Before ever making a cast, when Christie launches his boat on a flooded fishery, he samples the water clarity throughout the lake. He might have an idea of what the water will look like but he’s learned you never know until you lay eyes on it.
“The first thing I’m going to try to do is find the right mix in terms of water clarity,” Christie said. “I don’t want to be fishing the dirtiest water available and I don’t want to be in the cleanest water, either. Going on a little boat ride before settling in and fishing shows you the lay of the landscape in terms of clarity.”
Christie likes to start where the dirty water and clear water meet or mix, but that isn’t always as simple as starting in the mid-lake area of a reservoir. Some creeks or rivers may be rolling mud while others have cleaner runoff, prevailing winds may push dirty water around to different sections of the lake and if a fishery has been high and muddy for a while, water coming in from the rivers may be the cleanest available.
“You always learn a lot looking around during flooded conditions,” Christie said. “Even on lakes I’m super familiar with, every flood is different and I’ll learn something counter to what I expected to see while driving around. These little learnings could be the difference between catching a pile of fish or flailing around like you’re lost.”