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Krawfish

Terrible, Terrible Conditions...What bait?!

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Hey everyone!

 

I need some advice on some tough water conditions I've been facing lately. For the last two weeks, a local smaller lake has been turned extremely muddy (less than 3 inches of visibility) due to the rain sweeping the red clay into the lake. Not only this, but the water temps range from 54-56. I've had very little success catching bass in this lake while it is like this, and I have a tournament this weekend after 3 days of rain :(. I would love it if some of y'all more experienced anglers can suggest a few baits for me to try out here! I've used lipless crank baits, dark jigs, shad raps, you name it. I imagine dark baits and loud rattling baits are the way to go, but is there any specifics I should try??

Thanks so much,

Krawfish 

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Have you tried a chatter bait. Puts off a ton of vibration. Cold muddy water is tough, but it’s tough for everyone. 

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Where have you been focusing on this small local lake with no name?

 

If you're not on fish, a hand grenade couldn't help you. Before worrying about what to show the bass, you gotta find the bass.

 

Once you're in a higher probability area (assuming no electronics), then you can worry about what you can present to them that will get them to commit or react to.

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Your sonar works in off color water, use it. The 1st task is locate where the bass are and how deep before you select a lure.

The bass should be in pre spawn and I would be using bottom crawdad type lures like jigs and deep diving crankbaits that contact the bottom in dark colors with contrasting highlites that make noise.

Tom

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12 minutes ago, SemperBass said:

Where have you been focusing on this small local lake with no name?

 

If you're not on fish, a hand grenade couldn't help you. Before worrying about what to show the bass, you gotta find the bass.

 

Once you're in a higher probability area (assuming no electronics), then you can worry about what you can present to them that will get them to commit or react to.

I have located the fish, primarily in one cove.  Most are holding between 7-17 feet. You can tell that there's crappie mixed in with the bass, but I've had no luck getting these fish to bite. Even tried a spoon and crappie jig in the big schools.

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Do your homework. Rising, muddy water will put fish in a survival mode. Security is what drives them, so look for big cover as they'll be tight to the best lay downs, boulders, etc.  Newly flooded timber is another prime type of cover . Unless the only cover available is vegetation or newly flooded brush. I'd stick with those targets. Those fish won't be chasing down your baits, so you'll likely need to hit them on the head to get a reaction.

With that water clarity. you'll need something to cover water and bang into the cover. A spinnerbait with an Indiana or Colorado blade is great for most any cover. Make it a black one and be sure to bump the cover with it.  Same goes for a fat crank bait with rattles.  It'll move a lot of water and deflect well off the hard types of  cover. This condition  and night fishing are the only times I rely on a steady retrieve.

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22 minutes ago, papajoe222 said:

Do your homework. Rising, muddy water will put fish in a survival mode. Security is what drives them, so look for big cover as they'll be tight to the best lay downs, boulders, etc.  Newly flooded timber is another prime type of cover . Unless the only cover available is vegetation or newly flooded brush. I'd stick with those targets. Those fish won't be chasing down your baits, so you'll likely need to hit them on the head to get a reaction.

With that water clarity. you'll need something to cover water and bang into the cover. A spinnerbait with an Indiana or Colorado blade is great for most any cover. Make it a black one and be sure to bump the cover with it.  Same goes for a fat crank bait with rattles.  It'll move a lot of water and deflect well off the hard types of  cover. This condition  and night fishing are the only times I rely on a steady retrieve.

Thank you for the suggestions. I have read numerous articles, posts, etc. regarding cold, muddy water and have applied each tactic to no avail. However, I haven't been throwing spinnerbaits into the brush that is on the lake, so I'll be sure to give it a try. 

Thanks,

Krawfish

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Come on guys! Everything he described screams one certain bait to me. Poor water clarity, cold temps... i want something that puts out a beacon of flash and vibration and that can be fish at any depth or speed i want. Im tying on a blade bait and ripping that sucker up and down off the bottom! Just bring a hand full of them because you're gonna lose a couple, haha

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One of my main baits in cold, muddy water is a 1/2oz spinnerbait, white or chartreuse, with tandem Colorado blades, a red or orange front blade, and a big #5 or bigger copper or painted main blade. I'll usually put a bulky trailer on it also to allow me to retrieve it as slowly as possible. Run it by any kind of cover, multiple times by likely holding areas. 

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In muddy water I like using a red rat-l-trap. Work it just fast enough to make it rattle, and get as close as possible to the cover.

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I recently had luck with buzzbait, casting as parrellel to shore as possible and bringing in slow. Fish were shallow not eating but angered a 5lb'er enough to strike.

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It looks like it could be a tough tournament for everyone . I would think the bass will be shallow tight too cover . In that muddy water light wontt penetrate very far .You know what lures to use   . Just stick with it and you might win it with a low weight .

 

 I like jig and pork frog . Uncle josh still makes them . The difference is they have removed the skin and packaged them in a resealable bag . I think bass hold on to pork longer and deeper.

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Since you've already located the fish, I'd be armed with 3 baits. A bladed jig, a blade bait (i.e.: Silver Buddy) and a spinnerbait.

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If you've located some fish, try a deep diving suspending jerkbait in bright or very dark colors and fish it painfully slow (on the pause).

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55 degree water is the start of pre spawn, not cold water. Suspended crappie in a cove is a waste of your time. The bass are hunting crawdads in off color water are catchable, crawdads don't suspend.

Tom

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Spinnerbait with a Keitech as a trailer and throw it up next to shore, or brush or dock pilings.

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You've got enough suggestions, I'll just offer a 

welcome to the best bass forum on the web!

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Try a bladed jig on a c-rig. It looks crazy but it works.

 

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Thank you all for the great suggestions and the welcome!! Hopefully I will be able to pull out a few this weekend, and reply with what worked. It should be a tough one...they are saying it's supposed to rain that day too:wacko:

It will be a good test!

 

Thanks, 

Krawfish

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Want to give a big thanks again to everyone’s suggestions. The water ended up clearing up a little and we had 77° weather and a little overcast with sun later in the day. Had about 4 inches of visibility and found success in flipping a Texas Rig. I was fortunate to break my PB in the tourney with an 8.23 largemouth!!:D

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6 minutes ago, Krawfish said:

Want to give a big thanks again to everyone’s suggestions. The water ended up clearing up a little and we had 77° weather and a little overcast with sun later in the day. Had about 4 inches of visibility and found success in flipping a Texas Rig. I was fortunate to break my PB in the tourney with an 8.23 largemouth!!:D

Sounds like you should be the one giving us fishing tips!!! Congrats

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2 hours ago, Krawfish said:

Want to give a big thanks again to everyone’s suggestions. The water ended up clearing up a little and we had 77° weather and a little overcast with sun later in the day. Had about 4 inches of visibility and found success in flipping a Texas Rig. I was fortunate to break my PB in the tourney with an 8.23 largemouth!!:D

Well done!

8.23 lbs .... that is an absolute dandy. Congrats  :thumbsup:

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3 hours ago, Krawfish said:

I was fortunate to break my PB in the tourney with an 8.23 largemouth!!:D

What place did you end up ?

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When I read the title I thought: ” Dang ! the lake must have been drained “. Those would really be terrible, terrible conditions ......

 

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