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Bass and cover....

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Ok.... I have read some articles and they say bass are more spread out around cover in muddy water, and tight to cover in clear water, then I read a few other articles that claim the exact opposite.  Can anyone clear this up for me?  Thanks.

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There's an awful lot of variables as far as muddy vs clear water goes. I'll try and cut to the chase and give you 30 years of experience rolled into some quick tips.

This time of year, with water temps under 50 degrees, Muddy water is an immediate turnoff. I'll work on honey-do's at home rather than waste time on the water. Fish are darn near impossible to catch in cold, muddy water.

Fish, in lakes that are usually clear - very clear, are effected in a negative way to muddy water.  They'll bunch tight to cover or suspend and shutdown. Since clearwater bass use sight as one of their prime methods of feeding, the lack of being able to see their prey tends to throw them off.  Remember this, the muddy water doesn't always extend vertically in the water table all the way to the bottom.  Check points and dropoffs. Turn the gain up on the graph, you can sometimes see the mud line and find some fish hanging just under the mud relating to structure. Go with wider wobbling and noisier baits.  

Fish, in lakes that are usually off-colored, tanic or stained aren't as affected.  Go with noisier, heavy vibrating lures around cover.

Muddy water usually means heavy rains recently which indicates lots of critters have been washed into the lake.  I look for incoming runoff, streams, etc.  Bass will often congregate there awaiting easy meals being washed in.

Lakes that have seen a rise in lake level will almost always see bass moving up into the newly flooded area. Smaller fish are up there looking for critters in the water and the bass follow them.  I've found flooded, normally dry ground grassfields, can be a bass bonanza. Fish quick search baits like rat-l-traps, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, shallow crankbaits in these places.  

The lake may not be completely muddy. Look for edge areas where the muddy water meets up with clearer water.  Target structure and cover in area's there.

Hope this helps

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Guest avid

My experience is that the brighter the light penetration (sunlight/water clarity) the tighter to cover they will hold

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Nothing is ever a sure thing in bass fishing today they might be tight to the cover and for some reason tomarrow they may not be tight to cover. This is one of the many challanges of bass fishing you have to put the puzzle together if you what to catch fish or just get lucky. :D

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