Seminole Bass In The Summer Grass

Laura Ann Foshee marks 10 August grassbeds.

Ronnie Garrison | August 3, 2015

High school All-American Laura Ann Foshee, of Gardendale, Ala., with a 5-lb. Seminole bass caught during a recent trip with the author to the grass-filled bass factory.

Hot August weather, grassbeds and bass just go together on some lakes. Throwing a frog to grassbeds and getting explosive strikes is one of the most thrilling ways to fish, and Lake Seminole is one of the best lakes in the country to fish grassbeds. Seminole is at the top of its cycle with lots of quality bass in the lake.

Seminole is a 37,500-acre Corps of Engineers lake in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Seminole is shallow and full of grasses that form thick beds that bass love.

To guide us to the awesome August grassbed fishing on Seminole, we called on Laura Ann Foshee, a rising senior at Gardendale High School near Birmingham. Laura Ann received the highest honor a high-school angler can get when this year she was named one of the 12 members of the BASS All-American High School Bass Team. She is the only female angler to receive the honor. Laura Ann finished second in both the FLW State Championship and the TBF open which qualified her for the SEC Championship in September on Lake Lanier.

Laura Ann’s uncle is Scott Montgomery, owner of Big Bite Baits. He first lit a fire in Laura Ann about fishing when he took her with him practicing for a tournament, and she caught a big bass. He and members of the Big Bite Baits pro staff have taught Laura Ann a lot about fishing. And Laura Ann is already giving back.

“I raise money for the Outdoor Ability Foundation (OAF) and Pink Fishing, which are two charities I care deeply about,” Laura Ann said. “OAF provides equipment to disabled kids so they can hunt and fish, while Pink Fishing raises money for breast cancer research.”

By late July, bass are well into their summer pattern, with lots of fish setting up on ledges in deeper water. Many of the ledges at Seminole are next to shallow grassbeds, and this is where bass move in to feed. Some bass will move back to deeper water after feeding, usually early in the morning and late in the day when light levels are low. However, other bass will stay in the shade of the heavy grass and feed all day.

A variety of baits will catch these feeding bass. Early in the morning, a popping frog, buzzbait or walking topwater bait will get hit on top. Those baits will work later in the day if there is cloud cover. Some wind rippling the water helps, as does current moving down the lake.

On brighter days, a Big Bite Baits 8-inch Sugar Cane paddle-tail worm or a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog swam right at the top of the grass will catch bass. A big Texas-rigged worm like the Kriet Tail 10-inch worm is good to work through the grass. Punching the mats with a Texas-rigged Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog is also a good way to get bites from big bass, especially on calm, sunny days.

Laura Ann and fellow Big Bite Baits pro staffer Matt Baty, a Seminole expert and regular GON contributor, showed how to catch these August bass.

First thing that morning, Laura Ann caught a 5-pounder on a Spro Popping Frog, and she and Matt also caught several keeper bass throughout the day. Then, just before we left, another 5-pounder hit a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog over a grassbed.

The following 10 spots had bass on them when we fished, and they will be even better now. They are listed in the order we fished them. We left Wingate’s and worked downstream, and then we went up the Flint River and worked back down to Wingate’s.

No. 1: N 30º 45.844 – W 84º 46.235 —
If you put in at Wingate’s, you can run the flat downstream without going all the way to the channel—if you are careful. The channel is on the opposite side of the Flint River across from Wingate’s, but it swings across the lake and comes close to the south bank at red channel marker 8.8. Go to the channel marker, and you will see a good grassline running from the channel marker upstream. Start there, or start on the upper end of the grassline in front of a house sitting up on a ridge that has a dock in front of it. This house has a cleared bank in front of it, and the dock is the first of four docks fairly close together.

Keep your boat in 10 to 12 feet of water out from the grassline, and cast a popping frog into the grass. Laura Ann expects the bass to be swimming the grassline and feeding, so she works her frog from the grass to the edge and pauses it for a beat, expecting a reaction bite when the frog clears the grass. This is how she caught a 5-pounder to start our day.

