This is the time when water runoff from melting snow and heavy rainfall causes rivers and lakes to rise. This can also be a difficult time for an angler to find and catch fish.
But just like in any situation in fishing, you have to look at what you are faced with and decide your best way to go about catching. If you are confident about the best way to catch fish in any situation, then try to stick with what your gut tells you and you will fish harder and with more confidence.
At this time of year the water is still in the high 40- to low 50-degree range. Some fish, such as crappie, smallmouth bass and trout, will be active at times while largemouth bass and bluegill will become more active as the water warms up more in the coming weeks. The rising water is cold and muddy and will not hold much fishing potential at all. As a matter of fact, most experienced anglers consider rising cold muddy water the hardest conditions to catch fish in.
In a few more weeks, as the water warms daily and begins to clear, it is a whole different story and will provide some good fishing action in the right areas. But for now you will want to look for deeper areas that have warmer and more stable conditions. Look for areas that hold some type of cover such as wood or rock. Fish these spots very slowly with small slow moving baits like dark colored hair jigs and tube baits. Fish light clear line on medium action tackle. During these colder conditions the bite will be a soft and gentle and you will have to watch and feel your line for any type of jerk or movement. Look for areas that show schools of baitfish holding around some type of cover on a fish finder. The game fish will not be far away.
This can be a tough time of year to fish but just think great spring fishing is just around the corner.
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