By Donuel E. Bruno -
The question that I get the most all across the country is what to do in muddy water. Well, the first thing I do is laugh, but not at the person.
Here are the standards that I go by when judging the water clarity: If you can count the blades of the prop on the lower unit, then you are in clear water. If can barely see the lower unit, then you are in stained water. And if you cannot see the lower unit, you are in muddy water.
There are three types of muddy water: mud lines, layered mud, and the worst, cold muddy water, which is most common in the spring and the fall.
Mid-lines are created when the water is beat against the bank by the wind. Layered mud is where the top layer of water is muddier than the water beneath it. And cold muddy water is where the water is muddied up by the wind and the water temperature is 55 degrees or less.
When fishing muddy water remember to fish tight to cover as possible. That is where you will get bit, whereas in clear water they may roam around. Whether the water temperature is 45 degrees or 80 degrees they will be tight to cover. Bass in muddy water prefer hard objects like rocks, logs, and docks, and they are not very aggressive, so make numerous casts.
Now the lures to user in these types of water would be tight wobbling crankbaits like a rattletrap or shad rap. For spinnerbaits, I prefer to use a Colorado and willowleaf blade combination versus the loud thumping of two Colorado blades, and I reverse that during the summer and fall when noisy and wide wobbling baits are very productive.
The lure you choose must be one that can be worked slowly and kept in the strike zone a little longer. The biggest mistake anglers make is moving their lures too fast.
As far as color goes, the most productive are chartreuse, black and brown, orange, and bright reds. When fishing the bottom I prefer using darker colors like black and blue, brown and black, and red-shad.
Fishing muddy water and cold muddy water is not an easy task, but if you work your lures slowly you will appeal to the bass’s main senses – sight, scent, sound — and will improve your catch ratio greatly.
Tight lines, and fish on.