Spring runoff, and thus fishing in muddy water, is a necessary part of the hydro-logic cycle. It recharges aquifers, raises water levels, and provides the nutrients necessary for productive fisheries. It also creates some tough fishing conditions – as high sediment loads muddy up the water making it extremely difficult for bass to track your baits.
In today’s fast paced world, we’re often stuck fishing these conditions – so whether it’s muddy or not, we’re going fishing.
Try one of these three presentations for generating strikes while fishing in muddy water:
1. Bulky/Loud Flipping Baits
High muddy water causes bass to relate closely to cover, much as you might hug a wall or banister while navigating a dark room. For that reason, flipping and pitching is a great way to draw strikes when it’s dirty. To maximize the bite, make sure you’re flipping something they’re gonna notice like the Gambler Ugly Otter. The dirtier the water, the bigger, bulkier, and louder you want a flipping bait to be. If your normal choice is a ½ ounce jig – in the mud, choose a rattling model in a dark color, and instead of a chunk, thread on a bulky creature bait or craw. The same rule applies for plastics as well. If you normally flip a beaver-style bait, try switching to a tube with a rattle, or add a punch skirt to give it more bulk.
There aren’t a lot of baits more versatile than a spinnerbait, and that’s the main reason they can still load the boat when the water’s flowing mud. The key is to make sure you’re using the right spinnerbait. Because there’s no visibility, choose a spinnerbait that’s heavy on the thump, and light on the flash like the Strike King Premier Plus Spinnerbait. Big Colorado blades move a lot of water, and should be staples on spinnerbaits while fishing in muddy water. Also don’t be afraid to try unique darker colors like black, or red on your spinnerbaits when it’s muddy.
3. Vibrating Jig
Just like a big Colorado blade, the vibrating jig packs a ton of thump into a package that’s easy to fish around both shallow and deep cover. Most vibrating jigs, like the V & M Pacemaker Lightning Blade will shake the rod right out of your hand, and give blind bass an excellent target for their lateral lines to home in on. Any vibrating jig should be one of your first baits to rip through the channel while fishing in muddy water.