"Muddy" water is a relative term because bass live in such different environments. What might be muddy to one fish may be fairly clear to another.
Fish that live in water that's always murky adapt to the situation by relying more heavily on their lateral lines to locate food and avoid even larger predators. It's different for bass that live in clear water that suddenly becomes muddy because of runoff from a heavy rain. It may even shut down feeding activity until the water begins to clear again. If you face this situation, and you can't simply move to a different lake, look for the clearest water available. It may be in an isolated cove, backwater lake, or the mouth of a clear tributary.
Bass are typically much more catchable in water that's normally discolored, but it can be a challenge. The key is to use lures that create a lot of noise and vibration, or extra flash, in the water. One thing that works in the angler's favor, though, is that bass in permanently muddy water often don't relate as tightly to cover. You can find them cruising, so casts need not be as precise.
Here are a few lure modification tricks that will help you connect with bass in muddy water:
1. Add a rattle to your lure to attract muddy-water bass. Several types are available; this one fits into a slit cut into a plastic worm, lizard, craw or grub.
2. Use an extra-wide curlytail grub when fishing in discolored water. A wide tail moves more water and produces stronger vibrations than a narrow one.
3. Add a few strands of tinsel to the skirt of your spinnerbait for extra flash. Just remove the skirt, slip the tinsel under the O-ring that holds the rubber strands together, then replace the skirt.
4. Replace the blade of your spinnerbait with a larger size Colorado blade. Not only does the larger blade produce stronger vibration, it provides extra lift so you can retrieve the lure more slowly.