Cabbage Weed

To a lot of people fishing in weeds is a true pain. They would rather poke their eyes out than deal with this nasty stuff.

To others though, weeds represent the rainbow in which the pot of gold i.e. the fish they are after, lies beneath.

This blog is about one weed type, Cabbage Weed, often referred to as Pond Weed (or vice-versa).

To me, Cabbage is one of the easiest weeds to fish. Reason being, it usually grows sparsely (room between each strand) and its course in that it doesn’t always break apart fouling up your bait.

Cabbage weed is a top cover type for Northern Pike, Muskie, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass.

Of the aforementioned 5 species, to me, the Pike, Muskie, Walleye, and Smallies are drawn to Cabbage much more so than the Largemouth. I believe Largies are opportunists and will take any weed type that is available… not really a preference; especially Cabbage. The others though, I also believe they absolutely Love Cabbage and will often take it over any and all other types of weeds.


You can pretty much throw everything into a Cabbage bed since, as I mentioned before, it’s tough and coarse. I love either inline spinners or spinner-baits in Cabbage… they come through relatively easy and create excellent reaction bites from all species. By keeping the bait high in the water column, it greatly increases the chance of pulling the hooks through the weed bed and keeping them completely clean.

Topwater lures also work well in Cabbage, so long as the tips of the weeds are underwater. It these tips are on the surface, then a weedless topwater will work. Remember to give the fish a second to pull the lure under and then set hard and try to pull the fish back to the surface (easier said than done).

Swimbaits present a different shape of lure to Cabbage dwellers and will often produce heavy strikes. By having a single hook, these baits are perfect for Cabbage. A medium speed retrieve with the odd stop and go is perfect.

Squarebill or shallow diving crankbaits are very effective in Cabbage, the angler just has to be patient in working the bait down and through the strands of weeds. Deeper divers work as well but they will foul up driving you insane.

Lastly, a jig of any type will work wonders in Cabbage. From a ¼ ounce curly-tail for Walleye to an bucktail for Muskie, Pike & Walleye. Using a strong rod and braided line, lift and drop the jig into open pockets. When you encounter weeds with the jig, rip it straight up with about 75% of your forearm strength. This will often pop the jig off the weed it’s trying to hang into and as well will often clean the jig from weed parts that ripped off of the main stem.


Remember, weeds are an angler’s friend, especially Cabbage. They hold fish and with some persistence, are possible to be fished effectively from above.


28 Replies to “Cabbage Weed”

  1. Cabbage Weed, Boiled Cabbage, Cabbage Rolls, Corned Beef and Cabbage!….all good and life sustaining, except for the gassy residuals.

    “Grass Anglers” as I call them, have found for eons, that these little hidey-holes attract fish for several reasons. Most as I recall, consider the fact predatory fish use weeds as an ambush staging area, protective cover from overhead attack, a resting site to digest a previous meal or shade from the blazing sun. Yes, all good and life sustaining.

    Giving it further study and observation, there is probably more to this natural phenomenon than one would expect. As I have posted on the Fish’n Canada Blog concerning the “Classic Tutorial: Reading Structure and Cover”, fish as we know prefer to reside as we do, near protective structure (house), close to a food source (grocery store) where there is an abundance of clean oxygenated water (in our case, fresh air)”.

    “Think of underwater structure as a submerged cityscapes with skyscrapers and apartment buildings. Weedlines as grocery stores. Humps as houses for protection from predators and other threats. Water with a high oxygen content as fresh country air.”

    Pay particularly close attention to the fact, weeds and weed lines have an extremely high oxygen content as compared to the outlying water. As you all know marine plant life, like tress here on land, take in Carbon Dioxide and give off much needed Oxygen. Like our own human bodies, muscles require oxygen for manoeuvrability. After a exhaustive workout, we pant and hyperventilate. Fish are no different. Every creature needs time to recoup from physical exertion after chasing down a meal

    All that is likely to cause your quarry to become complacent (dummied down) with a false sense of security while regaining it’s composure. Cast any delectable tid-bit in there and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The satisfaction aspect will soon out weigh the frustration.

    Yeah, weed is where it’s at man…no, not that “puff stuff”, the watery “green stuff’. The stuff of trophy memories…..Hawgs and Tanks and Lunkers….Oh my!

    Now Pete and Angelo, breath in through your noses and out through your mouth….and relax.

    1. My man Calvin, your comment: “All that is likely to cause your quarry to become complacent (dummied down) with a false sense of security while regaining it’s composure”… I have never thought of it that way but it makes total sense. Thanks for that!

      1. I gotta jump back in here a minute or three. This “weed” thing has got my mind a spinnin’ and not in the way you might assume.

        Think of the term “Weed Bed”, but outside that “Angling Bubble” I have been referring to in previous posts. Besides affording fish a place to regain their composure, protection from other predators, cover from the blazing sun or an opportunity to hunt down an easy meal, there is one other logical explanation why these creatures find “weed beds” so wonderfully attractive.

        As I have stated, every living being on God’s green earth requires, food, oxygen, shelter and comfortable temperatures, but I forgot to mention one other….a place to “bed” down! Yeah that’s right, sleeping with the fishes kind of thing and no, I didn’t fall off my rocker.

        Let me explain further. While we were fishing at the mouth of Bronte Creek about ten years back, I was not aware this “Bedding Down” phenomenon was possible. As I looked into an adjacent marina channel where there was little or no boat traffic I noticed two forty inch Pike hovering, about five feet down in ten to twelve feet of crystal clear water, just below the tops of the Cabbage Weeds…..BINGO ! BANGO! BONGO ! It was also quite apparent these fish were hardly moving a muscle. Gill plates barely functioning while their pectoral and tail fins fluttered in a very slight current.

        You bet!! I grabbed my rod and went for broke and that’s just what happened. Everything went flat busted broke! Making several repeated casts over these fish and retrieving my offering passed their noses only made them flinch as to brush the irritation aside. Changing lures and altering presentations made no difference….Oh, come on! Suffice to say, I went home down trodden and heart broken.

        Well, talk about delayed reaction. It didn’t dawn on me as to what occurred until we got into this little conversation about Cabbage Weeds. I asked myself, “Could these fish be in some sort of “catatonic state”, asleep, dreaming about their latest fishing adventure? Seriously, I know fish do not have eyelids but every living creature needs some sort of sleep mechanism to function properly.

        That brings into consideration a tactical approach all it’s own….”The Breakfast Special” when it comes to hitting the weed….beds! Morning may actually be the best time to toss them some breakfast consisting of fresh scented “bait-con”. Think about it for a second. We ourselves enjoy nothing more than waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee, bacon, eggs and toast….Wakey! Wakey! Time to get up!

        So, here is a little gem to keep you on your toes the next time you set out in pursuit of that next trophy fish….
        One’s ability to cipher a fishing code is not in the angling equation itself, but in one’s own intelligence to perceive the unknown.

  2. Very interesting article. I have lost a lot of fish fishing in this type of weed. Hope that I will be a little more successful now, having read your very informative article. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for sharing this highly informative article about Cabbage Weed. I also think that
    Cabbage is one of the easiest weeds to fish. The reason being, it usually grows sparsely (room between each strand) and its course in that it doesn’t always break apart fouling up your bait.
    The rig is very important for bank fishing and others. It is also important to catch catfish.Here you can find Top catfish rig for bank fishing

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