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Javelin_Venom

How would you fish these conditions?

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About a 9,000 acre reservoir with water temps around 47-50 on Sunday (assuming your fishing it the following weekend). Monday and Tuesday there is a chance of rain/snow >:( and highs in the lower 40s. Wednesday and Thursday temps are in the 40's and Friday and Saturday temps are going to be around 48-50. The lake is very very muddy from lots of recent rain, and is 3 feet above summer pool, or about 7 feet above winter pool (or normal for this time of year). Where would you even start? Look for the warmest possible water? What colors, techniques, baits would you try to use in the muddy water with those water temps? Any certain kind of structure you might look for? I am going to be fishing 2 days this week under those conditions and have no clue where to even begin. :-/ Any help would be appreciated greatly.

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Guest bigtex

I would use a big plastic bait that will need to have rattles inserted in them.  Fish it slow around submerged stumps, bolders, or any other under water cover or structure.  The bass should be hugging close to these structures.  You may catch two or three in one spot but most of the time it will be just one so you might have to move around a bit.

Besides plastic baits, try jigs with rattles.  

As far as color I woud try whit and chartreuse or something really flashy and bright.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Thanks...I'll let you know for sure.  Would you fish it any differently because of the water being up so high?  Last year it was kept low for some maintenance and probably hasn't been this high in at least 2 years, maybe more...so there is cover and vegetation under water that hasn't been for a long time.  Would you target some of this?  If so, what would you look for?

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Guest bigtex

Yes, yes, and yes.  I would definitely fish the lake differently due to the water level rising.  The bass will lay in different places such as to the outside of weed edges if not up in the cover or vegetation.  They will position themselves away from the current be should be holding close to where they want to bed if they haven't already made a bed.  It won't hurt to try these places as well as what I stated before.  I would still stick to the plastics and jigs.  If this doesn't produce then try a spinner bait.  

What and how do you plan on fishing this lake?  Tell us what your gut is telling you and go with it.  Don't ever second guess yourself.  Once you do you might as well pack up and come home.  In other words stick to your guns.

All the information that I have given you is just my own opinion.

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I wouldlook for the clearest, warmest water you could find, then start there. Try dropshotting or carolia rigging underwater humps, creek channels, etc........A jerkbait(suspending) might not be a bad idea either.........

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Well usually I have a lot of confidence in crankbaits but I haven't fished this lake in conditions anywhere near this before so I don't really know what to do.  I figure I'm probably going to try and find an area where the channel swings in close to the shore with some cover and fish it slow with plastics and a rattling jig in bright colors.  If that doesn't work I might try to fish some places where I've always thought to myself "Man, if the water was up above that, a bass would sit right there."  I don't know if they'll be up in there with the water being as cold as it is but I've always wanted to fish some of those areas with the water over them, so maybe I'll get my chance.  Looks like a high of around 48 degrees both days.  Hope the water is at least that warm, preferabbly warmer.

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The fish will be one of 2 places.  They will either be moving up regardless of the water temperature like they tend to do in northern lakes or they will be holding to winter patterns until that magic 50degrees is hit.  Since the water temp is supposed to be around 50, I'd start off with either a deep diving jerkbait like an X-Rap or maybe a pointer around primary lake structure. (IE points, humps, and things of that nature.)  Anywhere where a submerged road, creek channel, or gravel meets up with grass, deep water, access to shallow water, or bends close to any of the above is a good, good place to look for prespawn bass.

If the jerkbait doesn't work or the fish are holding too deep, try a SINGLE colorado bladed spinnerbait slow rolled close to or onto the bottem.  Shad or crawfish colors would be a good bet.

You also won't be able to go wrong with a carolina rigged anything or jig and pig for deeper water or more subtle presentations.  

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I would also try and find the clearest, warmest water possible. See if you can find a point with a creek channel running up close to it and C-rig it, and it makes it even better if there's some cover down there.

