Heavy cover is difficult to fish, yet it’s often where the biggest fish thrive. Professionals like those competing each summer in the nation’s bass tournaments often face this dilemma. Do they fish where most lures work well or delve into the thick stuff, where special baits and tactics are required? DeFoe and Tharp give six good reasons you should go after heavy cover in this post from Rapala.

VMC’s straight-shank Heavy Duty Flippin’ Hook features a double-spiked baitholder with opposing barbs that lock on softbaits. They also incorporate resin-closed eyes that prevent line slip. A strategically placed keeper system exposes a 1/8-inch area between the eye and holder, allowing anglers to tie the perfect snell. The Heavy Duty Flippin’ Hook comes in three sizes: 3/0, 4/0 and 5/0.

Bass Mossy Oak Scent Blocker 005VMC’s Heavy Duty Wide Gap hook features an offset behind the eye that arches away, then back toward the hook bend, making it ideal for larger softbaits. A three-degree twist in the hook body provides instant and hassle-free hooksets. The Heavy Duty Wide Gap hook comes in three sizes: 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0 and 8/0.

Reason #1 — You Wanna Catch A Biggun’

Shallow, heavy cover “almost always presents an opportunity to catch a larger than average fish,” says DeFoe, a 4-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and the 2011 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year. “The heavier the cover, the thicker the grass, the lower the dock to the water, the darker the shadow, the bigger the bass. That’s certainly one good reason to fish those spots.”

Why? The biggest, baddest bass lay claim to the best ambush spots.Bass zachery 0808 050

“A big fish will position itself in the best heavy cover,” says Tharp, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion and a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “They feel safe there — they’re protected. It’s like their little home.”

Reason #2 — The Sun’s In Your Eyes

Any bright, sunny day will “always be a better day for heavy cover than a day that has slightly overcast skies all the way to dark and gloomy,” DeFoe says. Why? “Because bass don’t have eyelids,” he explains. Unlike us, they have few options when the sun’s in their eyes.