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Muddy Water Tactics

Well, it rained again here in Lincoln last night–A LOT.  Pretty sure these tips are going to be relevant for a lot of waters in Nebraska in the next few days. . . .

First of all, high and rising water tends to move fish towards the banks, up into newly flooded habitat.  In some cases the fish will move right to the water’s edge even though that edge might now be a lot farther up the bank.

With heavy precipitation, the water is likely to be dirtier, muddier than it was.  Yes, that will make fishing more difficult, so look for any clearer water you can find even if it is only a little bit clearer.  In high, turbid water conditions you might also expect fish to be holding tight to cover objects, again right in flooded habitat.  The fish will be there, the trick is getting their attention and getting them to bite.

I recently got an “e-mail blast” on the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour Championship held recently on Lake Winnebago and associated waters in Wisconsin.  I do not know a lot of details about the event, but I found the comments made by the winner, Korey Sprengel, in this video to be very interesting:

If you want to get hung up on the specific baits and colors he mentions, you can find them here, Berkley Fishing.  Instead, notice his comments about the conditions, specifically dirty water, and how he chose baits and how he fished those baits under those conditions.  For example, think about his presentations in terms of size, shapes, scents, depth and speeds, and vibrations before you think about color.

Water clarity is relative and I am betting the “dirty water” on Lake Winnebago might still be relatively clear compared to what we have on many Nebraska waters with all the recent precipitation we have had.  However, even though the water might be less clear, the same thinking can be applied and will catch fish here too.  It will also work on clear waters when there are low-light conditions, like after dark.

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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