Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

     We have had a lot of rain here in Oklahoma over the last two weeks. Some lakes are two, three and in places four feet above normal levels for this time of year. I'm sure we all know how this effects spawning Sunfishes.

 

     In my part of Oklahoma we have soils with high levels of iron oxide. Do any wade fishing right now and your "tidy whities" will be as red as the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium. Think crushed brick red. Since these soil particles are clays (very small, very light in weight) suspended particles muddy the water around here for weeks.

 

     What I would like to do is start a disscusion on how to deal with high water and turbid conditions. What do you do different, or the same, when fishing in high and/or muddy water? Do you look for clear water or change tactics to deal with conditions? Does going deeper help? What about topwater? Do you think Bluegills, Red-ears and the like stay on or near their nests even with the reduction in sunlight or increased silting-in?

 

I know "muddy" and "high water" are subjective terms and mean different things for folks accross the country but give it a go. Unless you fish in Death Valley you have had to deal with elevated lake levels and off color water.

 

So... let's hear it. How do I catch fish with the crappy conditions I have?

 

    

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High water has me chomping at the bit , I've had to work on the pretty days , it's killiing me, but I'll get there, the fish are waiting for me.
WE'VE BEEN FISHING THE RIP-RAP LEVEES OF THE SMALL LAKES AFTER HEAVY RAINS. FISH WITH WORMS ON THE BOTTOM JUST OFF THE ROCKS. THE GILLS AND CRACKERS SEEM TO FEED ON WHAT IS WASHED DOWN. THE FISH ARE'NT ON THE BED YET HERE THOUGH.
High water levels with muddy, murky water mean I go to a little black popper.  Sling it out, pop the snot out of it once, let it sit for about a minute or so, the short strip it in.  Sound seems to draw 'em into visual range, and the black shows well against the surface.

I tell ya what guys, I sure would LIKE to be dealing with high water right now.

 

Truth is, we havn't had any real measureable rainfall in my area since November. We had some good snow in January. Once it all melted the ground wasn't wet for even 24 hours.

 

You would think with low water and no inflow the water would be "Gin Clear". NOPE, 30-40mph winds have kept everything white-capped and stirred up.

 

I'm not complaining (well.. I am but not meaning to dwell on it). The conditions have forced me to hunt for new places and stretch my skills. It's been kinda fun exploring and a new challenge to go to places that aren't a slam-dunk.

 

Keith

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