As we head into the June period of open water fishing, emerging weeds are the key ingredient for finding and catching mid-season gamefish. There is no doubt we have had a very slow start to the season with water temperatures really lagging behind. The weeds that are coming up just started and are at least three weeks late.
Here’s a primer on making sure you key in on mid-season weeds:
1. Oxygen Producing
Not all weeds are created equal. Many anglers make the mistake of fishing brown or dead weeds which is a total waste of time as these weeds are not producing oxygen. Bright, green weeds are the type you are looking for as these weeds are highly productive and provide wonderful cover for all game fish as well as baitfish.
2. Weed Types
Now that the invasive milfoil has established itself statewide, we have much less native weeds to work with. Milfoil tends to choke out the natural weeds in time.
My favorite weed is cabbage. Cabbage is leafy, green and holds enormous groups of fish within its leafy texture. Cabbage used to be very common, but now it’s few and far between. Coontail also is somewhat common and found statewide. Coontail is my second choice because it’s not as leafy as cabbage but if it’s green, the game fish will use it.
Milfoil is here to stay whether we like it or not.
Many bass anglers have adapted to this matted style of weed and have learned to fish successfully, but this guide would rather avoid it altogether. The only good thing about milfoil is that the game fish can bury themselves into these matted weeds to the point that anglers can’t get to them the majority of the summer.
3. Work the Edges
As in most fishing scenarios, you work the edges of the weeds just like you would work the edges of any structure.
Walleyes, bass and northern pike love to ambush bait fish along the edges of green weeds. Be patient, work slowly and work those edges.