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What Bass See: Life Beneath Matted Vegetation

What Bass See: Life Beneath Matted Vegetation

Anglers make many generalized comments about tackle and the quarry they chase. Visit any tackle store or boat launch parking lot and you will overhear these conversations—no matter the state, species or season.

You’ll probably hear about how a lure sounds, what it looks like, how a fish responds, where they choose to live or even how they eat a presentation. Each are discussed with the assumption that we know exactly what is happening, when really, we have no idea.

Kim Stricker, a former Bassmaster Tour Champion and FLW Tour pro from Howell, Michigan, can say that he knows the realities of what we see from above the surface. A trained and experienced scuba diver, Stricker is the producer and host of television’s Hook ‘N Look TV. He has spent many years living in the underwater lair of the bass. His show gives anglers the ability to see what’s happening both above and below the surface of the water.

In his role, Stricker, who earned over $500,000 in his pro angling career, has experienced more than enough to be knowledgeable as an angler and as a scuba dive /television producer.

In this Perspectives series, we will explore some of the common statements, assumptions, and perhaps, misconceptions that anglers make regarding lures, habitat and the environment fish live and feed in. Hopefully, we’ll be able to determine if they are fact or fiction.


In this first edition, we will delve into the world of frog fishing. One of the most popular and enjoyable techniques in the bass-fishing world is to drag a hollow-body frog across matted grass or lily pads. When a bass finally blows up through the vegetation, it’s an experience you never forget.

But consider their perspective: what is it about the presentation they find attractive? How are they able to effectively hunt and feed on what’s scooting across the surface?

In this Hook and Look clip, Stricker explains what is actually going on under the matted vegetation and how bass position themselves in the cover.

While frog or rat fishing can generate response from bigger-than-average fish, the strike-to-hookup ratio will be less than perfect. The assumption that the bass feel the movement of the lure under the mat and blindly strike at a weedless frog or rat, thus missing the lure, just isn’t the case. And the proof is amazing.

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