You need to know one thing for Chef Pass bass: fish the grass
The bass fishing around Chef Pass has exploded in the past few years, and avid angler Andre Thomas targets them a lot this month. Although the fish are not big, they are very plentiful, especially on a certain tidal movement.
“If the tide is falling, you can find fish,” he said. “They’re more congregated around the grass.
“The falling tide concentrates the fish. The bait comes to the fish. The fish fall to the drainages and to the hard grasslines. Even if there is no drainage, they’ll be on the drop off in the bend of a bayou.”
To target these bass, Thomas likes to look for deeper areas in the marsh.
“I look for bayous that have deeper water,” he said. “The 3-5- feet of depth is key because there are a lot of bayous that don’t maintain that depth.
“You can fish them up to 7 or 8 feet, and that’s even better. The more drainages a bayou has in it and the more hard grasslines, the better.”
Thomas likes one bait in particular for fishing these deeper, grassier areas.
“If I’m fishing the heavy vegetation, I’m looking at a weedless Vudu Shrimp,” he said.
The Vudu shrimp comes with a weedless hook, but Thomas prefers to swap it out to a Z-Man Texas Eye ¼-ounce jighead. The jighead features a free-swinging hook, where the lead isn’t directly on the head of the hook. This gives fish less leverage to throw the bait, and it also hosts another advantage, according to Thomas.
“The bait swims well when I fish it,” he said.
Thomas likes to experiment with how he fishes the bait. The fish seem to like that, too. Figure out what they want and that’s the way to fish it.
“Sometimes I’ll throw it up in the grass and work it out to the edge,” he said. “If there is a little lane on the inside of the grass, I’ll fish the inside of the lane.
“Most of the time, because I’m usually chasing them on the falling tide, they’ll be on the outside of the grass.”
These weedless setups are imperative because Thomas focuses his efforts around grass.
“The grass holds the bait. It’s an ideal ambush spot and it gets the fish out of the direct sunlight,” Thomas said.
In many parts of the state, the bass will only bite early in the morning or late in the evening when the heat of June arrives, but Thomas said the marsh bass are not that way.
“It’s not as bad as the lake fishing because of the tidal flow,” he said. “The angler tries to avoid the heat more than the bass are affected by the heat.”