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Wind and finding clean water

All the clear water I’ve been fishing is gone...all churned up !  With more heavier winds forecast, do you guys even go fishing ? 

I’m struggling to find clean water....even deeper in the backwater was murky !

Any pointers or do you just wait for better conditions?

Good luck and tight lines !


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,840 Captain
    edited December 2019 #2
    Every island has a side that's sheltered from the wind (so do most shorelines at some point...). In small bays,  run right at the wind - when you get to the other side it's like magic - one side of the bay will be a muddy mess, the upwind side will be much clearer....

    That said, when the water is murky you're losing what the fish can see... but you still have what they can both hear and smell... Bucktails or leadheads with scent worked just off the bottom (Gulp tails shine in these conditions).  Old timers simply add a tiny bit of shrimp to every bucktail (no bigger than the tip of your little finger) to add that scent component. 

     For the sound end of things go to popping corks with either bait or a bucktail (or leadhead) under them.  Pop that cork - just don't move it much... let the sound draw fish to what you're selling.... 

    And if all else fails this is the time for a shrimp on the bottom - or a fresh (very fresh - I want my cutbait still kicking when I cut it....) piece of cutbait on the bottom - any place where there's a current so that the scent is carried downstream... 

    Yes, if you live here and can go fishing any time you can always stay home and work on your gear (or all those chores you promised the boss you'd do..).  Visiting anglers are in a tough spot - since they only have a day or two to get on the water or wait until the following year.

    As a full time guide I long ago learned that if I stayed home on every bad weather day - my business would be cut by at least a third.... so you learn to work around what the weather allows you to do....

    this big girl was carefully released to fight another day... my angler caught her on a leadhead with a Mr. Wiffle tail - in 20 to 30 mile an hour winds in Chokoloskee Bay - on a day when the water everywhere was pretty much a muddy mess.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Golfn1Golfn1 Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    Thanks Bob !  So leeward Side of Island or bay with current flow.  Outside points with flats like round key and panther key would work in muddy conditions using above technics ?

    With all your experience do you like darker jigs in muddy waters ?  Thanks for helping out noob !
  • stc1993stc1993 Albany, GA Carrabelle, FLPosts: 7,304 Admiral
    Good advice.  That's a heck of a snook.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,840 Captain
    This time of year the fish are already moving back up inside so the outside might hold fish - but if water temps are falling the coldest waters will be along the outside... and if you move back inside a ways you might find a bit warmer water (and every fish in the immediate neighborhood jammed up into shallow sheltered dark mud bottomed areas (where the sun will warm the waters once it's up and doing that solar magic... 

    We're right at the beginning of the winter season when fish start eating shrimp whenever they find them.. and as waters continue to cool off, keep moving up inside.  I do get a lot of orders for LBJ's this time of year (little brown jigs, brown head, brown tail, and a bit of gold and silver flash - usually tipped with a bit of shrimp as a sweetener).  Here's a pic...

    Like all of my bucktails and lead heads I do them in 1/8oz (for less than four feet of water, 1/4oz for 4-8 feet, 3/8oz for 8' and deeper waters (or when working in enough current that you need something heavier to get to the bottom...

    The fish will eat almost any lure color though - as long as it's moving very slowly just off the bottom.  Our standard Gulp tails on leadheads this time of year are usually 3" Gulp shrimp in New Penny (but to tell the truth I've never found a color of Gulp that they wouldn't eat...).

    Remember as well that the colors we see - aren't what the fish see at all... That nice red head on a jig - looks black the moment it's below around three feet of water.... and after everything else is said, we still live or die by water temps as the winter comes on... Sometimes only one degree of temperature difference will have a big effect on fish looking to warm up a bit (or find where all the bait is holding....).

    Hope this helps
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Golfn1Golfn1 Posts: 47 Greenhorn
    Thanks Bob !  I always find your posts informative and helpful !
  • mlangemlange Posts: 101 Deckhand
    Great post Bob. Thanks for the valuable information you are sharing, The girth on the tail of that snook is impressive. Bet that was fun on light tackle.  
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