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lunka4me

Pre-spawn shallow muddy water

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Hi all,

Pretty new to the site and first wanted to say that this is one great site.

I would like to pose this question: the first tournament I have this year (Mid April) is on a small New England body of water that is shallow (mostly in the 5-8 ft range) and real muddy. There are two rivers leading into the pond and dumping out. I would tend to focus on these rivers in the summer as they have current and have cooler water on the hot days. What are some suggestions for pre spawn? I was thinking suspending jerkbaits on sunny shorelines away from the incoming water as it will probably be colder. Should I be thinking more of a reaction strike at this time?  

Thanks in advance

Ps. I am jealous of all you southern guys that don't have to walk on water to get to their fish right now, if that was me I am pretty sure my fishing stuff wouldn't be as organized as i have it now.

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Suspending jerkbaits would not be my choice in muddy water during the pre-spawn. For those baits to work, the fish have to be able to see the lure at some point.

I think I'd be sticking with something like a jig with a trailer. If water temps were above 50, a wide wobbling crankbait like a Wiggle Wart or a spinnerbait with Colorado blades would be another choice.  Definitely slow them down and work around cover.   Cold, muddy water is not an ideal fishing condition especially if water temps are around 50 or below.

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Short arm spinner bait like Hildebrandt's Go-Getter in 3/8 oz #5 Gold Colorado blade with a Chartreuse/White skirt slow rolled.

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technically jerbaits are for clearer water and great after ice out, but fish can't read books.  If you're feeling it, try it.  jerkbaits have rattles too.  yes the fish should be shallow in the sun

don't forget lipless cranks and the colorado blade is a good idea

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With all the rattles and extravagant colors available, hard jerkbaits perform just as well in muddy or stained water as well.  We get a lot of creek and stream runoff early in the year, and the sediment and tannins really reduce visibility.  The key is to give the fish a cue to home in on.  Longer jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk sections and maybe a sweep before the pause works well.  They are one of my favorite baits when the water opens up.  And its not just bass that bit either - I've caught incidental steelhead and browns as well.

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I agree, hard jerks can and do work - but not well - in cold, muddy water. It's the degree of success you are looking for, especially in a tourney. I would choose my lures to increase my percentages, not just maybe catch you a fish or two. You want to win, right?

Tough fishing conditions, no doubt, but you can put the odds in your favor by using something like a black skirted, large Colorado bladed spinnerbait (with a trailer!) for searching (slow rolling it), with a back-up rod presenting a blue-black jig with large trailer and rattles. That would be my strategy. But then again, I don't fish tournaments! JMO Folks ;)

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I would go bright and obnoxious. A rattle-trap or spinnerbait might be your best bet. Like what was mentioned earlier a jerkbait is more of a sight lure and if its really stained then you need something to "call" the fish in or burn something loud, fast, and bright enough to get a reaction.

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When in doubt, a Rat-L-Trap type lure is always the answer. Maybe

it's not always the best choice, but if you happen to run it close to

a fish, there is a chance to get bit.

8-)

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Off colored water is all about flash & vibration; Rat-L-Traps fit that bill quite well ;)

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Thanks all,  I have always been a finesse/jig/plastics fisherman and reaction strikes/ fast moving baits have never been my thing.  Guess I know what I need to get more confidence with.  I also have to convince myself that a funny looking spinnerbait actually catches fish.

p.s. This ice needs to go away soon . :D

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Well, no one mentioned one of the best lures for stained/muddy, cool water early in the year. It can be fished slower than a spinnerbait or lipless rattling bait, and has more vibration-------------------------CHATTERBAIT

edited: to qualify that recommendation, I fished three days last week at the same lake with water temps of 44, 46, and 53 degrees as max for each day. The visibility was less than 6" and I caught bass with a couple of other lures but the Chatterbait accounted for at least 50-60 of them.

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