Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Muddy Water Bass Fishing

Saturday, April 5th, I went out searching for some largemouth bass. It had rained for several days prior so just about every lake and stream was muddy or flooded. I chose a lake that I had hoped was not effected much by the rains. Upon arrival at 10:30am, the water clarity was way worse than I had hoped. After a short debate with myself, I decided I was there so I might as well try. Water visibility was no more than 3 inches. I took a picture of my transducer arm to show how muddy the water was.

Immediately I started picking up tons of fish on my fish finder out in open water.

I had a green pumpkin jig and a shallow diving crankbait tied on so I began alternating between the two to see if anything I was seeing on the fish finder was biting. I knew that dark colored baits would be my best bet in the muddy water. After about 30 casts or so I had already had 2 bites on jig and 1 on the crankbait but no hookups. I then decided to change the jig and Berkley Chigger Crawl up to a jig n pig. I was hoping that the added scent of the Uncle Josh's Pork Frog would help the fish find my bait in the muddy water.
Jig n Pig
About 5 casts after switching to the jig n pig I finally hooked into a fish out in the open water. It felt like a decent bass but what I pulled up instead was a huge bullhead catfish. The bullhead went 15.25" and 1lb 13oz which was good enough for a new personal best.
15.25" 1lb 13oz Bullhead Catfish
15.25" 1lb 13oz Bullhead Catfish
It was good to knock the skunk off early but unfortunately this would be my first and last fish of the day.  Throughout the day I tried several different baits including, 3 different jig variations (green pumpkin, jig n pig, black red fleck), 3 different cranks (shallow, mid range, and deep), and a large black spinner bait with nothing to show for it. The jigs by far produced the most bites. Unsure if I was getting bites from smaller fish or if the fish just couldn't see my bait well enough to get it in their mouth. These bites could have also been from more bullhead catfish which were too small to fit the jig into their mouths. Catfish like the bullhead rely on their lateral line and scent to feed rather than their eyes such that the muddy water effects their ability to feed minimally if at all.

Throughout the day I also noted that the surface temperature ranged from 53 to 60 degrees and that I had caught the bullhead on the cold side of the lake. I tried to focus more time on the warmer side of the lake but it did not help. By 7:30pm I was ready to call it quits, happy that I had caught anything at all in the muddy water.

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