"Set the hook!" I exclaimed, as the water boiled in the grass. The Falcon rod bent and another Lake Livingston Black Bass was battled to the boat.

Timely Spring rains this year have Lake Livingston shorelines lush with green vegetation. Much of the grass is now covered with water providing excellent habitat for Summer Black Bass. As the lake level continues to slowly rise from a swollen Trinity River, Black Bass are finding food, cover and higher levels of oxygen created by the newly flooded grasses. One thing Lake Livingston needs in order to continue the trend of improved Bass fishing here is habitat. With much of the lake being bulk headed, Black Bass habitat has suffered. This Summer mother nature seems to be giving a helpful hand in providing the much needed grass that Lake Livingston lacks. A day on the water and you will see just how rich and green the surrounding shorelines have become. This is good news for Lake Livingston Bass fishing for now and for the future.

One Summer pattern that has evolved recently is keying on Black Bass in the grass. Black Bass have moved into the flooded grass and are holding shallow in the grass. Look for areas of flooded grass that are close to deep water. Key on wood in the grass such as laydowns, brush or a dead stump. Look for grassy points in creeks and fish where the wind is blowing into the grassy points. Also, key on the shady sides.

There are many different baits and techniques for fishing in the grass. 3/8 oz willow leaf spinner baits, shallow diving crank baits, jigs, Texas rigged lizards, worms and craw-worms have all worked recently.

My strategy when fishing the grass has been to work the area quickly with a shallow diving crank bait in order to catch the more aggressive fish. Parallel cast the crank bait as much as you can to keep it in the strike zone as much as possible. The fish don't want to leave the security of the grass to follow a bait. Casting accuracy is imperative to getting bit. After fishing the area with the crank bait, come back with a Texas rigged soft plastic. The key to getting bit with the soft plastics is to pitch into the grass. If you cast short, you will not likely get bit. Pitch in the grass, key on wood when you see some. Let your bait fall straight down in the grass, give some slack line if you have to in order for the bait to fall straight. Now, jiggle the bait with your rod tip leaving it in one place. If you don't get bit, move it slowly through the grass, stop and jiggle the bait again. Often a strike in shallow water grass fishing will be witnessed by a heart stopping boil of water.

Black Neon Chartreuse Craw-worms have been deadly in the grass recently. Peg your sinker to keep it on the bait. Also, I have found that the "crawfish" attractant by Kick-N-Bass not only acts as an incredible fish attractant but the consistency of the oil that sticks to the craw-worm acts as a lubricant and prevents your craw-worm from sticking to the grass. The weedless Texas rigged Craw-worm with Crawfish Kick-N-Bass added is deadly when slithered through flooded grass on Lake Livingston.

Dave Cox of Palmetto Guide Service is a regular contributor to the Lake Livingston edition of the Texas Sportsguide.  This article has previously appeared in that publication.

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