Rain is no stranger to spring or spring fishermen, and for coastal anglers, rivers swollen with runoffs can bring slugs of muddy water into inshore areas that can represent a week or more of bad news. But anglers conditioned to these water conditions can still catch fish.
Fishing muddy water is nothing new to Greg Holmes of Fish Skinny Guide Service. While he prefers clear, clean water, he continues to catch fish in the Georgetown region even when the water looks just like his morning cup of Joe.
"The water in Georgetown gets muddy frequently, and we have to still find ways to put fish in the boat. The secret is to use baits that put off a lot of scent in the water,” said Holmes (843-241-0594), who recognizes that a redfish’s ability to smell food at a distance makes up for its inability to see the menu items.
Holmes prefers to use whatever he can catch live and then cut it up, whether it is blue crab, mullet, or menhaden.
“You are better off using something putting off a lot of scent than to use wigglers or live bait,” said Holmes, who will fish the same places as he normally would in clear water conditions – with one exception. When the water is dirty, Holmes will put out three to four baits around the boat and choose places where there is decent current available to disperse the scent downstream.
“I will fish along the grass edges when the water is higher, and if they are downrange, they will use their nose like a hound dog and find it,” he said.
A good offset, circle-type hook, is important when using cut bait, according to Holmes, who uses an Owner Mutu light circle hook.
“The offset circle hook allows the fish to hook themselves quick as long as you keep the lines relatively tight,” he said.