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Guest basskid17

Water Clarity

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Guest basskid17

How do you determine water clarity??  This is a must because all of your color selections are based off of the water color....

any advice would be greatly appreciated

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One trick I have heard of is using a white spinnerbait and see how far down it goes before it disappears.

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The way I can tell is start off on a bank and see how far you can go offshore until you can't see the bottom of the lake.

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during my retrieve i see how far down i can see my lure.  or for example, in one of the areas i go to often someone depostited a old shovel (sticking straight up) about 5 feet from the bank.  before i start fishing i usually cruise by and see how far down the handle into the water i can see.  

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I reel whatever lure/plastic I have all the way to the tip of my rod.  Insert the rod into the water, then measure the water level on your rod where the lure disappears.  Anything past your rod length is safe to say is pretty clear water.

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Bassin4life's water looks pretty clear!

What are you talking about....

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oh lol yeah I guess it does.... ;D

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< 1ft visibility  Muddy

< 2ft       "       Murky

< 3ft       "       Stained

< 5ft       "       Slight Stain

> 5ft       "       Clear

This is not gospel but it's what I use.

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What are your thoughts about how algae blooms affect water clarity?   Many algae blooms have a depth at which they disappear but light is filtered out below the bloom.  Do you consider the same clarity scale for this situation or do you fish as if the water was clearer but the light level less?

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it's weird to see your ideas of clear and muddy. not because you're wrong. if you can see over a foot, i consider it clear down here. muddy would only be a couple inches. i like 6 or 8 inches.

i think the bass around here probably go by my ideas of clear and muddy, because it's how it is in mud bottom lakes. am i right in thinking this way? or because 1 foot or less would be considered muddy in other parts of the country, is it muddy to the bass then? should i approach these lakes with more of a muddy water technique?

i went to bull shoals a few weeks ago for the first time in a while. it was cool to be able to see the bottom that deep. intimidating too. that's too clear for my taste. i didn't fish bull shoals, but i fished norfork, which is about the same type of lake. i caught a nice spot there.

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Algae does affect water clarity, but its mostly in ponds....you can get a type of chemical and kill it.

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water clarity is a variable that changes from person to person.  It depends mostly on the type of water that suurounds you.  Some people consider 8+ visibility clear 5-8 slightly stained, 3-5 stained, etc.  

just my .02

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Steve, the algae will be in the upper part of the water column and will affect the clarity in that part of the water.  It will only affect light penetration below the algae, forming sort of a "shade area" if the algae is thick enough.

Kinda like a mudline.  Waves and wind will beat up some mud near the shore, but it is usually only near the surface with clearer water below and forms a shadeline when the sun is out.

I have fished in both and algae bloom and in mudlines and would see clear water kick up from beneath when I would hit the trolling motor.

Brad

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More on water clarity.  In water with really good visability, I like to either make my baits blend in with the surrounding cover, bottom or even better, the water itself.

I will hold some baits under water and see what is hardest to see and I will start with that.  Many prey are great at camoflage and do their best to blend in.  It's always something to try with your baits.

Brad

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Brad,   My experience with algae blooms mirrors yours but how does this position bass (especially smallmouth).  Do they ignore the bloom and position themselves as if it weren't there or do they use the bloom as an "edge" and position themselves in the clear water below and feed against the bloom edge.  This probably has more to do with the positioning of their prey or do they change prey from minnows in shallow depths to crayfish below the bloom?  Unlike a mud line, an algae bloom will last quite a long time and cover an entire lake leaving the bass no choice but to deal with it.  

Would crankbaits fished just below the bloom or along the bottom be more effective than topwater lures or plastics swimming through the algae?  Would you go to a bottom lure such as a jig, worm or tube?  Would a darker color be more effective than a lighter color in this darker environment?

I know the bass can't climb out and walk to a clearer lake but they seem to change their familiar habits when a heavy bloom arrives... and its frustrating the h*ll out of me!   Thanks for any "light" you can shine on this subject.

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When rooted weeds are fully developed many nutrients become available for filamentous algae to make slop bays sloppy. Filamentous algae lies on the surface like an "angel hair" Christmas tree decoration. It mats, glops together with the rooted vegetation, and forms a floating canopy of clingy gunk.

They're worth fishing however. Often the heaviest, thickest tangles of shallow cover host the biggest largemouths during summer. Few anglers accept the challenge of tackling them, beyond making token casts to the outer edges of them.

When bass are under dense mats of vegetation in the shallows, rig a plastic frog or lizard Texas-style with no weight and throw it into the thickest cover you can find, slowly swimming it toward the edge. You can use topwater baits such as these all day long because the bass feel comfortable and safe under the dense cover. A lot of times you'll catch fish during the heat of the day. A weedless spoon or buzzbait also will work when the cover is not quite so thick. Keep in mind, though, that a fish exploding through the grass often misses a fast-moving lure - and a spoon or buzzbait must be quickly retrieved to remain unfouled.

The beauty of a weedless frog or lizard is that it can be fished slowly, giving bass a better show. Because a bass must blast through and inhale your lure, there will always be a few missed strikes. However, seeing that bass explode excites even the most experienced bass angler. If a fish misses it, don't stop. Keep it moving and the bass will come back and get it. Keep your cool when bass bulge the weeds to intercept the frog. Momentarily, the fish will explode through the vegetation. After the strike, to ensure solid contact, wait a full second before setting the hook.

The Snag Proof Tournament Frog gained its fame on The Delta as the lure to use on the algae mats that emerge during the hot summer months.

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