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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I enjoy light tackle fishing in relatively shallow water for rockfish, specks, and pups. Last year there was very little SAV in the usual spots and fishing declined. This year there is the most SAV I have ever seen in more than 20 years of fishing the flats. I have fished in several different areas and all of them have thick grass. I have typically used small 1/4 oz jigheads with 4 inch Bass Assasins in the flats, but the thick grass makes fishing the usual spots impossible. I have gone out to deeper water than the usual 3-4 foot flats, but the grass is thick even out in water depths of 6 feet. I have decided that I will have to switch to topwater lures and try to find some open water spots among the grassy areas. I have rearranged my tackle box to make the switch to the topwater lures, but have not tried to see if those lures might get a few strikes. I have a few Zara spooks, Badonkadonks, Mirrolures, and chug bugs to try on the surface.
If anyone has a suggestion on their favorite topwater lure, colors, sizes, and techniques for retrieval, feel free to post your ideas in the forum or by private mail.
Riverwatcher
 

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Rattle Traps, forget about it. The grass is pretty thick and then there all the floating mats cut free from the propellers. On some of my hard baits like the ones you mention, I take the belly hook off. I tell myself it helps. I’m also using more paddle tail type soft baits rigged weedless on a weighted hook. Nothing like seeing bait jump out of the water and then laying down a perfect cast only to have that spook snarl up with grass before it ever wags its tail. Don’t forget the spoons. Heading out in a couple of minutes for some early morning action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I will have to try the paddletail lure on the weedless weighted jighead. But the grass is so thick that I am not too hopeful. Just saw a jetski crippled with grass in the water intake. Driver jumped into water and got enough grass off to be able to restart it and limp away at slow speed. Same thing happened to my son on his jet ski last week.
 

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I hate jet skis but I love reading this post that the grass is coming back so well. It is tough to fish in when your lures get so caught up in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How far downriver are you fishing that you're finding SAV, R.W.?
Lower Rappahannock. But I have seen lots of grass in larger creeks north of the Rap up to the GW. When the heat and forecasted thunderstorms give me a break, I plan to explore deeper water depths to hopefully find the edge of the grass and maybe find a few fish. It was encouraging to see Capt. Bob Reed's picture in the Rap Record today with 5 specks he and his son caught recently.
RW
 

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Agreed on the SAV - more than I have ever seen in the Great Wicomico when I visit and shut down my fishing for rock from the dock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Grass has settled down a bit. No longer visible on the surface, but still thick about 6-12 inches below the surface. Fished one day earlier this week with 1/4 oz jigs snagging the grass. Switched to slow sinking Mirrolure without any bites. Occassionally snagged grass just under the surface. I did catch a small white perch on a Bass Assassin on a jig at the end of a pier in deeper water. I am hoping that the water is cooling and that the fish return to the shallower water where I normally fish.
And a report of efforts at Spanish mackeral fishing. Fished yesterday on a friend's boat for macks. We caught about 10 macks that were only 13-14 inches which were released and 4 keepers of 16-18 inches. A week earlier, we caught almost 2 dozen keepers and released about a dozen macks that were just undersized or small keeper sized fish that we released. Fished an hour longer to get the 4 keepers yesterday than we did when we caught a lot more a week earlier. Did see a picture of a 5 pound citation mack caught by an NNAC angler on Saturday during an NNAC tournament. Congratulations to her.
Tom
 

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Use offset bass worm hooks for rigging the bass assasins weedless. It will work good in the weeds. I also slip a bead on the main line above my snap and that helps ward off weeds that cling to the line. Use a size just big enough so it wont go through the tip eye.I always use black duo snaps without the swivel for quick changing lures wihout having to tie knots all day. If you are having trouble with your snaps coming undone from a fish( you shouldn't), use a small piece of fish tank bubbler clear plastic hose on the line above the snap then pull it over the snap to lock it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your suggestion. I used weedless worms for bass in freshwater years ago and wondered if I should try rigging weedless BA's for saltwater. I will try it on my next trip. I might also add the smallest needlenose sinker I can find in an old tackle box or maybe a small bead ahead of the weedless hook lure instead of using a weighted jig head.
Tom
 

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Tom, I do well with bass assassins and 1/8 oz jigs while trolling next to the flats and weedbeds. I'm in my 16 ft skiff with 9.9 outboard so depth isn't an issue. I get as close as I can to the weeds without getting snagged. The fish hide in the weeds and dart out to attack the shallow running jig. I also use 1/4 oz jigs but troll them on the deeper side of the boat away from the weeds. I catch some nice trout this way both next to the weeds and just off of the weeds at the dropoff. Start your trip right before or right after high tide. Charlie
 

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I hate jet skis but I love reading this post that the grass is coming back so well. It is tough to fish in when your lures get so caught up in it.
Jet skis have played havoc with grass beds in Florida Bay in the Keys. Would be interesting to get drone shots of local grass beds to see if the same thing is happening here
 
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