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Fishing in Muddy Water, Think Like a Fish

Your favorite river, reservoir or lake has turned like coffee with cream.

There are a variety of reasons for this but you get the picture. You want to go fishing but your odds have been reduced. There are remedies and they are in the choice of lures you use and your presentation.

The effect on fish is determined by the species. Fish that depend on sight, like trout, pike, salmon, walleye and most pan fish require that you practically put that bait on their nose. Catfish rely on smell and are somewhat effective by muddy water but if your bait smells, then you may still bring home the bacon. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are probably the exception since they have an aggressive nature and they locate their target using their lateral line.


The best lures for muddy water fishing are those that produce sounds or produce readily detectable sound waves, i. e. vibrations. Spinnerbaits, wobbling jigs (i.e. “Chatterbaits”), crankbaits with rattle chambers, and crankbaits or other swimming plugs that produce a distinctive wobble, are prime muddy water fishing lures. Spinnerbaits and wobbling jigs are most appropriate for bass and redfish. Crankbaits are most appropriate for bass, walleye, and stripers. Wide-wobble trolling plugs are good for river salmon.


Lure manufacturers produce an extraordinary array of colors, so you can find divergent opinions about the best colors to use under any conditions. Experience suggests a white or chartreuse as your best selection. In a soft bodied lure, use a Pearl color or a combination of a pearl head and chartreuse tail. For vibrating or noisy type lures, incorporate these colors as well. Another great combination.

Happy Fishing!

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