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How Water Clarity Affects Fishing

Last month we discussed how water temperature affects your fishing success. We will now take a look at water clarity and how to fish accordingly. The color of the water changes everything from lure style and color to where the fish will be. By recognizing this and making adjustments, you can increase your chances for a successful outing.

Fishing In Clear Water:

Clear water is relative to where you live. Great Lakes clear is not the same as clear water in the deep south. Clear is usually seen as when you can see down five feet or more below the surface. Clear water offers both challenges and opportunities as anglers can visually see fish swimming, but these same fish are spooked more easily. Some of the best lures to use for clear water fishing are those that appear natural and without bright or flashy colors.

Clear water is tailor-made for finesse fishing with popular techniques like the drop-shot, Ned Rig, and shakey head. If fishing this way is not your style, you have some faster moving options. Jerkbaits and topwater lures are two proven techniques in clear water situations.

If you notice an abundance of fish activity but are having trouble getting bites, it may be a good idea to search for slightly dirtier water. Another option is to search for windy areas as this will help to conceal both you and your lures.

Fishing In Stained Water:

This water clarity is one of the most universal for freshwater fishing since most of the fishing is done on lakes, rivers, and ponds. This is when water is clean but not clear enough where you can see down five feet or more.

Stained water also offers an excellent opportunity for anglers because it opens up the use of every technique possible. With that being said, crankbaits, jigs, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits are four of the best types of lures you can use in stained water conditions.

Fishing Muddy Waters:

Muddy water can be your friend as it can help conceal you as an angler and also allow the fish to roam more freely. Generally, murky water should be approached with bright colored lures and with those that produce added vibration.

One of the best choices that cover both of these is a brightly colored spinnerbait. The flash from the blades and vibration moving through the water allows the fish to hone in on your lure. Other good choices are vibrating jigs (ChatterBaits), lipless crankbaits, and jigs.
Even though muddy water can be useful, when the water is cold (50-degrees or less), it can lead to tough fishing. In these scenarios, it may be best to seek clearer water.

Water clarity can change from day to day and even during the same day on different sections of where you are fishing. Knowing the basics of what lures are best for each water clarity can help you increase your chances on getting a bite. And remember, no matter what the water clarity is, you can trust that FishVault will provide you with the best tackle and gear selections for all circumstances.