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My local lake is on a rise and I scheduled off to go fishing this weekend, but I don't know how to approach the rising water situation. Should I fish the muddy water on the upper end where the current is or should I stick with the clearer water on the lower end? I also am not sure what tactics I should use, before the rise I was catching them on shaky head and tubes off of ledges, but most of the bait has seemed to move to the bank. Any pointers would be appreciated.

P.s. Water temp. is 65-70
 

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If the water isn't cold run off and just color change, you might want to check the area where the colors come together and look for a small flat that has newly flood area next to a deeper breakline, where post spawn bass maybe holding. The bass may move up and feed on the bait fish feeding on the insects in the newer cover, they will definitly check out the new water and hold close to entrance areas that provide ambush sites.
Tom
 

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I have also learned that in a rising water situation, seawalls are an excellent place to fish. Around here when the water rises most of the time we will follow the water in and fish the newly flooded heavy cover. Usually we will be flipping or pitching this cover.. skipping where required.
 

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Not sure what part of the country you are fishing at but, absolutely follow the bait, also look at the line of the color change too since they will use this mud-line as their ambush. The dirty water may warm up a little more if you have sun and consistent temps. Keep in mind you may want to use different baits other than finesse in the dirty water, maybe something bigger or that provides more vibrations and darker colors for a silhouette in the dirty water.
Good luck.
 
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Go to the the backs of coves in general when water rises. That is a good bet as Tom first mentioned. Since we are not in the winter time bass will definitely be up in that water. Like Shannon said, you will need to change your tactics.

A Shakey head will not be your best bet. Try a Spinnerbait with an Indiana blade combo or a single Colorado blade for maximum vibration. Colors like Chartreuse and or Orange will work. Even solid white. If the water is real stained then use painted blades rather then metallic blades.

Another lure to use is of course the lipless crankbait. As long as the water is deep enough to get by with it. This is a great search bait and can help you locate some fish in a hurry. Red is a great color as well as Fire Tiger or even solid white.

Good luck and post back your results.
 

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My advice to tournament fisherman is practice new presntations on you own time and fish tournaments using a presentation and lures that you have confidence with. When money is on the line you must catch a limit of bass and nothing catches bass better than confidence doing what you know how to do. Locate the bass and you shouldn't have any problems catching them. Good luck, you should be OK.
Tom
 

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Excellent advice Tom!! :clap:
 

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I really do not like fishing fast rising water as the bass will be scattered. Having said that, I look for run off in the back of main lake coves and the mouths of creeks and fish a spinnerbait fast in the newly flooded vegetation.
 

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I don't know where you fish, but the best pattern I have found on Allatoona, a lake that rises and falls rapidly, is to fish areas that have steep banks, with the water flooded into the trees. I like to fish the treeline, as many places will have a sharp drop from wave erosion at the normal bank. The spots in the lake seem to gather right there when the lake jumps up 5 or more feet over full pool.
 

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Once the rise lasts a few days bass will respond and move into any and all places formerly out of reach. New forage opens up where water is flooding. I was already finding some hungry bass in very shallow areas mornings with newly emerging hydrilla where it's been very difficult to move a boat through. I figured they were left-overs from night feeding shallow, and they were sticking around probably because not enough boats entered to spook them. The water rose about 3" and more bass began to pack in on the flat. The more it holds a new pool rise the longer they enter and use those shallows until anglers begin finding them and traffic increases. If it comes up another 3" the water will be in the brush lines and bass will be busy there. If it begins to drop the bass will vacate and return to 10-15' water outside the flat where they were before the rise.

If that new water is dirty to muddy I find fast lures not working well since the main sense of sight is hindered. The best baits I've found are slow noisy lures that can stay above the weeds. I get too many short strikes on buzzbaits and lipless crankbaits that skedaddle through too fast for a bass to accurately target. The best bait for that so far has been a Heddon wounded Zara Spook double prop stick bait. In dirty water it stays in the best lit surface water and makes a lot of noise when ripped.

Our creeks are not running since the rain fell closer to Oklahoma and is just now pouring into Lake Ouachita. If they were running I'd go into the backs of coves, but there the water is crystal clear. I need to take the push pole next time as each time I bump the trolling motor in the clear coves bass jump 50' farther in and race towards me and out toward the lake. Any loud splashdown past the 50' mark spooks them too. I was surprised to see any decent bass in there at all, but had to check it after seeing several boats go in and stay a while. I went back to newly re-flooded flats on the main lake and got back into the catching.

If the water gets muddier in the channel I'll begin working the edge where it meets clear water right outside the flats over steep slopes. I fish crankbaits parallel to the muddy through the clear to draw hiding bass out of the muddy. Another bait I'll fish before moving on is a jig & pig hopped down slope towards the muddy water.

Jim
 
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