Written by Andrew Schadegg
Just like people, bass like security and convenience. They want to live in a place that is protected from other predators, but also near easy meals that don’t take up a lot of energy to chase down. They get all of this and more in super heavy cover.
Heavy cover could be things like hyacinth mats, a thick bush or laydown tree, grass, or any vegetation that provides a canopy with shade and lots of healthy growth. Many anglers struggle to fish the heavy stuff, so here’s a few tips to get you started fishing it better.
One of the biggest mistakes that angler’s make when fishing weed edges, brush or heavy mats is they get too close. They run their boat and trolling motor right along the outside of the cover, bumping it or disturbing it. There is no quicker way to shut down a group of fish, then letting them know your right outside their door.
Pull back off the cover as far as you can, while still being able to make accurate casts. This will keep any boat disturbance from spooking those fish. Even if you’re bank fishing, stay as far away as you can when making your casts to cover.
Another really common mistake, is to toss your bait right into the heart of the cover first or go right to the bank. A certain piece of cover, whether it’s a brush pile, laydown or big area of matted grass, might hold 2 or 3 or even a half dozen fish. If you toss into the middle of that cover and catch a fish, you’ve eliminated any chance of catching another one.
Work the edges and the outside first. If you catch a fish on the outside, there’s a good chance you haven’t disturbed the rest of the fish. Continue to work from the outside in and you might be able to turn one fish into multiple.
Spot on the Spot
Every piece of cover has a sweet spot. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to pull up to a giant grass flat, with a ton of cheese on the surface. Where do you start? It all looks so good, it can be hard to pick apart the best of the best.
The key is to find those little things, like a stump or a tree or anything within that mat that looks a little different. Even within a big expansive area, there will always be a “spot on the spot” that will hold more fish than other areas. Maybe it’s a transition on the bank or a slight depth change. Find that spot and you’ll definitely maximize your effectiveness in heavy cover.