How to Punch Matted Grass

TFOLogo-NoTextBy Geoff Evans, TFO Pro Staff



Many anglers have different theories on how to punch through matted grass with heavy weights.

I have punched matted grass from Canada to Fla., and everywhere in between. Most people relate punching to strictly a summertime technique.

In truth, I have actually landed more fish and in higher concentrations by punching matts in the wintertime.

Photo by G. Wayne Byrd.

Photo by G. Wayne Byrd.

Just like the canopies that are formed by grass matts provide shade in the summer, they act as insulated, heated clumps of grass in the winter. The bass sit under these clumps where the water is a few degrees warmer. This provides good staging or holding areas for opportunistic bass.


I prefer a stiff, extra-fast action rod like the Temple Fork Outfitters 7’9” XH Pitching Rod.

It has a very sensitive tip, but also the necessary backbone to pull a 7-pound bass out of the cabbage with 10-pounds of grass on top of it.

Line selection is equally important. A majority of anglers prefer braid, but, I will line a rod with fluorocarbon. Braided line is coarse and it will grab grass instead of sliding through it. This will require a heavier weight, than what could have done with fluorocarbon and a light weight.

For weight, I prefer a ¾-ounce Reins Tungsten sinker.  In order not to impede the natural of the bait, I always try to use the lightest weight possible. Tungsten is dense and heavy, again, smaller and less obtrusive.

I have always preferred throwing creature type baits because of how well they mimic crawfish.

One of the best baits I have found to mimic crawfish is the Reins Punchin’ Predator. I rig this on a Trokar TK130 hook. The last part of my rigging equation is Smelly Jelly. I like to rub the scent all over the bait, hook, weight and first 2 feet of line. This not only adds scent to the bait but it also lubricates the bait and line so it slides thru the grass a little easier.


I like to gently pitch, or flip my lure to dark spots which usually represents an easier entrance point.

I do not like to pitch my bait high into the air and allow it to smash into a matt. I believe this scares away fish. Instead I prefer a stealth approach; not only in casting but also by eliminating any unnecessary noise in the boat.

Most bites will actually come on the initial fall of the bait. You really have to get tuned into what your bait is doing.

Anglers must focus on the line with this technique. If the line stops moving before it gets to the bottom, but, passes through the densest portion of the matt or starts moving again after it has reached the bottom, it’s time to lay into that hook set.

For more information on punching matted grass, or angler Geoff Evans, please visit,

For more information on the TFO GTS 7’9, check out this video by Dakota Jones, GTS 7’9 XH Pitching Rod.


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About templeforkoutfitters
Armed with a lifetime passion for fishing, we set out to establish a new standard of value for fly and conventional rods. We have relied on our own experience and advice of many professionals in creating what we believe is the perfect marriage - price and performance. Sound too good to be true? Cast one and you be the judge.

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