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I fished a mark on the Bristol channel last night, no joy but more of a recce really as had not plugged in this area before. This area would only be fishable small tides and settled weather, as the water becomes like chocolate on anything over 11m (avonmouth scale), last night there was probably about 2ft visibility.

I felt pretty confident and thought conditions looked good, despite the blank I would be happy to fish it again like this although ideally I would have prefered another ft or two in the visibility so.....

I'm curious as to people views as to:

a) what is minimum visibilty people like to feel confident of catching?
b) what would be the perfect conditions, the clearer the better or do you prefer a tinge to the water?
 

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Mike I prefer clear water but not crystal clear if that makes sense. Too much dirty water over here means suspended sand particles in the water & this seems to keep the bass further from the beach.
 

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Water colour doesn't bother us, as bass pick up vibrations just fine, but means that when working your lure, Its just a case of slowing your actions and retrieves down, and I mean slow, to give the bass time to home in!
 

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Totally right. Catch plenty at night in zero viz, just got to slow it down and keep it more twichy. Create a big vibration and then leave the lure where it is so the bass who notice the vibration can come and find the lure.
 

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So far the guys are spot on, most of my fish come from the mucky waters around Gower. Slow and super twitchy in these waters.
I'm currently fishing some clear waters around Pembs and strangely enough, I fish my lures the same way ;)
 

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Nathan/Andy/Simon

You guys are fishing from rock marks mostly I guess, I am fishing from beaches comprising sand & gravel.
Do you think that the dirty water we get here after a storm could be different from your area???
For example, that we might have considerably more suspended sand in the water here than you guys do????
Maybe water depth is a contributing factor or current strength to the water clarity also???
Or maybe in deeper water only the top few feet are too dirty with suspended sand for bass to be comfortable in & they patrol under this layer of water???
What do you think????
 

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Good question Nigel, BUT, I don't think any kind of bad visibility effects bass all that much, it might a bit, but they will still feed. A surf beach after a storm usually holds a lot of bass scavenging and they may be pre-occipied with that, but they are still feeding. mostly shellfish and worm that's been dislodged. They do also take live eels in those situations. I don't see why something worked slow bumping bottom wouldn't work?? the issue is that the bass may be pre-occupied.
 

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I have exactly the same issue in Morecambe Bay. All my fish have come during settled weather on falling tides when water clarity is at its best (nothing like those southern rock marks though). Any sort of winds and heavy rain turn the bay to a hot chocolate consistency.

As some have said though, perhaps its because I feel more confident in them conditions I fish it better. Admittedly when the water clarity is bad i tend to give up and try for perch/pike. Ill have to put more effort in in all conditions!
 

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Went for a quick session this afternoon. Water still a muddy mess, presumably after all the rain etc. Needless to say I blanked
 

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Went for a quick session this afternoon. Water still a muddy mess, presumably after all the rain etc. Needless to say I blanked
Unlucky Ben, I was saying to Mike at the Game Fair yesterday that there was too much floodwater pushing down the estuaries for it to be worth giving it a go this weekend. I hoped it might have cleared up by today (sunday) but your report suggests not.

Have you tried the metal vibration baits yet? I've had success, not huge success admittedly, by using a metal lure (Dexter, Toby, or a Range Vibe) with a small white sandeel teaser and just bumping it over the sand with one twitch every 30secs or so. The lure kicks up puffs of sand and sounds like a small flounder, and the eel gives a bright white visual target with subtle vibrations in the flow while the metal is static. I use a Bassday Range Vibe (I think Dexter have started making cheaper ones now) to give of some real "buzzing" vibrations in murky conditions.

I'm learning to travel to different marks depending on the weather, as you say Ben if there has been any significant rain in the previous 3 days, the bay isn't the place to be!

I'm always confident that I'll avoid the blank whatever the conditions or I wouldn't go, but the ideal water is when it's so aerated it's fizzing and looks like a couple of drops of milk added to a glass of water. We never get that here!
 

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Good question Nigel, BUT, I don't think any kind of bad visibility effects bass all that much, it might a bit, but they will still feed. A surf beach after a storm usually holds a lot of bass scavenging and they may be pre-occipied with that, but they are still feeding. mostly shellfish and worm that's been dislodged. They do also take live eels in those situations. I don't see why something worked slow bumping bottom wouldn't work?? the issue is that the bass may be pre-occupied.
Not what we find here Andy.
The bass seem to sit in the clearer water (there is a clearly visible difference in the water colour), which can vary in distance off the beach from 10 yards to quarter of a mile or so, depending on the severity of the storm. Food items would be getting washed back offshore to that clearer water & that is where Mr. Bass waits.
It really is a waste of time here fishing in really dirty water, but good fishing when that water starts to settle.
 

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Cornwall is known to have the best surfing beaches in the uk and some breaks are among the best in Europe, with that comes sand discolouration due to the power of our waves.
It really doesn't matter Nigel where the discolouration comes from what so ever, ( down here in Cornwall) bass are still there, and if one fishes these areas and blanks, that doesn't change a thing as the bass are still there and it's a case of the angler changing his way to tackle the situation.
We fish in the surf with soft plastics and from the rocks, our ground is so diverse, it feels like every time I go out I have to change some thing!

Our best fish have come when the sea is like Pea soup, no visibility what so ever.
 

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Maybe I need to try harder & cover more ground when the water is dirty then, but our bass don't appear to be in their regular haunts in such conditions.
 

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Maybe I need to try harder & cover more ground when the water is dirty then, but our bass don't appear to be in their regular haunts in such conditions.
You'd be right there Nige. Try looking for shallower water.
 

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Have you tried the metal vibration baits yet? I've had success, not huge success admittedly, by using a metal lure (Dexter, Toby, or a Range Vibe) with a small white sandeel teaser and just bumping it over the sand with one twitch every 30secs or so. The lure kicks up puffs of sand and sounds like a small flounder, and the eel gives a bright white visual target with subtle vibrations in the flow while the metal is static.
Thats exactly the method i was trying. I had a small white redgill about 12 inches above the lure clip. On the clip i tried a dexter and bumping it accross bottom (Like in your NW report), another red gill and weight, Xrap lures and some surface lures. I found the trebles on the dexter get caught in the mud quite firmly. Perhaps a single hook soft plastic would be better for this? Or a dexter with a single hook?

I was moving the lure much more regularly than you said though. Ill have to try slowing it down more.

Ill have a look at some metal vibration lures. Where sells them?
 

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I often think that the amount of suspended solids in the water make it rather unpleasant for mr bass and his breathing?

I manage to blank in the mucky water and the clear stuff, bass or no bass :-?
 

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Do you think Clear or white lures may work a lot better in murkyish conditions? Im thinking that they would stand out in the water more, not sure though
 

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I think there must be different types of sediment, which will vary region to region, even mark to mark. I have also read that some sediment (maybe the coarser stuff) will irritate a fishes gill rakers, so they avoid those areas. Maybe when the sediment is a lot finer, it doesn't irritate as much meaning the fish are more comfortable to move in and take advantage of the cover provided by the cloudy water. There are places over here that fish well when the water is coloured, equally there are a couple of places where there will be a defined band of sediment colouring the water, and you'll only get takes in the clear water where it meets.
 
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