By Steve Chaconas
Water Warming Just a Bit!
While the river slowly warms, it remains a bit muddy, making fishing tough again this week.
Look for water to get into the lower 40s this week. NBC Ch. 4 meteorologist "Weather Kim" Martucci says, “A really nice weekend in the 60s will cool off quickly with highs in the 40s then slipping to the upper 30s and overnight lows dipping into the teens by the end of the week. Cold through the weekend.”
Cold muddy water is challenging. Try bulkier, darker baits like black/blue Punisher Hair jigs with rattles and a small bulky Mizmo Swamp Monster. Thin diameter GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon 6-pound test will allow baits to stay deeper and be worked slower. Bites can be felt and hooksets are better. Soak jigs in garlic Jack's Juice Bait Spray.
Another bait that shines in muddy water is the grub. Use a 1/4-ounce or smaller ball head jig with a 4-inch Mizmo grub. Try darker colors in muddier deeper water. With sunny skies, go to chartreuse for shallow water where the light penetrates. Same 6-pound test and soaking in Jack's Juice.
With 10-pound test the reliable winter lure, the Silver Buddy, will find fish at any depth. Work very slowly! Short hops and even slight dragging will get reluctant fish to bite. Let the bait sit between movements! With all baits, look for light bites.
Line watching and feeling for fish with every little movement allows hooksets on short notice.
In clear water areas, like Blue Plains and Four Mile Run, the water is also a good bit warmer. Try Lucky Craft Pointer 78 suspending jerkbaits on 6-pound test GAMMA Copoly. Twitch and let sit on very long casts! Spinning gear works best for this presentation.