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Three baits;

Jig: orange/greenpumpkin, electric/ blue, black/chart

Spinnerbait: black, chartreuse

Crankbait shallow: yellow, chartreuse, citrus shad

Fish shallow if you have a creek channel that swings close to a shallow flat that has good shore cover hit it. The influx of muddy water will push the fish shallow if the water most of the time is clear or stained. The fish will be tight to cover so fish tight. When your fishing the crankbait make sure it bounces off of something like a lay down or stump. You might end up flipping most of the day.

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I c-rig usually no matter what. Shallow, deep, clear, warm, cold, whatever...

Fished about those same conditions and was getting skunked while my father put on a chartruese/pepper(sp?) 6 inch lizard. Dunno why, but in that muddy water it musta stood out like a sore thumb under water to the fish. The high water created some nifty flats along some points.  I swtiched after he was on his 5th fish, 2 over 4lb. 1 over 6.... All from the same side of a point. The point had a drop-off very close to the flat, and I guess they were schooled off that running up on the flat feeding. It took me awhile after his super fast start, but I caught him, though I didn't catch any as big the 6, I did catch alot of 3s that day and only one over 4. And we did have a spell of about 18 smaller than 2 lbs on one point with a huge flat. I still regret to this day not moving off deep on that point that day the way they were biting. We did go deeper off that point about a month later, and had our best day ever as far as 5lb + fish. All on 10 and 12 inch blacks worms. Water had cleared up by then though :)

I'd probably focus near points, on the sides of em, any good flats. and kinda shallow for maybe the first hour, if nothing, have next plan ready. I'd probably still focus on points, and maybe go a little deeper, try draggin up the points this time. Most people start fast and go slower to find a bite. Me on the other hand, I try to focus slow. Now, after a hour of deeper, i'd probably go back to shallow, sides of the point and flats. Now consider that's 3 hours. And that would probably be the same area for me, if it were a point i was sure fish were on.

Now if it's a place you're not sure about, cut the times down. Pay real good attention to bites, even if none caught.

You didn't say anything about depth of lake, which can play a huge part on how much you move around and things you try.

Black worm is great also, I go with berkley, for the scent and I generally use 10 inch, or the bass pro 12 inch. I live in NC and while most people will say short 6-8 inch worms, I'm sold on the big worms. Though the 6 inch zoom trick worm is my second choice after 10inch+ worms. Maybe try a few of the above on a weightless rig for good measure if no bite on c-rig.

My advice is to give the plastics a chance, atleast 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Most of our bites that day came after we dragged it a few feet and then let it set for like 5-10 seconds. The would slam the lizard it while it was motionless. And i've never seen the lake that muddy before or since that day.

But like I said, I fish my strength, the c-rig. If C_rig isn't your strength. Don't give up on it to quick if not getting bit. But if you have ZERO confidence in the c-rig in those conditions, don't waste your time, stick with your strengths.

If you decide to go with the c-rig, go a short leader. Don't retrieve the worm, drag it. Let it sit a few seconds sometimes. And try to drag the flats, points with a rough feel, if not feeling anything, go to bigger weight or search more around for the rough stuff on the bottom. Muddy water is tough anyway, if they are feeding though, it don't matter, you can still catch the heck out of fish.

welp, good luck

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Those conditions are very similar to the conditions at my lake here in Illinois (St. Louis metro east).  My lake was way high and very muddy from those storms a week and a half ago.  It has since stabilized as far as the lake level but is still muddy yet clearing a bit.  I went out today for a few hours and caught three.  12", 2 lbs., and 5 lbs.  All were caught flipping a junebug Sweet Beaver, Texas rig 1/4 oz, 4/0 EWG.  I was putting it in the thickest stuff I could find.  All fish were in 2 - 5 feet of water.  Good luck!

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Try a spinnerbait in chartreuse to search for the bass.When you find a concentration,C-rig it with a greenpumpkin or watermelon lizard or finese worm.

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With the conditions you describe,its going to be a tough bite.The water is cold,high ,and muddy.Find a bait that you can confidently fish tight to cover and slowly!The fish will probably be scattered,but near the clearest water out of current .If you are a good jig fishernan,so much the better.If the water is high and running,as in lake tributaries I would look there first.Keep in mind the current breaks,cold running water is taboo.Think calm ,clear and slow.Ihope you slay them.

                                                                              Tennsopher

                                                                                         

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