In largemouth fishing, “muddy water” is a relative term. What’s muddy to one bass may be relatively clear to another.
Bass that live in water that is always muddy or otherwise discolored learn to adapt to the conditions. They rely more heavily on their lateral-line sense, so they can feed with no problem even in water that looks more like heavily creamed coffee.
It’s a different story, however, for bass that live in clear water that is suddenly muddied by runoff from a heavy rain. Feeding activity stops abruptly and may not pick up again until the water begins to clear.
This difference in behavior has important consequences for the angler. In water that is permanently discolored, bass are usually much more catchable. But you’ll probably have to use noisy lures or those that produce plenty of
In waters that are temporarily discolored, there’s a good chance the fish won’t bite regardless of what lure you use. The only solution may be to find a spot where the water is not quite as muddy as in the main lake or river. It could be an isolated cove, a backwater lake or the mouth of a clear inlet stream.
As a rule, bright or fluorescent colors work best in very muddy water. Flashy lures are sometimes a good choice in waters where the visibility is a little greater.
Although catching bass in muddy water is a challenge, one thing works in the angler’s favor. Because of the low clarity, the fish are not linked as tightly to cover. You can find them cruising about at random, so your casting need not be as precise.
Tips for Catching Muddy-Water Bass
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.
Use an extra-wide curlytail for fishing in discolored water. Because a wide tail moves more water, it produces stronger vibrations than a narrow one.
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 and then replace the skirt.
Replace the blade of your spinnerbait with a larger size Colorado blade. Not only does a big Colorado blade produce stronger vibrations, it provides extra lift so you can retrieve more