Although every fisherman and women dreams of pure, untainted waters for fishing, this may not always be the case. Spend enough time fishing and you will wet lines in: clear, semi- clear murky, dark, green, black and blue types of water. If you fish near developed areas, the waters may not be clear or even semi-clear. Sometimes the water is so dirty, you can’t see your lure even inches under the surface.
My brother, a friend and myself have been fishing such an area. Austen and our friend Greg even fish a local bass tournament tournament every week and consistently place well. To help our fellow fishermen for the last half of the summer months score in dirty waters, here are a few tips we have picked up from fishing this dirty body of water multiple nights per week with plastic baits. The plastic baits we typically use are the five and seven in plastic worms one can find at any bait shop or big box store.
Low and Slow:
Ever have a parent tell you you are cooking the food way too hot and way too fast? Fast and furious? It takes the flavor and nutrition out of the food right? Well, this was one of the first lessons we learned about fishing dirty waters, low and slow. Due to the low water visibility, high boat traffic and high fishing pressure, the bass are generally spooked to begin with. Presenting the bait and enticing a bite is like a dating process almost, you need to earn the fishes’ trust. In other waters we have fished, the move movement you give the bait, the better. For some reason, in this body of water, the less created movement by you, the better. The occasional twitch or lift of the bait is fine, just don’t over do it.
Getting your plastic worms low isn’t always the most difficult. The classic drop shot, also known as a Texas Rig, will get you low on the bottom. Especially in the midday into the evening hours when boat traffic is at its peak, the fish hang low in the waters. Using heavier worms also helps get you to the bottom quicker, but without the artificial weight of a sinker, presents your bait a bit more naturally. Get low and crawl your bait crass the bottom.
Finding deeper waters:
This isn’t the most cutting edge I know, but bear with me. Now not everyone has a fish finder I understand. However, using the internet to find topographical maps of the count ours of the lake is a real possibility. Use landmarks to pinpoint specific depths and structures of interest. If you have a fish finder, use it to the max and look for the suspended drop offs, rock bars and weed lines. We used our fish finder to find random rock piles in the middle of the lake and work them backwards into the shoreline to find countless other ridges and drop offs. This helped lead Austen to catching a lifetime personal best, seven pound fifteen ounce bass. I was right there to verify the weight of the fish on the scale.
Again, maybe not the most cutting edge here, but, even though it is tempting to use colors which might visibly stand out in the water, stick with matching the colors of the bait fish. For example, even though the water is a dirty green, we have our best luck using green, blue and silver worms. It is very tempting to use a florescent orange worm, and sure you might get a curiosity strike. But again, you must earn the trust of the fish and matching the colors of their food will serve you best.
Don’t let muddy and dirty water conditions deter you. Get out there and wet a line. Can’t catch a fish on the couch.