Original Caption: Muddy waters don't stop Ronnie Young at Lake Arrowhead. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 1986, photo credit: Star-Telegram/Bob Gwizdz.

In today’s Friday Finale historical photo, a look back to another tour regular whose name likely didn’t become a household one, but who held his own both locally and on tour.

Back in 1986, then 39-year-old Ronnie Young from Wichita Falls was considered a shallow water/muddy water specialist.  No surprise, considering his location, one that also produced other shallow water experts like Tommy Biffle and Jason Christie.

Ronnie fished 57 events on the Bassmaster trail beginning in 1975 and stretching through 1989.  He cashed checks in nearly half of those events (26), qualifying for 3 Bassmaster Classics along the way.  His best overall finish was a 4th place showing at the 1982 Bassmaster Classic, for which he pocketed $4,000.

Ronnie was featured in a 1986 newspaper story discussing muddy water fishing and how he approached such conditions.  Here are a few excerpts from that story with Ronnie’s thoughts and tips for fishing such conditions.

> “To me, mud equals shallow water.  Four or five feet is as deep as I’ve ever caught them and usually it’s less.  Four or five feet is deep in muddy water.”

> “A muddy water fish does not have to have the heavy cover that fish like in clear water.  Thinner weeds or thinner treetops give them a better ambush point in muddy water than the thicker cover, I guess.  In muddy water, that little bit of cover makes him a lot more comfortable than if there was say, one foot of clarity.”

> “A spinnerbait’s the best choice for muddy water.  It’s got a noise that they can hear for a long way.  Muddy water bass depend a lot more on noise to feed than clear water bass.  I’ve gone as far as to flip a spinnerbait.  Just drop it in a willow tree and jig it around. It works real well.”

> “From now on, a buzzbait works real well, even up into the day.  And again, we’re back to square one – the noise.  I think any time you can involve noise in the situation, you’re going to be better off.”