Water Clarity

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Michael Hogue
Posts: 273
Joined: April 12th, 2011, 11:54 am
Location: Knoxville, TN

Water Clarity

Post by Michael Hogue » January 16th, 2013, 10:08 pm

Ok boys - Water clarity is a mandatory part of our reports on here, but I haven't seen any real discussion about it. We talk about wind, water temps, bait, and everything else. Anyway, after all this rain I started wondering.... how does water clarity play into the striper bite?

It seems intuitive to think that clearer water would be beneficial. However, I also know that some people use fluorocarbon leader in very clear water conditions. Can the water be too clear or too muddy? I know that the lateral line in some fish help them to sense prey but I thought I had read somewhere that striper were mostly sight feeding fish?

Anyone have any thoughts on the optimal water clarity conditions for fishing? Would I be correct in assuming that fishing will be pretty crappy for the next few days while all of this run-off clears up?

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Shawn McNew
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Joined: March 26th, 2011, 8:30 pm
Location: Lake Allatoona

Re: Water Clarity

Post by Shawn McNew » January 17th, 2013, 9:02 am

The bite usually shuts down when it's too muddy. I've only successfully caught striper from muddy water a couple of times and it's been on cut bait every time. In systems where it's always muddy, obviously they have to feed in it. However, in systems where the norm is relatively clear water, I think a rapid influx of turbidity will shut down their normal feeding habits until it begins to clear out again. My general rule of thumb was 2-3 days after a good rain was when the bite turned back on and they seemed to really feed to make up for not feeding during the mud.

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will hackney
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Joined: June 23rd, 2012, 10:52 pm
Location: Hickory, NC

Re: Water Clarity

Post by will hackney » January 17th, 2013, 9:40 am

I have certainly caught fish in stained water, but never muddy. Usually I will try to fish below the mud-line, if there is one. I have also noticed on one of my home lakes that the fish really shut down when the water level comes up rapidly, even if it isn't muddy. Like Shawn said, it seems to take about 3 days for the bite to get back to normal. So in my experience it does seem like striper are mostly visual hunters.

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Dustin Pate
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Joined: March 30th, 2011, 11:29 am
Location: West Point Lake

Re: Water Clarity

Post by Dustin Pate » January 17th, 2013, 2:19 pm

Only time I have luck in muddy water is during the spring spawning run and like Shawn said it is a cut bait deal. With that said, we do catch a bunch of fish doing it. The bite does turn off right after the rain as the water starts mixing and you can see streaks of silt/mud which is usually accompanied by trash in the water that fouls up the line. The bite turns back on as the water gets mixed together good.

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Jim Davisson
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Joined: March 1st, 2015, 10:59 am
Location: Locust, NC

Re: Water Clarity

Post by Jim Davisson » May 5th, 2015, 2:23 pm

Dragging up an old topic:

My thoughts on water clarity more are skewed than most. I definitely don't like gin clear water for stripers since they tend to be more selective IMO. Just like fishing the Gulf Stream, the most successful anglers fish the edge. Where the clearer water meets the turbid water of the stream. The rivers the OP is likely fishing there are many spots that offer that. Typically these areas are chock full O' bait and stay productive as the main channel clears, but still offers a mudline. Both of the above usually have a temperature difference as well as a clarity difference which is like bonus points. I usually look for these areas first if there has been recent weather.

Here's an article every striper guy should read. It's not gospel, but hard to dispute too. It touches on a lot of ground even handling big fish. It doesn't mention using bogas but it should. Hanging a huge fish from a boga is not a good catch and release practice. Just look at the avatar of the clown writing this particular post, that guys an idiot. :crazy:

6 posts down it gets good
http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/sho ... on-ability

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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