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Muddy Muddy Muddy water, and high and fast current

Kirtley Howe

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Went down to the river late this afternoon (Susquehanna River near Owego NY). We had rain late yesterday and last night, so I thought fishing could be good. What I didn't realize is that we had rain here, but upstream from here they had torrential rain...the river was up at least 4 feet and was super muddy and full of debris. Floating wood, branches, all kinds of grass and weeds, and tons of leaves. The main river was just about unfishable. I tried fishing some backwater areas where there was less crap in the water, but could not find a fish. And even in the backwaters, there was still a lot of stuff floating around and the water looked like coffee with milk in it. After an hour or so of trying a frog (which at least I could retrieve without getting fouled), a buzzbait (which did not work), and a 1/2 oz blue/black weedless jig with a ragebug trailer, and a couple of different crankbaits which just dredged up grass and weeds or fouled as soon as they hit the water I gave up on the river. I went to a small feeder stream that feeds into the river, and went as far upstream as I could and still have fishable depth of water. I started there and worked my way back downstream. The stream was still pretty clear, but was flowing pretty fast. Topwaters did not work at all. I ended up throwing shallow running crankbaits in brown/chartreuse and brown crawfish colors. Those worked. I walked and fished for an hour or so and caught 8 bass total. All smallmouth. 2 were 8-10 inches in length, and the rest were all 12-14 inches. Nothing to write home about, but lots of fun on light tackle and in pretty stiff current. So, the day that started off as a total bust ended up being a reasonable success at least in quantity. Wish I had found a few big fish, but what the heck.....

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3 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

Way to make something out of nothing 


I wholeheartedly agree. Tough, tough conditions, but you still scored. 

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my home "lake" is technically a a river that is partially damed off so we get similar conditions (not quite as high of a level swing as that though) and the only way I have found to catch fish is a white spinner bait with big silver willow blades. I'll do what you did and try up stream and in cleaner pockets and try to figure out where the "muddy" vs "less muddy" line is and fish cover around there. 


Very tough conditions honestly....most times I'll stay home and wait for it to clear up in the feeder streams. 

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