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How To Fish High Water

Fishing High Water on Guntersville

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Two March Lake Guntersville Bass

Two March Lake Guntersville Bass

2009 Captain Mike Gerry, licensed to About.com
If all the rain we've had in the past year or more keep are any indication of the coming year, we are in for more high water or flooding. I thought I'd talk to you about several ways that these conditions can work to your advantage.

The old saying that bass move shallow in high water is very true. The first thing I try to do when going after these high-water bass is look for mudlines. Mudlines generally produce ambush spots for actively-feeding bass.

Guntersville, like many impoundments, usually muddies up very quickly during heavy rains, but not all areas are as muddy as others. When heading out to fish on a high water day, do some up-front research to get to the best areas. Head to the banks and bushes and wood structure, looking for breaks in the mudlines along the edges of the structure. Not all the creeks have good high water structure, but the ones that do will produce big time!

A lot of times the mudlines are just out from the shore or break around a bush or stump, and you can bet that a bass is sitting on the clearer edge waiting to feed. Look for noticeable points or indentations in mudlines around or next to visible cover. That subtle break generally occurs because of two reasons; there is a small drop around the edge of or in-between the cover, or the cover itself is breaking the water flow. Whichever of these occur, you need to fish it because the small drops or current break is generally just below or next to the mudline and holding a big bass.

This is perfect setting to flip a Tightline Jig and wiggle it over the clearer edge or stroke it off a treetop along a clear point. I prefer Tightline's Wood Thumper and Grass Flipping Jigs. Both come with rattles that help bass zero in on them in limited visibility conditions.

Another effective high-water mudline tactic is to clip a single, big Colorado blade onto a 9/16-ounce Secret Weapon Quickstrike or Sidearm spinnerbait, flip it back past the flooded tree line, and slow-roll it back out. Fish are alerted by the approaching lure's throbbing blade. Kill the retrieve beside every break in the mudline, stump, lay-down, or bush you pass and let that short-arm spinnerbait flutter down to the bottom. Then lift it with your rod tip and swim the lure slowly to the next target. In muddy water, bass hold tight to those ambush points, and the flashing, noisy in-line blade draws strikes.

If you've not experienced the difference in-line blades can make on a spinnerbait, give one a try and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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