No. 2: N 30º 46.314 – W 84º 46.086 —
Follow the channel upstream across to the opposite bank. Near the bank just downstream of the black channel marker—where the channel comes to the bank—there is a small island. Go to the upstream end of this island, and start fishing the grassline working upstream. This is known as the Fort Scott Island area.

The channel edge here has rocks that hold a lot of bass, and the grass itself has points, cuts and ditches in it the bass use for ambush points. Cast your frog into the grass. You can also cast a buzzbait or walking bait to the edge of the grass and into cuts in the grassbed. Laura Ann likes a Strike King 1/2-oz. white buzzbait and a bone-colored Zara Spook for fishing the more open water over the submerged grass. Another effective way to get bit is to cast these baits across the ends of points of grass that stick out from the main grassbeds. There is a very good grass point near the channel marker as you work upstream from the island. We caught a good keeper bass here.

No. 3: N 30º 46.163 – W 84º 46.995 — Going downstream past the small island, a big bay opens on your right. This is Carl’s Pass, where you can go between the islands all the way to Spring Creek, as long as the grass is not too thick. A channel comes out of the middle of this bay. It turns and goes downstream, and at the downstream end of the bay it nears the bank.

Bass use this ditch to move in and out, and they feed along the grasslines on the ditch. Keep your boat in the ditch in about 6 feet of water, and fish the grass with topwater. Laura Ann likes a white frog first thing in the morning, since bass are usually feeding on shad, but later in the day she will switch to a more natural-colored frog when the bass are feeding on bluegill.

If you have a good GPS with a map chip, you can see this ditch and follow it. If not, stay out from the visible grass, and work from the middle of the cove toward the downstream side of it. Fish the grass edges and any irregularities in the grassbed. A keeper bass hit a buzzbait here when we fished.

No. 4: N 30º 45.181 – W 84º 50.577 — River Junction Access is a boat ramp on the south bank near where it turns toward the dam. Go down to it, and stop well out in front of it at the pole that marks the channel to the boat ramp. There is a small number 508 on this marker. If you leave hole No. 3, you can follow the north bank down and hit the channel markers coming out of Spring Creek. Or, you can go back upstream and follow the markers from hole No. 2. There is standing timber in the middle of the open water between the north bank and the river channel, so it’s not good to go straight across.

The green marker pole is on a small hump just off the river channel that has a good grassbed on it. Keep your boat in 10 feet of water, and fish all the way around it. The points on either end are usually best, especially if there is any current moving down the river.

Fish topwater on this hump, especially if you are there early in the morning or late in the day, or if cloud cover keeps the light low. A light breeze rippling the water helps, too. So the best time to fish grassbeds is a hazy to cloudy day with a slight breeze just rippling the water.

No. 5: N 30º 45.554 – W 84º 47.555 —
Go back up the river to red channel marker 7.4. The grassline along the drop here is good, so fish both sides of the marker along the grass. The grass is thick from this edge all the way to the bank, and you can get in the grass and punch through it with a Fighting Frog behind a 1- to 1 1/2-oz. tungsten sinker.

For a different look, Laura Ann also likes to punch mats with a Big Bite Baits tube on the same rig. Drop your bait so it falls through the grass to the bottom, and be ready to set the hook if you feel anything different, like if it feels a little heavy.

If you are fishing near the time of a full moon, fishing a bream-bed pattern can often catch big bass. This is a good place to try it. Go to the bank. You can punch the mats as you work in. When you get a long cast from the bank, throw a Spro bream-colored popping frog to the bank. If the bream are bedding, some big bass will often be hanging around the bream beds.

No. 6: N 30º 47.019 – W 84º 43.648 — Upstream of Wingate’s, a huge flat runs for a long way on the south bank. You can run this flat if the grass is not too thick. On the bank you can see some houses and docks, and Brocketts Slough is a big slough with a spring in it. Across from Brocketts, the river makes a definitive wide horseshoe bend to the north bank.

