Make the Call!
I've been very busy this year in what has been a hot and cold season as far as fishing!Weather plays a significant role in fishing. This year, wind and rain has made the water muddy and has affected the tides. For this, I have had to be very creative and had to pay very close attention to the conditions. Simply put, depth and speed have been imperative this year.
I preach this all the time and refer to my lures as "tools" to achieve depth and speed. But when water temps drop 10 degrees and visibility is less than a foot, it takes persistence on my part to keep my clients encouraged throughout the day. One of my favorite clients came out and it was a slow day for him. But, he had a positive outlook. He had improved his casting and was learning how to adjust to the conditions to "make the fish bite". If fishing meant catching, this game wouldn't be that much fun. Tic-Tac-Toe gets boring after a while because the outcomes are inevitable. But fishing has definite skills along with gained knowledge that keep people coming back for more, making one more cast.
I even suggested to one of my regulars that he and his wife not fish this past week as the water was very muddy and I would rather they had better conditions. Being honest is the best policy. It would be no fun for someone to come out with excitement and anticipation only to see chocolate milk water and fish difficult to come by. Why is it tougher to catch fish in muddy water? Some might say fish can't see lures. Fact is they can see better than we think, up to 3-5 times as far as we can, but with 6 inches of visibility, that means they can still only see about 30 inches at most. So, the key becomes casting. Either a lot of casts from various angles from afar., or close quarters using short pitches to target specific small spots, often teacup size. This is not easily learned. The other situation is that fish are a bit tentative and bites are often light, so strike detection is also difficult. Easier presentations like dropshot and senkos are tough, as fish can't see them well. Muddy water fishing is all about noise, vibration and bulk…and of course, dark colors.
There are two situations, with clouds or low light...and sun. I actually prefer the sun as it forces fish to hold very tight to shaded cover. Otherwise an early morning thumping spinnerbait or chatter jig will produce. As the sun comes up, precision casting with bulky soft plastics and jigs will get fish to bite.
I don't like to postpone trips, but I will give my plan to my clients and have them decide. Most of my clients are regulars and will opt for better conditions. Few days offer "perfect" conditions, so I usually try to make the best of any given day, but when very muddy water rolls through, rather than running around the river looking for the clearest water, I would rather relax to fish another day.
I look forward to a great season and fishing with my regular clients along with new ones! Have fun and BE SAFE!
Capt. Steve Chaconas
National Bass Guide service
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