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Troy1985s

Muddy Water Bass Fishing

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Where do you think bass go in muddy water?  I've always heard that the shallow fish will move up and sit close to cover.  What about the fish that are further offshore?  The ones hanging along a deep weed line or on a ledge.  Do they just stay put or will they move shallow as well?  

 

Water was very muddy yesterday(Less than 4" visibility).  I flipped wood cover shallow water with jigs and soft plastics and only got 1 bite.  I thought about fishing along some drop offs, but blindly casting along a drop off in muddy water is just not something I have confidence in.

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While bass moving shallower the muddier the water gets, and holding tighter to cover, are extremely common behaviors, you have to keep in mind that 'muddy' is a relative term. Also, what type of 'muddy' water was it? Perhaps it was just the top 2 fow that were muddy? 3fow? 4fow? etc.. Also, was that muddiness common for that body of water? Is it something the bass see often?

 

In the end, my point is that not all muddy water is bad. On some bodies of water, it's whats most common, and others it is more rare. Understanding the lake/river, and bass behavior on the lake/river, is key here. Bass are primarily sight feeders, but do rely on their lateral line during muddy water days. Assuming the bass were moving shallower and holding tighter to cover, your lure choice should have been something that displaced water, perhaps even made noise, and stayed in that strike zone longer. 

 

They can't bite something they don't know is there. If you can't make em' see it, make em' feel it.

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When the water's muddy the last thing I would use is anything that is a slow or non-moving bait. Jigs and soft plastics don't usually produce for me. The fish might be tight to cover, but in muddy water they're going to rely on their lateral line primarily for targeting - or at least that's what one bass told me once after I caught him :)

 

Knowing that - my favorite and most successful muddy water lure is a black/blue *** bladed jig that I bend the top of the blade forward a bit, then put a black Rage tail trailer on the back. That thing vibrates like a helicopter engine, but it catches fish even in chocolate milk water. Slather the trailer with some Megastrike and I don't usually go home skunked.

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Average water visibility is probably about 1-1.5', I don't consider 4" to be the norm for this body of water.

I threw my chatter bait a good bit at first, but without a weed guard it will get snagged in heavy cover.  I'm going to invest in some bladed jigs with a weed guard so I get back in there and make some more noise next time.  
 

 

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Muddy water caused by extreme runoff or high winds tends to put the fish deeper from my experiences. 

 

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1 hour ago, Troy1985s said:

Average water visibility is probably about 1-1.5', I don't consider 4" to be the norm for this body of water.

I threw my chatter bait a good bit at first, but without a weed guard it will get snagged in heavy cover.  I'm going to invest in some bladed jigs with a weed guard so I get back in there and make some more noise next time.  
 

 

I think that's a plan for what you're describing. The cover should provide. I'll bet they're in there, and you'll stick them. 

 

As I said I use the *** jigs, they have their bit of an unusual weedguard.....it works though. Put a good trailer on the hook and it'll be even more weedless. 

 

Let us know how you do

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4 inches of visibility max , I dont think I ever caught anything deeper than 8 to 10  foot . I simply fish shallow , try different things and hope for the best . Flipping Jigs in shoreline cover like you did  is always a good place to start . Sometimes one is  just in the wrong spot     at the wrong time .

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My version of looking for bass in 'muddy' or colored water almost always is connected to the season, current weather trend & perhaps most importantly, the water temps.  Water temps on the rise seem to produce more for me than the reverse, especially in  a colored water deal.

 Certainly there's no hard & fast 'rules' but generally speaking, early season, with stable or even, better warming conditions, when I'm looking for bass in 'muddy' or colored water, I'm going shallow and dropping a jig very close or right into shallow wood.  

 

A-Jay

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In muddy conditions I like spinner baits with Colorado blades or wide-wobbling crank baits. It gives those fish that are biting something to hone in on. As others have stated, not all muddy water is the same. Cold, muddy water will have a different effect on bass than warm (above 70 degrees), muddy water. Best thing to do would be to start from scratch, like you have never been to this lake before and just try to find fish. Explore deep and shallow and everywhere in between. Consider it a day of learning on the lake. 

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On 2/5/2018 at 11:48 AM, Preytorien said:

I think that's a plan for what you're describing. The cover should provide. I'll bet they're in there, and you'll stick them. 

 

As I said I use the *** jigs, they have their bit of an unusual weedguard.....it works though. Put a good trailer on the hook and it'll be even more weedless. 

 

Let us know how you do

Went out Saturday, stiff South west wind blowing from the start.  This muddied the water and kept the tide from falling.  Gave up on trying to find clean water and busted out my new bladed jigs.  Ended up catching 3 decent fish and hooked a nice one that got off night next to the boat, all on the bladed jig.  Not the best day, but given the high winds and muddy water, 3 is better than none.

 

Thanks for the tips everyone.

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I fish a muddy spot once in a while. It's a narrow creek, no more than 5' deep, with normal viz less than a foot. Yes, some noisy cranks, and chatterbaits work, but jigs work too. In fact, the only bait I can conjure a bite on is a jig. A light jig (1/4oz) with a slow fall. Black with a black Rage Menace trailer. 

 

Like I said the creek is narrow...maybe 40' across at its widest parts. And there are docks and stumps everywhere. It's easy to know where the fish are. If I  can land the jig very close to the structure, I can be pretty confident that your bait is being noticed. I always get bit on the first fall. I usually move the bait only once or twice after the initial fall and then reel up and try again. I'll typically make 3-5 pitches at a target before moving on.

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Almost always the bass will hold tighter to cover and closer to the bank. Spinnerbaits, jigs, and loud, wide wobbling cranks are my favorites for murky water. Buzzbaits and loud topwaters can also work too.

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Some bodies of water become muddy due to run off from recent rain while other bodies of water are naturally muddy & never have more than 1' visibility.

 

My approach to each is different 😉

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