Best Lure Color for Muddy Water

Spring generally means a lot of rain and there’s a good chance that the water where you fish resembles coffee mixed with cream. So, you may be wondering about the best lures and colors for muddy water fishing.


Lure manufacturers produce an extraordinary array of colors, so you can find divergent opinions about the best colors to use under any conditions. At FishVault, we lean towards white or chartreuse as the best lure color for muddy water. Those are the colors that we reach for when it’s apparent that fish are not going to be using their vision as the primary means of finding their prey.

Chartreuse is a pretty definable color, and one we use when the water is dirty but not extremely so, as is often the case in pond fishing. When it comes to white, there are many variations or likenesses to the color, including pearl. We are fond of pearl, especially in soft-bodied lures, and we specifically like a pearl body combined with a chartreuse tail. In the right situation, add a chartreuse-colored jighead to the mix for the perfect presentation. Pearl with a little iridescence or sparkle is also good, though not essential in muddy water.


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.


Without doubt, fishing success diminishes for nearly all gamefish species when the water changes to brown and milky looking. This is especially true for species that rely mostly on sight to find their prey. That includes trout, salmon, pike, walleye, and most panfish in freshwater, as well as seatrout, redfish, flounder, and striped bass in saltwater. You virtually have to put a lure right on the nose of most of these fish in muddy water to get a strike. Some, like flounder, trout, and salmon, are almost not worth fishing for if the water color is really bad.

Bass, particularly largemouth, are more likely to be caught in muddy water than probably any of the other most popular freshwater species. Especially if their waterbody is normally further down on the visibility scale. This is because they have an especially aggressive nature, are ambush predators, and are especially adept at using their lateral line to locate prey.

If you have been a FishVault subscriber for any length of time, then you have got several of these colors in your arsenal. The next time it rains and the water is muddy, reach for the bright colored, noise maker and see if that helps increase your bite. Until next time, we will see you on the water!