I know it’s doldrums time for a lot of bass anglers, but the reality is that warm spring rains are not too far away. Changing treble hooks and organizing tackle becomes a little redundant after a while, right? Well, here’s one spring preparation chore that doesn’t involve sitting in a cold garage. Every time it rains heavy this time of year, take a drive by car or boat around your favorite lake and pay attention to the formation of mud lines in the far backs of the creeks. Come spring, you’ll want to be the first one to the warmer and clearer areas when it rains hard, but the thing is, many anglers turn the boat around once they enter the creek from the main lake and see a significant mud line. Not many anglers know to forge ahead. A few of winter scouting trips will help.
If you live up north and have to deal with a spring snowmelt on top of rain, this may not apply just yet, but it’s equally important to understand the concept once spring hits. It’s no secret that fast-rising water, especially immediately following heavy rain, will free dirt and debris from the banks, causing the creek water to get filthy. But as soon as the rain stops and the water starts to recede, the “way backs” of the creeks start to clear pretty quickly. That’s the switch to look for, and if you scout in winter, noting how long it takes for your creek to start clearing, once the rain stops, you can count on the timing being the same in spring.
Some anglers never reach the true “way back” of a creek because it’s difficult to motor past all the sediment-laden flats that the creek spills over during high water. Likewise, they never get to ultimate destination of actual creek current. But that’s exactly where the juice is, especially if warm weather is in the forecast. Keep in mind that the current has to be significant enough to push the dirt out and consequently allow the clearer water in. A little rise in elevation is sometimes all it takes.