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webertime

How Would You Deal With This...

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So I have a Tournament tomorrow.  Here are some specifics about the area...  I am hoping someone can just tell me to chill out or give examples of what they have done in similar conditions.

 

Southern Champlain ("Ti"):

 

Water is high fifties to low sixties...  It was 72 a week and a half ago...

 

Rained basically 3 out of every 4 days for the last 2 weeks, the water which is normally a clay stained color is now muddy.

 

Supposed to rain a lot this evening and tonight into the very early morning.

 

Largemouths are post spawn

 

Weeds are a bit behind but are there.

 

Smallies are a bit of a run away but on beds...  however the whole lake is running high and dirty (you can see a mud slick 30 miles long, from the mountains). 

 

There is an ABA tournament out of Plattsburgh NY (expect 20-30 boats to make the run to where our tournament is).  There is also an Open launching an hour after us, 5 miles south of us with 70+ boats...

 

   This is where over analytical neurotic guy comes out...   Water temp drop, water level rising and mud tells me that they are either following the water line and eating flooded stuff OR they are just like all living creatures and want stability/comfort and say screw it and settle off deeper where the water temp and clarity is less affected by the recent changes.  I'm leaning, with post spawn, towards the latter.  Compromised visibility tells me to go with Chatterbaits/Cranks.  Then I consider the 100 boats blasting all over, most likely tossing the same baits and I start to wonder if the fish will be overwhelmed by all the racket and maybe slowly fishing big baits (Swimbait/Worm) would be advantageous.  Then the Smallies...  They are on beds but it's a good 15 miles + to them and there is no guarantee that they will still be there or that we can see them with the mud...  Smallies in the middle of Lake Champlain are VERY fickle teenage girls.  One minute they are on a reef eating craws, then next they like Justin Bieber and are up shallow for a day.

 

Any tips/ideas aside from medicating myself? 

 

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d**n, dude. It's easy to stress, but let's take a step back. EVERYONE ELSE is dealing with those conditions! So essentially, you're competing against 50+ boats that all have to figure that mess out. Odds are good you aren't going to be seeing a whole lot of 20lb limits, so you won't have to compete against that, which is a relief.

I don't know what my opinion is worth, but I'd try to simplify things and just try to find fish. Is there anywhere unaffected? In current, I've done had success fishing the edges of where the mud meets clear water. As the creeks start to go down, they're going to clear up. Maybe look for structure/deep water access near creek mouths? Any flats near by?

I'd be throwing cranks with rattles, spinnerbaits, etc to locate anything active and then pick them apart with soft plastics if need be once I can figure out a pattern.

This might also be a good time to look at sunken islands well offshore where the water won't be as dark if you know of any.

Good luck!

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I know this is being posted in the middle of the night prior to your tourney, but if you haven't chilled out yet or self medicated, you're probably wide awake anyhow so here's my advice.

 

First and foremost, I NEVER target smallmouth bass in muddy water.  Not for love, money, or fun, I MEAN NEVER!

 

That being said, I think you've got two options by going after the green fish.  You can either fish shallow in the mud or move off shore looking for slightly clearer water.  In shallow mud, I would target fish tight to shallow cover with baits that give off plenty of "thump" for the fish to zero in on.  Colorado blade spinners, rattling jigs, or a paddle tail worm would be my choices.  The key for me has always been to fish tight to cover and fish slow enough to give fish time to find and eat.  This would be my first option.

 

If you've blown a couple of hours without success, and especially if you don't have a lot of company from other competitors, it's time to fire up the big motor and head out into deeper water looking for cleaner water where more traditional lures might work.  You should still have more than enough time to locate some fish if you don't waste time beating a dead mule.

 

Still, my best guess is that those shallow largemouth aren't going to move miles in search of clean water.  They are either going to move into recently flooded cover, or are going to move tighter to the cover rather than cruising in and out of it. 

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I don't make decision until I get there.

As another post stated it's about finding fish.

Two days ago fishing both salt and fresh, I did real well.  Fishing yesterday the same places with the same water conditions, I didn't l have a strike, I didn't find any fish.

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So...  how did you make out?

 

It's the last day of June and the conditions in the southern end of Champlain are still about the same: very high and very muddy water.  I'm not having any luck figuring them out!

 

I'd be interested in hearing what seemed to work well in your tournament.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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Sounds like you already lost. You're allowing the conditions to get in your head. Finding is mental, and you need to stay strong. If you're filing all the conditions under "negatives", my advice would be to stay home.

If I were fishing, I'd look for in-flowing water, creeks, and newly flooded brush. I'd grab my squarebills, spinnerbaits, and the loudest jigs I own and beat up on newly flooded brush around inflows. Good luck!

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