Best Bass Lures for Dark, Murky Water
Many anglers encounter dark, murky water when they’re fishing. These water conditions certainly do present some challenges for fishermen, but no matter the conditions, you can still catch bass. So next time the rain rolls through your area and dirties up the ponds, don’t make the mistake of staying at home. With the right lures, you will have no problem catching bass, even in the muddiest water.
Understanding Murky Water
When a pond or lake has real dark, muddy water, the visibility will be very low. Bass are not going to be able to see your lure from long distances. Typically, murky water is considered to have less than 1 foot of visibility. As you can expect, this will make it much harder for bass to find your lure. So what do you do about it? When fishing dark, murky water, you need to use lures that put off lots of vibration, flash, and contrast in the water. The bass can feel the vibration of the lure with their lateral line which allows them to hunt it down. And the flash and contrast of your lure will maximize the low visibility that bass have in the muddy water.
Best Lures for Murky Water
If you have ever used a chatterbait, you know how much vibration it creates. You can feel the chatterbait blade thumping all the way down your rod. This aggressive vibration allows for bass to track the bait down easily. And once the bass gets close enough to it, the pulsating skirt and trailer entice it into biting. If you are fishing in a bit deeper water, pair your chatterbait with an actionless trailer like a fluke or split tail trailer. These baits give the chatterbait less rise so that you can keep it down farther. In shallow water, use a paddle tail or rage craw style trailer to create even more vibration and a more lifelike profile.
2. Square Bill Crankbait
Out of all the crankbait styles, the square bill puts off the most vibration and can be fished much slower. Having the ability to retrieve a lure slowly is crucial in muddy water because you want to give bass as much time as possible to find the lure. The square bill aggressively wobbles side-to-side even at slow speeds. Square bills will only dive about 2-4 feet deep, so they are going to work best in shallow water. Bumping it off shallow rocks or cruising it through the middle of the water column will slay muddy water bass. You can also choose crankbaits with lots of rattles and beads that create tons of sound underwater. Bass can hear this and easily hone in on the lure. Square bills really seem to shine in the spring and fall seasons.
No matter what the water conditions, you always need a topwater in rotation. The buzzbait is the go-to topwater for muddy water because of how loud and obnoxious it is. The splashing, flashing commotion of a buzzbait swimming across the surface drives bass crazy. Bass don’t need to see anything in the water because they can feel and hear the buzzbait from super long distances. Buzzbaits perform best during the morning and even hours when the sun is low in the sky. Bass are typically much higher in the water column during these times, making topwaters very effective. Plopper style baits are great too, but for whatever reason, buzzbaits have always caught me more bass than ploppers.
4. Flipping Jig
Bass will always hold to cover. This is especially true in muddy water because bass are pretty much swimming blind in open water. No lure is better at fishing heavy cover than a flipping jig. The thick weed guard keeps it safe from snags, and the versatile skirt and trailer options mimic all types of bass forage. Even though jigs don’t directly put off vibration or sound, their big profile displaces lots of water. The bass can feel this easier than they could a texas rig or other weedless baits. In murky water, it is best to pair your jig with a trailer with lots of action. Flapping craw or creature baits are going to be your best bet. The jig is probably the most popular and versatile lure on the market. When targeting muddy water structure, the flipping jig needs to be your first option.
5. Colorado Blade Spinnerbait
The big Colorado blade puts off tons of vibration and flash. The Colorado blade also produces this action at very slow speeds. In muddy water, I love slow rolling a Colorado spinnerbait. The slow speed, flash, and pounding vibration makes the spinnerbait an easy target for bass in low visibility water. You also don’t have to worry about bass getting spooked about the wire arm, because they can’t even see it in the dark water. I like to pair the spinnerbait with an actionless trailer so that I can keep it down in the water column. When using a spinnerbait in dark water, you want to be using gold colored blades. The gold blades give a darker, higher contrast color while still having some flash.
Best Color Lures for Muddy Water
There are two color styles that work best in dark water. These are very bright colors and very dark colors.
The bright colored lures reflect the most light. This means that they will be easier to see in muddy water, because they are reflecting the little bit of light that hits them towards the fish.
- Pink (best in the winter)
- Fire Tiger
Rather than reflecting the light, dark colored lures absorb all of it. This creates a shadowy silhouette with lots of contrast in the water. Contrary to bright colors, your options are a bit limited when it comes to absorbing as much light as possible.
- Dark Purple (best in the winter)
Letting this One Go
Whether your lake is crystal clear or as dark as chocolate milk, you can still catch bass. Lure selection is often a difficult and complicated subject, but these 5 lures are all you need to have loads of murky water success. If you have these 5 lures, you will be able to cover all water columns and fish all areas of the water. So tie them on, and get out on the water.