To fight this fight, I always have one or two rods rigged with baits I know are more likely to produce in this off-color water. When fishing up north, I’m also the kind of a guy that likes to mix it up between smallmouth and largemouth during the same day. So my smallmouth bait of choice during the bloom is a rattling mid-depth crankbait, usually shad colored with some orange or chartreuse highlights. My theory is that many of the deep smallmouths move shallower with the off-colored water, and many of the resident shallow smallmouth have a hard time seeing the standard small finesse baits that usually catch them. So what I’ll do is continuously cast and rip the crankbait off of mid-depth grass lines or pound the bottom on rocky areas adjacent to areas that hold both deep and shallow smallies. This sounds like a vague plan, but I remember a few specific instances where I looked like a hero when nobody else was able to adjust. And in terms of the largemouth, I’ll break out my Florida mat flippin’ rod rigged with a big weight and punch-style compact plastic. I’ll look for vegetation and/or debris mats that have blown in super shallow and target them by punching the thickest areas. My theory here is that as largemouths start to lose healthy grass in open water and can’t cruise for shallow sight food as effectively, they set up camp in secure, but temporary mats to wait out the bloom.