How to Fish Muddy Waters

How to Fish Muddy Waters: Fishing In That “Tough” Muddy Water

Ever hear that fishing in muddy waters just isn’t worth your time? Well guess again! Many pro anglers would shake their heads in disagreement. Instead, they welcome muddy water fishing in which so many other anglers do not.

Even though muddy water can lead to excellent fishing conditions, you need to know how to fish muddy waters. Your  odds of a successful day are already in your favor, and most don’t know this. First of all, people tend to stay away from fishing these conditions because they rarely find success. Therefore, you just may have a lot of water to fish, but you just have to know how.

Using the proper location, baits, and technique will help you overcome this “not so highly recommended” fishing environment. 



Location, Location, Location, The Key to Fishing Muddy Water

Unless your fishing for those muddy water catfish, you should steer clear of those deep muddy holes. Instead, challenge yourself to find a shallow area. One that is only a couple of feet deep. Fish can’t see well in water that has been stirred up and, therefore, will rely on their sense of hearing, aka, their lateral line, and their sense of smell. The fish’s lateral line works as their ears. It picks up any vibration and sends them the message identifying where the vibration is coming from. Their sense of smell will now take over and further assist the fish in determining the exact location and what set off the vibrations. 

Identify water that is the most clear and try to find coverage that fish will hide in. Try to get close to the fish. Use your trolling motor and set up on them. Muddy water is working in your favor now. The fish is less likely to see you and identify you as a possible threat.

Once the fish identify’s the object in question, it will decide whether to stay, flee, or try to consume it, for example. With knowing this, you’re probably  already figuring out what you need to be digging for in your tackle box.


Fishing Muddy Water Lures

Fishing Muddy Water Lures


The Infamous Tackle Box

There are still several different lure choices while fishing in muddy waters. Remember how fish use their senses to detect your lure. Eye site is minimal and vibrations are detected by the lateral line. Also, their sense of smell helps them determine what’s lurking around them.

With minimal eye site, your lure will have to be placed strategically close to the where the fish are actually located. More than likely, the fish will not strike at something that it cannot see very well. With this being said, fish also tend to stay away from a possible threat when too low of visibility exists in between them and it. Brightly colored and flashy lures work best while fishing in muddy water.

The next sense you need to focus on is the fish’s lateral line. Lures that throw off huge amounts of vibrations work the best for fishing muddy water. The more vibration, the greater likelihood you will  be reeling in more fish.

Using lures that you can spray scent on, will attract more fish. There are several different lures that scent can be used on. A couple of examples are spinner baits and plastic baits.

Putting it all Together:

Shallow water baits that are bright, colorful, flashy, put off huge amounts of vibration, and can be used with some kind of scent will perform the best in muddy water fishing. Make sure you are using the right lure to catch the most fish. Try casting out a top water popper that hits all of the fish’s senses. Or, what about a spinner or buzz bait? Still no luck? Tie on a plastic jig. You are already close to the fish’s cover if you are using the advice in this article. Next on the list include the crank-baits. Crank-baits hit all of the fish’s senses, and give you the option of using a rattling crank-bait which will drive any fish wild. One bait worth mentioning is the spoon. Spoons don’t hit all of the fish’s senses, however, what it lacks in one is made up for by another. Enriched flashiness and vibration hit the fish’s sense of sight and vibration. The only drawback is it is very difficult to get a scent to stick to it. Even though the spoon doesn’t utilize scent, it is extremely effective for catching a fish’s attention in muddy waters

I hope this article will entice you to get out there on the water in those “not so right” conditions. However, by now, you know that muddy water fishing is optimal conditions, when you know how to approach them.

J.D. Arp

J.D. Arp





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