You have spent all winter dreaming about getting back out on the water to do some bass fishing. You start to get excited as you see signs that Spring is around the corner. But then the unthinkable happens.
It begins to rain, and rain. Just when it looks like it is going to clear up, it rains again. Leaving you with high, cold, muddy water. Now most bass fishermen would give up on fishing, thinking it is just to difficult to catch bass in muddy conditions.
Just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean it is impossible. In fact, many fisherman are very successful in catching bass in muddy water. Some have even said they prefer these conditions over fishing in very clear water.
In this post we will share some of our favorite tips on how to catch bass in muddy water.
Where to look?
Before we can discuss muddy water bass fishing techniques, it is important to understand where bass tend to be in these circumstances. After all one can be employing the best bass fishing techniques, using the best bass fishing lures, in the perfect color but if one is not fishing where the fish are, obviously you won’t be successful.
Shallow Waters. When fishing in high muddy water, bass tend to gravitate toward shallow water. This is mainly because of two reasons. First, shallow water means warmer water. Not only will this be more comfortable for bass, but also more importantly this will attract baitfish. Where baitfish are, bass will be close by.
Another reason bass tend to be found in shallow water is possibly because of the light. Due to limited visibility, bass like to be go where they will have the enhanced vision. Shallow water means more light, which means better vision.
Cover. Bass love cover. This is especially true when fishing in muddy water. To illustrate this: think of a young child with a security blanket. This boy will not leave home without the blanket, why? It makes him feel comfortable. Even though he is away from his comfort zone, his home, having that blanket makes him feel secure. The same is true with bass, when they can not see what is going on around them, they still want to feel secure. What offers that security? Cover, and in muddy water bass will stick very close to cover. So when fishing for bass in muddy water, casting into think cover will without a doubt better your chances of catching a big fish.
How to catch bass in muddy water?
Approach. Under normal conditions we like to cast a mile away as to avoid scaring the fish. However, in muddy conditions things change. The fish can’t see us coming. Due to this limited visibility we can fish a lot closer, even pitching or flipping our lure into heavy cover.
Retrieval. You maybe tempted to burn a crankbait across the water, reasoning all this commotion will cause the fish to come up and get it. While it is true, a loud lure is important when fishing in these conditions. Burning a lure across the water will not be successful. Bass are not going to want to leave the safety of their cover for very long. What these means for us is that we have to drop the lure right on their nose, and we have to retrieve it slowly.
Big and Loud. Since bass no longer can rely on their sight to catch a meal, they will be relying heavily on their lateral lines. These lateral lines help them to sense vibrations in the water. They then can home in on these vibrations to catch a meal. When selecting a lure we would want to choose a lure that is going to give off the most vibration. First, think big. Big lures give off bigger vibrations. These bigger vibrations will help the bass sense where the lure is and get it. Second, think loud. Rattle traps and crankbaits work very well in muddy conditions are they give off a lot of commotion.
Color. The color of the lure is very important. Colors that work really well in muddy water are very bright colors or very dark colors such as blue and black. Why would dark colors work well in muddy water? Wouldn’t that make it more difficult to see? Actually, darker lures make it that much easier for bass to see the silhouette. This is especially important when fishing with topwater lures.
You may also enjoy reading: The Best Bass Lures For Cold Muddy Water
Yes, fishing for bass in cold, muddy water can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Following these tips will better your chances of catching a big fish.
Now a question for our readers: How do you catch a bass in muddy water? Feel free to share your fishing tips in the comments below.