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Work a Weedline

By Bob Jensen - July 1, 2009
As summer progresses, gamefish throughout the Midwest will be found in a variety of areas in a body of water. They are looking for food, and, depending on the lake, food can be found in a variety of areas. In some lakes, walleyes will be feeding on perch in deep water. In other lakes, largemouth bass will be eating suspended shad.

Northern pike can be found chasing oily baitfish off deep points, and crappies will be hanging out around brush-piles. And, in lakes that have good deep weedlines, you'll be able to find walleyes, largemouth, pike and crappies along those weedlines. No doubt, weedlines can provide consistent fishing throughout the summer.

Here's how to take advantage of those weedlines.
First off, when we talk about weedlines, we're mostly referring to vegetation like cabbage weeds. The weedlines we're fishing are usually not visible above the water, although sometimes the tops of the weeds will poke above the surface of the water.

In some lakes the deep weedline will be in five to seven feet of water, in other lakes you'll find the weedline much deeper, maybe down to fifteen to twenty feet of depth. The clearer the water, the deeper you'll find the weedline. A little shallower or a little deeper than ten feet is pretty common.

Early in the day and later in the day, and on cloudy days, the fish will spread out across the tops of the weeds. On bright days they'll often be on the deep edge of the weeds near the bottom, although fish don't always do what we expect them to do. Lots of lures will catch weed-related fish. When they're over the tops of the weeds, shallow running crankbaits or spinnerbaits will be good. Deeper running crankbaits will be good when they're on the deep edge.

However, many anglers will tell you that if they were limited to one bait presentation for the weedline, they would be throwing a jig tipped with soft bait or live bait.

If soft bait is your choice, go with a five to seven inch Gulp! or PowerBait worm. These baits will catch any fish that's swimming along a weedline. Rig them on one of the new Slurp! Jigs. Slurp! Jigs were created specifically for soft bait.

When the fish are reluctant to eat, the best way to catch them is with a jig/minnow combo. Go with a larger minnow like a redtail. Work it right along the deep edge of the weeds on a Weed-Weasel jig. Weed-Weasels have a weed-guard that enables the jig to slip through the weeds easily.

You want your redtail to be healthy. Keeping minnows alive in the summer can be a hassle, but the aerated minnow buckets from Frabill enable you to keep your minnows in fish-catching condition.

If you want to increase your odds for catching a fish in the next couple of months, go to a good weedline lake and throw some baits around a weedline. You will get bit!

Author Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at
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