Anglers shouldn't fear muddy water
Published: Friday, March 27, 2009 at 5:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 at 1:50 a.m.
One fishing condition that gives many anglers stage fright is muddy water.
The run-off from melting snow a couple of weeks ago began turning High Rock brownish-red. Shortly thereafter, several days of heavy rain sent another rush of muddy water and debris into the lake. With more rain in the forecast, conditions won't improve.
Consequently, High Rock anglers must either confront their muddy water anxieties or immerse themselves in March basketball madness at home.
But catching fish in muddy water isn't a lost cause if fishermen dismiss the psychological shock of seeing red throughout the lake. Many touring pros deliberately seek off-colored water because the fish residing within those muddy areas are usually shallow and easier to catch than fish living in deep, clear waters.
However, there is a difference between dingy water and water running crimson. What anglers need to avoid is new muddy water entering the lake, especially if that situation is coupled with a cold front. That combination will turn the fish off
Fish can acclimate themselves to wretched-looking water in a few days. After all, they have to feed sometime.
"They're not going to swim miles just to get out of muddy water," said Jim Abers, a former guide at Kerr Lake . "They're still in the same area they were before the lake got muddy."
Old muddy water coupled with a warming trend often results in excellent fishing.
Another good muddy water situation occurs where muddy water meets clearer water. The resultant mudline, clearly visible on sunny days, can be productive if it intrudes upon points, bushes, stumps, and other traditional bass-holding places.
Another advantage of fishing muddy water is the lack of fishing pressure.
Many bass and crappie fishermen are now targeting the clearer trapped waters between the bridges within Flat Swamp and between the bridges within Abbotts Creek. These anglers may catch fish, but they must share these fish with other anglers who have evaded muddy water.
Several baits are effective in muddy water. The most popular are spinnerbaits with chartreuse/yellow, chartreuse, or black/yellow skirts and with No. 6 or 7 Colorado blades. Other choices include orange/red and chartreuse lipless crankbaits; black/blue rattlin' jigs, and chartreuse and banana crankbaits.
Until the water warms, the bass bite at High Rock will remain slow, but the few bites fishermen get will be from quality fish. Many of those fish will come from muddy water.
Once anglers gain confidence fishing muddy water, they'll be more willing to get "down and dirty" no matter what water conditions Mother Nature sends their way.
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