Stopsign32v

Maybe a dumb question...How can you tell if the water is clear or muddy?

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So I feel really dumb asking this question but the color thing fries my brain. Chartreuse for murky water, dark colors for murky waters, natural colors for clear water, etc...

 

However I watch videos on Youtube of inshore fishing (work desk fishing here) and people in Charleston waterways are using natural colors and killing it. So without getting into the lure color battle, which isn't the point... In the Carolinas I think I have a hard time figuring out if the water is clear or not. Water in Pensacola is easy to tell it is clear and water right after a hurricane is easy to tell that it is murky. But what about the middle area? I'll give you guys a couple examples. I'd say down here in the Carolinas this is a common/good day: The question is, would this be considered "clear water" and would you fish a bright/dark color or a natural?

 

charlestonscflyfishing.jpg

 

File-May-23-5-26-52-PM.jpeg?x64281

 

Shark-Fishing-in-Charleston-1024x683.jpe

 

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to me I think it depends on knowing your area and what the "normal" water appearance is there. I don't think you have to go too crazy, just the general rule of thumb of trying to get your lure to stand out and attract fish to it. If the fish are used to an area that has normally occurring tanish water, or blue water, or greenish water then all of a sudden the color is off, that is usually when to possibly change your lure color to get it to stand out a bit more.

 

In the bay I normally fish the water is usually  blueish green, but during and after storms you can tell the water is more brown and dirty so at those times I tend to throw brighter color lures (chart, green, pink). 

 

Another area I fish the water is typically more blue, but at times might be a little more green/tan depending on weather, again in this instance I'll go for brighter colors.

 

white/bone always works and is a safe bet regardless, clear water or dirty, keep it simple. 

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I can’t really tell from the pics but from above  in a boat I think it would be easy to determine the degree of clarity and adjust lure colors as you see fit. I always carry a couple bright colors in my bag. Don’t rule out a noisy rattling  plug for poor water clarity either. We used to do a number on bass in the dark stained waters of the western sound with bill lewis rattletraps in water so dark you wonder how fish can see anything. 

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1 hour ago, TheSuperApe said:

You first have to establish what the normal water color is through experience. There is no substitute for time on the water. 

Well at this point I've got 37 years experience so I can safely say the above pictures are what the water clarity is 90% of the time. Especially the one with the shark. 

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We have different names for different levels of water clarity where i live. Gin clear, king green, sandy, silty, sweet tea, and muddy are a few that come to mind.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It sounds like a simple question and guys up north will simply say, ‘Just look at the damn thing’, but GA and SC are tricky. They ain’t called Low Country because they sit above mud. They are always dark, whether it’s dark because of the tannins or the mud, they’re still dark, and when you start fishing the little creeks and channels, they’re chocolate. It’s why I always use ProCure down there. I think the fish are used to mud, it’s the sand that bothers them. The sand churned up by wind. So coming off windy, storm days, is best  distinguished by yesterday’s weather. The top pic look like a great clear water day, bottom shark looks sandy and a pain to fish in.

Edited by Jason B

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Top picture is typical of what I see... under those conditions, either naturals or bright colors work well. I think part of it will be the species of fish... Specks like brighter colors, other fish may react better to naturals. One way to test clarity, reel the lure up to the tip of your rod, then stick it into the water and see how far down you can see the lure until it disappears.

 

For my area, if I can see down three feet in the rivers, that's pretty good In the Chesapeake and and waters behind the barrier Islands, four feet is nice. When the conditions are less than ideal, fish slower, something that vibrates, or a brighter color. Around here, "no use unless it's Chartreuse" applies often in the river and bays. I've fished Deep Creek (freshwater), and often can see Smallies down ten feet... to me that's super clear, to others, maybe not. Same deal in the Bay, have seen grass beds at times in six feet of water. That's clear to me, others maybe not so much. It's kinda relative to where you are and certainly changes throughout the season and tides.

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Use a Secchi Tube and Disk. How water clarity is determined by professionals. 

 

"To measure water clarity, a Secchi tube is filled with water collected from a stream or river or ocean. Looking down into the tube, volunteers lower a weighted disk attached to a string until the disk disappears. The distance at which the disk disappears is the water clarity reading, which is recorded in centimeters."

 

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Water clarity depends on

 * dissolved solids

 * suspended solids

 * colloid solids.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

7 hours ago, Stopsign32v said:

So I feel really dumb asking this question but the color thing fries my brain. Chartreuse for murky water, dark colors for murky waters, natural colors for clear water, etc...

 

However I watch videos on Youtube of inshore fishing (work desk fishing here) and people in Charleston waterways are using natural colors and killing it. So without getting into the lure color battle, which isn't the point... In the Carolinas I think I have a hard time figuring out if the water is clear or not. Water in Pensacola is easy to tell it is clear and water right after a hurricane is easy to tell that it is murky. But what about the middle area? I'll give you guys a couple examples. I'd say down here in the Carolinas this is a common/good day: The question is, would this be considered "clear water" and would you fish a bright/dark color or a natural?

 

charlestonscflyfishing.jpg

 

File-May-23-5-26-52-PM.jpeg?x64281

 

Shark-Fishing-in-Charleston-1024x683.jpe

 

Just curious, what did you throw in the third picture? 1 and 2 are getting BloodyMary, maybe root beer with a chartreuse tail on two with a red trout eye, but the third throws me. Hate throwing chartreuse, save those for flounder. those ********* guys have everyone throwing that sparkle slim white, and hate to say it, but that’s probably what I would throw with chartreuse trout eye with a gallon of procure.   
but, yeah, I’m always blown away how often a brown paddletail works in muddy creeks. 

Edited by Jason B

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