Grass equals bass. Now that's an angling axiom you can take to the bank.

However, fishing grass does not necessarily ensure catching bass. Plain and simple: Fish utilize grassy cover for purely selfish reasons. However, anglers who show these fish the right looks can find a gold mine of opportunity hiding beneath the salad.

First, a quick look at why bass utilize grass environments: • Shade: Lacking eyelids, bass instinctively seek shelter from sunlight, and the shadowy realm of aquatic grasses fits the bill nicely.

The fish will adjust their positioning based on the day's conditions, so look for them to tuck deeper into the cover when skies are mostly to fully sunny. Cloudy and overcast days or the low light of dawn and dusk often finds the fish venturing out from the grass to roam the edges in search of food.

• Shelter: Gators, otters, herons, eagles and ospreys have a harder time spotting and catching bass when their green-and-black markings keep them well hidden amid the grass.

• Ambush: On the other side of the predator-prey equation, bass know that remaining hidden greatly improves their chances of nabbing a careless bluegill, shad or crawfish.

• Oxygen: Plants take in carbon dioxide and exude oxygen. Hanging out in the grass is like sitting under the AC vent.

• Water clarity: Plants inherently filter water by nature of their stalk and root density. This is especially relevant on tidal waters, as outgoing water is always cleanest around grass edges.

Also, after heavy rains, look for the water to clear up the quickest in areas dense with hydrilla and other grasses.

Armed with the knowledge of why bass inhabit these environments, gear up with a strategic arsenal of baits and you'll put yourself in position to leverage the bounty of aquatic vegetation.

Specific lure selections might vary by water body, but here are six strategies that will cover most grass scenarios you encounter: (see sidebars)