Why ‘Weeds’ Are Important to Fishing

As a beginning angler, I didn’t have the proper respect for the weeds in the rivers, lakes, ponds were we fished.  I thought of them as ‘stuff in the way.’

This posting will hopefully help newbies understand how important all that underwater ‘stuff’ is.

Why Weeds?

In the fish world, there are two roles: eat or be eaten!  Larger fish are looking for smaller fish to eat, while tiny fish are looking for plankton or other invertebrates for a meal.

No fish wants to be a larger fish’s meal; thus, they hide in weeds. Large predator fish lurk in the weeds, waiting for an unsuspecting bait fish.  Tiny fish feast on the bits of food caught in the sticky tendrils of the weeds.

Cabbage Weeds


The Water Around Cabbage Weed is Highly Oxygenated


Cabbage has a thick stock with long, willowy leaves.   Bait fish and game fish call these weeds home.   Whitefish, walleye, largemouth bass and suckers particularly like to hide in these weeds.

Although bait fish think they are safe, pike and other predators lurk in the shadows, hoping to nab a meal.

Coontail Weed Beds


Coontail is Important to Ducks, Fishes, Reptiles & Amphibians

If you are a duck hunter, you probably know about coontail weeds.  They are excellent food for fish and ducks.  As a rootless plant, coontail breaks down and feeds reptiles, amphibians, fish and ducks.

Coontail exists as deep as 6 and 1/2 feet in water (2 meters), and is shade tolerant.  Because it is mostly rootless, it can form dense mats in slow-moving streams and bodies of water.

Fishing Weed Beds

This info is all very good, but how do we use it for fishing?  First, use the beds to your advantage.  Fish prefer to hide in the weeds – rather than swim around – waiting for a larger fish to eat them!

Fish along the irregular weed edges and above submerged weeds.  The deeper you are fishing, the lighter your lure should be.

For example, in deep weeds – where light does not penetrate so well, use light-colored lures: white, yellow, light blue, light green.  In the depths, these lures will appear larger and brighter.

Did You Know?

If you are fishing 40 feet down, your red lure looks black in the dim light.  At the same depth, your orange lure appears dark brown to fish!



This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


One Comment

  1. […] For a large photo of cabbage weeds growing in water, refer to my previous article, “Why ‘Weeds’ Are Important to Fishing.” […]

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