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Bluebasser86

Water Clarity For Swimbaits

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One of the lakes that I want to try fishing swimbaits in normally only has a foot or two of visibility most of the time. The only reel cover in most of the lake is water willow along the banks and rocks. Not many points and a fairly slow drop to the bottom in most of the lake. The only features that really stand out are an island that comes almost to the surface in the middle and a steep drop along one of the only points and along part of the south shoreline. Most of the bottom is mud and farily shallow. I catch most of my fish now flipping the edges of the weeds and I've caught plenty of big fish so I know they're there. Problem is I've never managed to get a bite on a swimbait here. I've caught them on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and cranks so I know they'll hit a lure that is moving a little faster. I'm thinking maybe they just aren't seeing it in time. The lake has big shad and lots of bluegills so other than the water color I can't think of any other reason that I can't get them to eat it.

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While swimbaits are primarily thought of as clear water lures (no rattles etc), what we usually forget is that a big bait moves a lot of water, way more than a traditional spinnerbait. I'd probably throw a boot tail bait (like an Osprey or a Castaic) instead of a Huddleston style bait though. If your bass like fast-moving baits, you might want to take a fast sink multi-section hard bait, and burn it.. just some ideas.

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I fish swimbaits in stained water 90% of the time. Hasn't stopped the fish from biting.. :D

However, I usually bottom bounce them, or fish em REAL slow..

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I guess I should have included the baits I'm fishing. I've been usuing a variety of baits; Decoy 5" hydratail, Mattlures U2 bluegill, Jackall Giron, and the 4" Academy jointed swimbait to name a few. Most of the fish I've caught have been on the Academy or the Decoy bait but this one particular lake refuses to give up swimbait fish. I guess I need to mess with my retrieve a little bit and see if that makes a difference, I've mainly been using a stop and go or straight retrieve.

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"Quiet" lures are normally referred to as clear water lures, for example jerkbaits, because they rely on visual detection.

But swimbaits produce good vibrations and can be fished in any water clarity.

One thing worthy of note though is that swimbaits appeal more to aggressive bass than passive bass.

Roger

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It should be of no concern. The fish don't have any problems finding something to eat in the natural world. You can fish it as fast as the forage can move or you can fish it slower.

You are overthinking a simple process.

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One of the lakes that I want to try fishing swimbaits in normally only has a foot or two of visibility most of the time. The only reel cover in most of the lake is water willow along the banks and rocks. Not many points and a fairly slow drop to the bottom in most of the lake. The only features that really stand out are an island that comes almost to the surface in the middle and a steep drop along one of the only points and along part of the south shoreline. Most of the bottom is mud and farily shallow. I catch most of my fish now flipping the edges of the weeds and I've caught plenty of big fish so I know they're there. Problem is I've never managed to get a bite on a swimbait here. I've caught them on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and cranks so I know they'll hit a lure that is moving a little faster. I'm thinking maybe they just aren't seeing it in time. The lake has big shad and lots of bluegills so other than the water color I can't think of any other reason that I can't get them to eat it.

You say you do not have any "points", but that would determine on how your defining a point. A point can be land, rock, weeds, etc. I think if you look at your weed line, there are propably some variations in it. Some may be 4ft into the water while one or two sections jump out to 5ft. That could be considered a point no matter how small. If there is an island in the lake, then most likely there will "imperfections" in it. It may be flatter on one side, it may have a deep side, a long side, etc... There will probably be a "point" in one way or another on it. If you can't find points, look for different changes in substrate or transitions. Rock to weeds, one species of weed/grass to another, etc... The bass will use anything they can find as an ambush location. But they also want to expend the least amount of energy when they are doing it. Thats why they use points, or hiding areas, or a stump... Because they can get shallow or deep quickly, do there thing quickly, and get back to a resting area quickly.

As far as swimbaits go, I have caught them in muddy water on one. I usually use it as a back up approach to a spinnerbait when the fish want something a little more subtle. Slow and steady retrieve work better for me in stained water... I would personally find the different areas that bass will use as ambush points and use the swimbait in slow steady retreives making multiple casts to the same target at varying depths.

If you do not have a bite by then, switch to your spinnerbait or crankbait and do the same thing. Then move on to the next target using the swimbait as your primary lure. You have to let the fish tell you what they want. If you don't ask them, they won't volunteer that information.

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Well I haven't made it back to the lake I was describing but I did get to another lake with similar water clarity and tore them up on a swimbait! Nothing huge, 3 1/2lbs was the biggest on a swimbait. I think maybe the conditions were just right with the wind blowing into the pocket we were in with lots of baitfish on the weedlines. We were just using straight retrieves and they would engulf the whole bait, even the smaller fish would. I'll just have to keep throwing them and maybe after a little experimentation I'll get the fish at the lake I was describing to eat them!

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