This is the time of year when most lakes do what is known as “turning over.”
This happens in the late fall and the early spring on most lakes. You can see and smell the lake when it is turning over. It has a smell like a rotten egg and will have a dark color to it.
What is happing to cause the phenomenon is the water surface temperatures have cooled off and the colder deeper water and the warmer surface water change places, causing all the decaying leaves on the bottom to come to the surface making the odd smell and off-colored water.
During this time fishing in shallow water and close to the bank can be very slow. Fish will look for cleaner, clearer more stable areas and water. A few spots offer this type of better water —where a creek with cleaner water runs in to the stained water or a culvert that dumps cleaner water into the lake. Any spot that has an area of cleaner water will hold catchable fish until the lake settles to winter pool and clears.
There are some baits that will allow you to catch bass in areas — small crank baits and spoons and plastics such as tube baits and grubs.
There is one good pattern to follow when fishing this type of water for bass. Look for areas where the colored water meets the clear water. Bass will use this stained water to hide in and run out when a bait comes by.
This can be a tough time to fish until the lakes clear at winter pool.