The Bassholes - It takes one to know one.

Faircloth Seeks Vegetation During Muddy Conditions
on Tuesday 17 November 2009
by Yamaha Marine Group

Faircloth Seeks Vegetation During Muddy Conditions


Like many bass fishermen across the nation this autumn, Todd Faircloth has had to continually adjust his approach because of muddy water.

The Yamaha pro's solution: look for vegetation and fish it with plastic worms, crankbaits, or spinnerbaits.

"This time of year, bass are moving into tributary creeks as they follow baitfish, but the backs of the creeks will usually be the muddiest after a rain," he said, "so as I go into a creek, I look for vegetation that will help filter some of the mud and silt, and that's usually where bass will move. It's really amazing how vegetation, especially growth like milfoil or hydrilla, will help filter the water."

When he does find vegetation, Faircloth fishes the outside edges where the water will be slightly deeper, making short casts, pitches, and even flips, depending on his lure choice.

"Ideally, a small lipless crankbait or spinnerbait fished along the edge will be your best choice because these types of lures allow you to cover a lot of water, and bass this time of year are fairly aggressive.

Don't forget about pitching and flipping soft plastic worms, either," cautions the Yamaha pro, "because if the water level is rising fast, bass often suspend off the bottom near the vegetation.

"I prefer to use a slow-falling lure with a light sinker and let it sink to the bottom. Then I lift it one to two feet and just hold it there and wait for a bass to come get it. A drop shot may be an option, but I just enjoy flipping and pitching and have a lot of confidence in those presentations."

Faircloth adds that muddy water patterns like these can change as fast as conditions change. If water continues to muddy, bass tend to move to stay ahead of the incoming mud, and if the water is clearing, they may start re-locating further back in the creek.

The fish might move 400 to 500 yards one way or the other in a single day, depending on the conditions. In either instance, the bass pro looks for a "mud line" where muddy and clear water meet, and fishes there.

Vegetation remains a key ingredient, however, and Faircloth is always searching for it, as well.

"If there is something good to remember about muddy water, it might be that these types of conditions often force a lot of bass into a relatively small area," he said. "During a tournament on Grand Lake in Oklahoma several years ago, the muddy water pushed bass up on the points at the mouths of the different tributaries.

"They were suspended, but they'd hit a jerkbait just as fast as you could cast to them. On days like that, you hardly even notice how muddy the water is."