Stop way out from the mouth of the slough. Bass hold along the grassbed here along the 7-foot contour line. Follow this grassline for about 200 yards, keeping your boat in 8 or more feet of water while casting to the grass. Try topwater as well as punching the mats here. Fish any changes in the grass that will give the bass a holding and feeding spot. Points, cuts and holes are all good.

No. 7: N 30º 47.227 – W 84º 42.883 — If you go upstream on the flat, the grass will be very thick, possibly too thick to run. But if you do, you will see a small gap ahead of you near a red channel marker where the river swings back across the lake on the upstream side of the horseshoe bend. The gap is where boats cut through to run the flat, so there is a bit of a channel in the grass made by the boat traffic.

The river channel is just off this grassbed at the gap, and that’s a good place to fish. Current coming down the river hits it, and there’s a good drop-off. Stay in the channel, and fish the grass with all your baits.

When boats come by and cut through the grassline, don’t get mad, just fish behind them. Their props and wakes disturb the baitfish in the grass and make them move, and that will often turn on the bass and make them feed. Fish all around the cut when a boat goes through it.

No. 8: Nº 30 47.365 – W 84º 41.753 — From the bend in hole No. 7, the channel runs fairly straight up to Butlers Creek as it narrows down. On your right, out from the creek mouth, the grass forms a point running downstream. The creek channel comes in and turns downstream to join the river channel, and this point of grass is an excellent feeding spot for bass.

There is always some current here due to the narrowness, and that makes it better. Fish the point of grass on the river side and on the creek side. Start with your boat in the channel, and fish the outside edge, working along the point until the grass ends.

Then move in and fish the grassline on the inside, following it as it curves toward the mouth of the creek. Try topwater and punching the mat. But also swim a Big Bite Baits Sugar Cane paddle-tail worm or Fighting Frog over the submerged grass and through any openings in it.

Texas rig your Fighting Frog behind a 1/4-oz. tungsten weight. Keep it down so it bumps grass as you swim it along. If it hangs up on the grass, jerk it loose and keep it moving. Bass will suck it in as it swims along, so be ready to set the hook if your rod loads up at all.

No. 9: N 30º 47.327 – W 84º 43.967 —
Go downstream to red channel marker 12.6. A good grassline runs along the channel edge between this marker and marker 12.5. Start at either marker, and fish all along the grass between the two. Keep your boat in the channel, and cast to the grass with all your baits.

Laura Ann uses Sunline FX2 Braid for fishing grass since the bass will bury in it—50- to 60-lb. test works well. She fishes it on Lews Tournament Lite Reels and custom rods wrapped by TigeRodz with Rainshadow Revelation and Eternity rod blanks to suit her different kinds of fishing.

No. 10: N 30º 46.318 – W 84º 45.291 — Go down to the entrance to Wingate’s. There are three double sets of poles marking the channel leading in to Wingate’s. Stop at the middle set of poles, and fish all the grass. A ditch goes both ways from this set of poles, and bass feed along it. This area is restocked with tournament released fish at Wingate’s.

The other 5-pounder we caught hit a Fighting Frog swam along the top of the grass here. Try the Fighting Frog and topwater, too. Also work a big Texas-rigged worm through the grass. Laura Ann likes the green-pumpkin 10-inch Kriet Tail worm with a chartreuse tail. A light tungsten sinker, 1/4-oz. or lighter, will make your worm come through the grass better than a heavy weight. Move it along with pauses, and let it fall into holes in the grass.

All these places hold bass right now, and there are a lot of quality bass from 4 to 6 pounds on them. Give them a try, and you can see the types of grass to fish.

Keep up with Laura Ann’s fishing by following her on Facebook at Laura Ann Foshee Fishing, on Twitter at lauraannfoshee, or on Instagram at Foshizal_Fo_Sho.

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