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Fish Color

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I caught some largemouth bass in the very back of a huge creek arm. The water temp is just now down in the 68 range. The depth was about 2' and These fish were extremely on the white side. Almost like winter time fish. What does the color of fish tell you?

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My understanding has always been that the lighter colored fish have been spending most of their time deeper or in lower light conditions while darker colored fish are the result of spending most of their time shallower or in higher light conditions. One of the lakes I fish has very stained water pretty much year round. Most of the bass caught there have that washed out winter look to them even in the middle of the summer.

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Sounds like a muddy water fish to me. One of the local lakes I fish ranges from extremely muddy to extremely muddy year round, 6 inches of visibility is about as clear as it gets, those fish always look very washed out. Also cold water doesn't make all fish look washed out, some of the best colored fish I've caught were in the dead of winter time.

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Sounds like a muddy water fish to me. One of the local lakes I fish ranges from extremely muddy to extremely muddy year round, 6 inches of visibility is about as clear as it gets, those fish always look very washed out. Also cold water doesn't make all fish look washed out, some of the best colored fish I've caught were in the dead of winter time.

X2. Dirty water and low light conditions.

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Water chemistry also plays a part in coloratoion, higher PH or hard water the bass tend to be lighter color, lower PH or acidic water darker coloration. Bass not using vegetation, as a background to camouflage, also have lighter coloration. Depth of light is another factor; bass living deeper water where sun light is low or off color water can also cause the bass to lighten there color to better blend into the background. Bass in neutral PH clear water tend to have very vibrant colors.

Tom

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There's also a possibility that thie fish you were catching came from a school that ran shad up on the flat from deeper water, especially if all the fish you were catching were the same size. That water temp is a little warm for this to be happening around my part of the country, but in deeper southern lakes, it's a possibility.

During the late summer when I see fish feeding on schools of baitfish I'll often catch light colored fish that have pushed the bait to the surface. I see it when night fishing also as some of the deep holding fish will migrate to the shallows to feed.

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The water was not muddy but it had a weird stain look to it. Don't really know how to explain it.

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Does it have a lot of tannic acid? Usually water that does will look kind of like tea, it appears muddy but sometimes you can actually see quite a ways into the water. Seems most bass I catch in water with high tannic acid are usually pretty dark though.

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The color did look like a tea color. The bottom of this creek looked muddy.

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i've always heard oxygen content was a big factor.

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Predator fish like bass can change coloration somewhat to suit the bachground, this takes several days it's not a quick change like some creatures. Your bass are going through a transition from summer conditions where lots of cover was available to winter where very little cover is available for the bass or the prey to hide in.

Open water bass tend to be lighter coloration or a pale appearance, during the cold water periods.

Muskies can also make a coloration change depending on water chemistry and clarity. Lake of the Woods in Ontario Canada has a diverse ecosystem where clear water areas are next to off color water with heavy vegetation. Sabaskon bay region is off color water, however Camp bay that is directly connected has clear water and is only about 7 miles long. The muskies that live in Camp bay are spotted with light verticle bars, greenish golden color, beautiful fish. Outside of Camp bay the muskies are dark redish brown with golden highlights, very muted spots and dark verticle bars. These are the same muskies, but change coloration to better suit the background.

Tom

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