Marine biologists tell us that fish are more likely to feed in turbid (cloudy) waters. There are two main reasons for this.
Predator Fish & the Light Shining into Cloudy Water
As sunlight shines down into cloudy water, there is a sharp contrast between the look of the fish (the predator wants to eat) and whatever surrounds it.
Therefore, the predator (eater) feels more confident that he will be able to see or sense whatever live food that comes his way!
Small Fish’s View of Murky Water
On the other hand, the small fish (the predator is looking for) thinks that the murky water will protect him from ‘the big, bad fish.’ Therefore, he is more likely to scurry around, looking for insects, worms and other morsels to eat.
Therefore, both the eater (predator fish) and the eatee (smaller fish) think they are both in a better position than their enemy. They are both suffering from delusional thinking (also called “stinkin’ thinkin’).
How Can an Angler Take Advantage of Cloudy Water?
Water that becomes cloudy (through storm or flooding) offers anglers great opportunities for snagging fish!
Is a fish’s sense of smell affected by cloudy water? No, not at all.
The predators that need their eyes to “see” small fish, must now rely on their sense of smell to lead them to fish! Thus, this is an excellent time to pull out the stinky baits!
Stinky Bait and Other Tools for the Angler
Start by fishing with scented/stinky/smelly bait near the surface of the water. If you get no bites on the surface, keep moving your “stinkers” lower (in the water) until fish start to bite.
This is a great time to use metallic-headed lures or lures with shiny threads. Since fish have a harder time seeing, their eyes are attracted to shinier objects.
This is also a great time to imitate the slower-moving fish species – by twitching and pulling flies along slowly.
Another idea is to cut open your freshly-caught fish — to see what is in the stomach. If there are lots of flies and insects, this is what you should be using for bait — real or artificial (your choice).
Tomorrow: Making Your Own Stinky Baits!
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