The first thing I found is that regardless of time of year when the water was muddy and high I had to head to the banks and look for structure that was covered along the bank edges. Cover like stumps fields, buck brush and the like; I also found that there were certain types of banks that were more productive than others. If the edges had underlying brush that was also covered the edges of the brush was very productive. In other words just heading to a bank was not sufficient; it needed to have cover along the edges that is covered in water. The bass seemed to hang on the edges or stumps where they could bury
quickly into scattered brush or tree trunks.
The next consistent for me was breaks in the mud, in other words mud lines. The trouble is all mud lines are not created equal. The key was mud-lines around the edges of the brush or trees or banks. Many times a mud line will form off the bank or inside the brush on the banks. When this occurs the bass are generally along that mud line hanging in a position to ambush bait. Mud lines without cover near by were not productive as the bass needed cover that they could move back and forth if spooked. Also mud lines some times are heavier 5 feet away from the bank, this pushes the fish tight to the bank to the clearer water.
Hopefully these ideas help you fish where the fish are in these heavy rains and hence muddy water of the winter here in North Alabama.
You can also fish horizontal mud lines. In a follow-up article Captain Gerry explains what they are and how to find them.