If you don't know what a weedless bass lure is, we'll take a closer look and review some great choices.
One of the best fishing innovations we ever came up with was a tool for getting our offering closer to the fish that hang out in the thick cover without subjecting it to underwater weeds, grasses, and other stuff. Largemouth bass love to swim, rest, and feed in some of the gnarliest, overgrown weed patches, but getting at them seems like an impossibility.
Pulling off weeds stuck to the hook of a lure slows down your fishing pace, dulls the sharpness, and almost eliminates the chance of it getting hit by a bass.
Along came the weedless bass lure, which comprises of a variety of single weedless hook styles and other vaunted rigging systems like the Texas and Carolina rigs. Suddenly, we were hooking up to bass lips and not weed rips.
Early Weedless Lures: The Beginnings
In 2022 the Johnson Silver Minnow will be 100 years old, but it still works as well as the day it was invented. Louis Johnson of Chicago built the first one in 1922 and patented his weedless spoon a year later. Not many would argue that there's a better lure that can find its way through vegetation while hooking up with big fish better than the Johnson Spoon. It all started with the desire to get a bait into the weeds while only coming out with fish.
There's no telling who it was that originally said, "What if we put a weed guard on the hook?" But once they did, bass fishing changed forever. Since then, hook guards have adorned everything from plugs to wobbling spoons, and spinnerbaits to the newer soft plastic hooks designed to stick out, but not attract weeds.
Some of our favorite and most famous lures like jigs and spinnerbaits come in these same styles, and keep right on catching fish.
Our Pick: Weedless Topwater Lure
If you've been fishing long enough the you have tied on some of the most productive and famous topwater baits ever made: jitterbug, hula popper, zara spook, buzzbaits, and every kind of hollow body topwater frog in existence to entice big aggressive largemouth bass into coming out of their hiding places to strike.
And all of these come in some form of weedless variety or another.
The LunkerHunt Lunker Frog earned accolades when it first hit the scene, and we've been fishing with one off and on since. The success rate, even over other hollow body frogs, is undeniable.
Our Pick: Weedless Soft Plastic Rigs
Once we all began to use soft plastic worms as a go-to bait inside of the weedy cover, we also realized that these can also be slow-crawled over the weed mats, brush, stumps, and logs to get these baits in close to a hiding bucket mouth like never before.
It's fairly common fishing knowledge that in the early 1950s the two Creme brothers, Nick and Cosma, came up with the first version of the what my friends and I ultimately called the "rubber" worm when we were growing up in the 1970s. Over time we used the Mann's Jelly Worm, Zoom, and the amazing Mister Twister soft plastics until our arms were sore.
Even at that, it became necessary right away to find a way to make even these slim, slimy, and compact lures fight their way into and out of the weeds without getting so snagged that they were lost forever. Now, the plastic worm is the epitome of a great weedless offering.
There's no telling who it was, but as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine even says,
"Then that anonymous angler took a bare plastic worm and devised what came to be known as the Texas rig. He cut the brass eyelet out of a bell sinker, threaded the sinker on a line and tied a hook behind it. He poked the hook through the nose of the worm, brought it out the side, then rotated the hook and tucked the barb back into the lure's soft belly."
And bass fishing has never been the same since.
Our Pick: Weedless Spoon
There are so many of these great bass fishing lures around now that an angler can pick and choose to their heart's delight. Some of the greats are made by Bagley, Gator Lures, plus the Bass Pro XPS Lazer Eye, Rapala Minnow Spoon, and yes, the vaunted and original Johnson Silver Minnow.
There are so many reasons to have one of these in your bass angling arsenal, not the least of which is that it gives the bass fisherman an edge when it comes to getting deeper into the cover while also having the ability to keep themselves and their boat further away from the fish.
Many weedless lures can be launched a country mile when needed to get into the backs of weedy bays, across open water weed mats, and into the lily pads. The angler stays further from the prying eyes of hidden bass.
Not only that, but they are greatly increased in their effectiveness when tipped with some form of soft plastic trailer.
Best of the Rest
The weedless jig, Heddon Moss Boss, creature baits (rigged to be weedless), chatterbaits, and buzzbaits all have their places in our hearts and in our tackle boxes. Even spinnerbaits slow-rolled over vegetation can induce teeth rattling strikes.
There may be some argument as to which of these if any are considered to be the best weedless fishing lures since they are all snag free, can finesse their way through heavy cover, and still have their hook point sink into a big bass.
But when there are pad crashers, wacky worms, shad imitators, and many other types of lures that mimic bass prey while getting in to the thick stuff, they better be weedless in some form or another. The bottom line is that bass anglers will continue to ply weed beds with weedless lures as long as there are bass to be caught there.
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