Monday, November 28, 2011

Fishing into coloured water....

So we have all been faced with coloured water, you have planned your trip everything seems okay but when you arrive at your chosen mark you are faced with coloured water. Conditions seem good otherwise, no suspended weed and a nice fizz on the water. There is no doubt, the fish are there but how do you manage to to draw their attention to your lure when visibility is low?

In the past when I was faced with conditions like this I would have walked away and left it for another day but as fishing time can be limited these days it has forced me to fish in these conditions and granted it will be harder success it achievable if you persevere.

These are just my experiences of fishing in coloured water, what has worked for us and some of the methods we use.

Stay or go?

This is the water clarity I was faced with yesterday, on other occasions I would have walked away. However in similar conditions during the summer I have had fish in this kind of water clarity. I hooked one fish yesterday which was only on for max of 5 seconds. It is always going to be much tougher in these conditions but if you know fish are in that area it has to be worth a go, does it not?

Conditions were good, there was a nice fizz on the water and apart from clarity tides were ideal for the location I was fishing. I generally go for lures with chartreuse and  and white colours as I have found this has worked well for me in the past. I fish these two ways, very slow retrieve or a quick crank and pause (the theory being that the quick retrieve and emitted vibrations draw the fishes attention to your lure). Hard lures which have done well for me when the water clarity is far from ideal are the Jackson Athlete the Daiwa Shore Line Shiner and my favourite in such conditions the Zonk Gataride. There is no doubt that the rattling and vibration given off by the lures helps in these conditions.

Its not impossible....just harder,

Here is Paul with nice bass taken on the Zonk Gataride in November last year, fishing into coloured water.

Another method which has worked very well for us this summer when fishing in coloured water is the Wave worm which I will talk a bit more about soon.

We have decided to open the comments on the blog so it would be great to hear your thoughts of fishing in coloured water.

Tight lines,



  1. Agree with all you've said on dirty water fishing James, fish big, fish slow and persist....

  2. Good read James, glad you hooked a fish. As much as dirty water makes life tough for lure anglers, there have to be fish around in it. Can't help but think that weedless soft plastics fished nice and slow are one of the ways to go. And perhaps deeper water ?

  3. Hi there.

    Well deserved catch. As you say when time is priceless you can’t just walk away. You hit the spot with the technique, well done. I myself don’t really like clear water, I don’t want mud, but when the water is crystal clear the catches are generally smaller. Smaller fish a more lively and foolish, a bit like us really. Anyway, in these conditions splashing and noise works for me, while giving them time to home in on the lure.

    All the best. Frank

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. Crystal clear water and calm conditions can be very difficult as well, I like going down in the size of lure when it is like this, Zonk 77 and FX9's have worked well for me when it is crystal clear.

    As you say its important to let the bass home in on your lure when you are fishing in these coloured water. I reckon deeper water is well worth investigating a bit more when all our shallow water marks are properly blown out....

  5. Cian..the rolling shads seem to draw out the you said it would last year..
    unbelieveably slow sink and draw...I've only gotten interest when its so boringly slow..not had a chance this etc...but it was killer last year in the muck..nice to see ye getting fish..well jealous..

  6. I think to a degree its down to experience and confidence. Several years ago most Uk Bass anglers wouldnt have believed you could catch Bass at night on lures, alot of guys now know diffrent and have huge confidene and catches at night.

    Last winter i did alot of messing about with LRF at night in filthy stormy water and untill i saw the results i would not have believed you could be so successfull at night in dirty water with lures, this gave me more confidence to try dirty conditions this year and it payed off once or twice alright.

    Look at the water quality in this video and the fish seem to be hitting fine.

    Its an interesting topic and something i think we will all learn alot more about over the coming years as more and more anglers decide to try dirty water rather than not fish.