My ponds are both overflowing and are muddy, as are most area ponds and lakes. Friday morning they could have filmed "A River Runs Through It" in my back yard, and I live near the top of a hill. My wife says she keeps expecting to look out the window and see water buffalo working there, getting it ready to plant rice.
Fish are amazingly adaptive. They can survive in very clear water when the lakes are low and in very muddy water when the lakes are high. I always wonder how bass find food when the water is so muddy a chartreuse crankbait disappears as soon as it goes under, but then I remember they can find a black plastic worm on the bottom on a pitch black night.
For a while the bluegill in my pond just quit feeding and I thought the muddy water had something to do with it, but Thursday and Friday they fed real good. I caught at least 15 bream each of those days in just a few minutes. A catfish even took my bait on Thursday, and I always think of them as warm weather feeders.
I asked on a bass fishing internet forum how people there respond to muddy, cold water and got several responses. The one I try to remember most came from a well known outdoor writer and bass tournament fisherman that lives in the Northeast. He said he is sure the muddy, cold water affects the fisherman's attitude more than it affects the fish.
He says he has caught bass on smoke colored grubs in extremely muddy water. Those baits are usually best in very clear water. But he did say his go-to bait was a big heavy black jig and pig that he drug along the bottom, moving it very slowly. That bait has caught a lot of big bass for him.
The Flint River Bass Club is at Lake Sinclair today and I guess I will have a big black jig and pig tied on. But I will also try my lighter black and blue jig and pig as well as chartreuse crankbaits. I also plan on trying a slider rig - a 1/16 ounce jig head with a four inch curly tail worm on it. There is a big tournament going on while we are fishing so the bass will be under a lot of pressure, so I will try to "finesse" one or two.
Sinclair is a popular lake this time of year since the warm water discharge from the power plant there warms some of the lake a few degrees. The warmer water attracts baitfish and bass follow, and are slightly more active than in colder water. I will be watching my temperature gauge and trying to stay in the warmest water I can find.