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Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2012/6/25 8:27
From Lancaster County
Posts: 379
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With the pretty regular amount of rain we've gotten this summer, the Susky has never really dropped below 4' or had a chance to clear up. I live in Marietta and walk the river every day and don't remember seeing it in this shape in a long while.

I don't seem to be having as much success with bass as I have in years past and am thinking it's because of the low clarity and dirty water. Anyone have any tips for targeting bass in these types of conditions?

Not surprisingly, most of my luck as been near the banks and in eddies...
Any particular flies work really well?

Posted on: 8/14 7:57
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Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 469
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Poppers and any other loud fly you have in dark colors

Posted on: 8/14 8:57
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Re: Muddy bass fishing

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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I tried a black popper this past weekend, no luck. Michael have you tried large weighted nymphs, going slow and deep? Just a thought. I haven't tried yet.

Posted on: 8/14 10:23


Re: Muddy bass fishing

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2006/11/10 8:32
Posts: 599
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My recommendation is to fish spinner baits and buzz baits for a day or so fishing in the habitats that you mentioned, then go back to the frustration with a renewed enthusiasm. You may also want to fish the other side of the river where the habitat is better and there are more SMB as a result.

Posted on: 8/14 12:28


Re: Muddy bass fishing
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2140
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There's fishing...and there's catching; and the two are not necessarily the same.

I've learned the least on days when I catch a fish on every third cast. Not that I'm complaining, that can be fun.

Don't give up or give in. If you grab your spinning gear every time there's high water, low water, dirty water, cold water, a windy day, a sunny day, a rainy day....you'll never learn how to fly-fish when there's high water, low water, dirty water, cold water, a windy day, a sunny day, a rainy day.

To really learn the sport and gain satisfaction, get out there and take your lumps in less than ideal conditions or when the fish have turned off. That's when your best bet is to try new techniques or flies, different water types or even different fishing spots altogether.

As time goes on and you face different conditions, you can draw from your experience and the bag of tricks you have developed to catch some fish. Sometimes you catch the skunk, but the most satisfying thing is when you do solve the puzzle, at least for that day and time and dial in on the fish.

High, turbid water makes for a tough day. I would do the same as you mentioned, fish the margins and current breaks.

Fred gave good advice to try a noisy dark-colored popper or other surface fly. If that doesn't work, try bouncing the bottom with a black wooly bugger or similar fly. I use floating line 90% of the time in the Susky but have found a sink-tip or poly-leader can sometimes be the difference. As Squatch posted, nymphing deep with bigger flies may work.

You can break our your spinning gear if catching a bunch of fish or even some fish is your only goal. But, if you are more of a stick-to-it guy and enjoy the challenge of solving a puzzle, try some different techniques or flies or spots until you catch some fish or run out of time and need to head home.

And you can go home with the satisfaction that you didn't give in and take the easy way out, and you learned something in the process. Try to learn something and be sure to try something new or different every time you spend a day on or in the water. If you do that, before you know it, your fishing buddies will think you are the "luckiest" fisherman in the world.

Good "luck"...

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Posted on: 8/14 13:35

Edited by afishinado on 2017/8/14 13:55:29
Edited by afishinado on 2017/8/14 14:00:13
Edited by afishinado on 2017/8/14 14:21:14


Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2012/6/25 8:27
From Lancaster County
Posts: 379
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Great advice guys.

I've been floating the river a lot with my kayak, so I've been trying both sides and upstream/downstream from my area.

The black popper has actually worked the best for me... I landed my personal best smallie on one earlier in the year. I'll keep throwing it out there.

Afish - I also just started fishing with a sinking line this year which has helped me get my flies down a lot lower.... just not with much success.. yet.

You know, even when I get skunked on the river, I don't get too frustrated. I love being out on that water. This year has definitely been a challenge, but it's interesting to see how the river acts in these conditions. I've notice some changes in the flora and fauna as well due to the consistently high, muddy water. Really interesting stuff.

Posted on: 8/14 14:08
_________________
http://raftmanspath.com

"The rattler escaping the cold house,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot" - Jim Harrison


Re: Muddy bass fishing
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2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 1943
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Some good advice from Afish (as usual). ^

If you do pick up a spin rod from time to time, make careful note of color and weight of lures that work under these sorts of condtions. You can't replicate a spinner blade or buzzbait, but size, depth and color ARE comparable. Many spin lures are much larger, run deeper, and are heavier (think tube lures and hair jigs) than our typical flies.

I recommend that you have some heavier flies. For muddy water conditions black is the color I use most, but chartruese and fire-tiger (orange, black, and chartruese) work well for me. Clouser Minnows with extra heavy eyes in these colors are tough to beat.

Due to the heavier current, it is best to cast up and across rather than down and across. You want that fly to get to the bottom. Then fish it back with a series of hops, then finally a strip/swing at the end of the retrieve. While I usually use floating lines, a sinking line can definitely help in high, muddy conditions.

While I love poppers, when visibility is around a foot, as has been the case for a long time this summer on the lower Susky, I like to go down and deep. Poppers are not confidence flies for me in these conditions.

Posted on: 8/14 16:42


Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2012/6/25 8:27
From Lancaster County
Posts: 379
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Thanks Dave_W! Great information. I'll take it out with me to the river on Wednesday.

Posted on: 8/14 18:03
_________________
http://raftmanspath.com

"The rattler escaping the cold house,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot" - Jim Harrison


Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 318
Offline
I love high turbid, water cause I know exactly where the fish are going to be every time. They are going to be right on the bank and I mean right on the bank, inches from the edge every time. Bank on it. Anything that moves water will work.

Posted on: 8/14 22:11


Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2011/9/13 11:13
From Flourtown, PA
Posts: 134
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Poopdeck is telling you the truth. High water pushes fish right up against the banks. Fish big dark poppers, making sure that they hit the water hard and make a racket. Also fish drop-flies like crayfish buggers and sculpins and such. Really heavy flies that will plummet straight down into the little eddies that form around rocks. Give them a strip or two and then recast. Rinse and repeat.

Posted on: 8/15 10:55


Re: Muddy bass fishing

Joined:
2012/6/25 8:27
From Lancaster County
Posts: 379
Offline
Great stuff guys.

Does anyone have fish tandem flies like having a black hellgrammite dropped off of a crayfish?

Posted on: 8/16 9:36
_________________
http://raftmanspath.com

"The rattler escaping the cold house,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot" - Jim Harrison






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