastic worms. Now, the jig is catching on in popularity. Someone must have figured it out. Consider the popularity of the chatterbait, drop shot, Alabama rig and Senko. Each has a local following until anglers started experimenting. Now these baits are sold across the globe.
Downsizing is not always best. Rigging a super sized weight can be beneficial. Firstly, a magnum weight rockets the bait through the grass the first time. Nothing waste times more than repeated casts into a grass mat. You have to make the first cast count. Having a larger weight than most ensure the bait reaches the very bottom. The true monster lurk under the thickest cover. So get the bait to them is a must.
Scott Martin used cranks and chatterbaits when the tide was high. With the water level peaked, it permitted these baits to run just over the grass. As the tide receded, flipping to patches of grass was the ticket. On the Potomac River, working the tide is key. On non-tidal water bodies, use light levels or wind to determine which lures are best. Overcast or early mornings periods might trigger bass; so, machine gun casts over a large area might be the ticket. A strong wind can activated them. The only way to find out if it works it to try it.
Everyone wishes for a peace and quiet. Many times, your fishing day is the same as everyone else. Tournament guys always have to fish in a crowd. Learning how to do it is simpler than you think.