This time of year can be a tough time to fish for several reasons. In addition to cold water and air temperatures making it hard for some anglers to be outside, the fish are holding in some type of winter pattern and can be tough to find and catch.
One of the biggest things you will be faced with on most lakes now is the muddy and stained water. When you combine muddy water with cold water you have bad a situation in terms of catching fish. However, there is one thing you can do — look for clearer water.
If you look in the tailwater areas in the back of the lake where the river or streams come in, you will usually find clearer water coming into the lake. The clear water and the muddy water meet to form a mud line in the water. This mud line will slowly move toward the dam area and the water behind it will slowly clear.
I noticed on Carr Creek Lake the other day that the mud line was about half way between the marina and back toward Carr Creek. The water behind the mud line was much clearer. The water up in Carr Creek and Breeding’s Creek and Defeated Creek looked good. The water from the marina and the beach area was very muddy. So just take the time to look for the clearer water and fish in these areas.
During this time of year you should fish with baits like a jig or tube bait in and around some form of cover that is close to deeper water or where the bank has several drops and depth changes. If there is some form of cover it makes it even better.
These are just a few tips you might try the next time you are faced with muddy water in the winter time.