Picking the Best Lure Color for Muddy Water

Photo of author
Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We’ve all been there. You’re standing at the edge of a murky, muddy water body, bait in hand, and you’re left with the dilemma of what color lure to use. I can tell you firsthand, the struggle is real.

But fret not, I have navigated these muddy waters and emerged with knowledge to make your lure color selection for fishing muddy water a breeze.

I’ve spent countless hours fishing in all types of water, from crystal clear to downright dirty, and I’ve learned that different lure colors perform differently in various water conditions. I’m here to find the best lure colors for muddy water fishing.

Lure ColorWhy It’s Suitable for Muddy Water
BlackCreates a strong silhouette against the muddy backdrop, providing excellent visibility even in low light conditions.
ChartreuseThis bright, yellow-green color maintains its vibrancy even in deep and murky water, acting like a beacon to attract fish.
WhiteThe brightness of white lures makes them easy for fish to spot in low visibility environments.
FiretigerCharacterized by a mix of bright and dark colors, firetiger lures reflect light at different angles, drawing attention in stained water.
RedRed can stand out in stained water, especially with a bit of sunlight. It may not be the conventional choice, but has proven successful under the right conditions.
JunebugThis unique blend of purple and black creates a unique profile in the water that is easily seen by fish, even in low visibility conditions.
Black and BlueThe contrasting combination of black and blue provides excellent visibility and appeals to fish in especially murky water.
OrangeThe bright hue of orange stands out in stained water, often attracting attention when other colors fail.
Chartreuse and BlackThe high visibility of chartreuse paired with the contrasting silhouette of black creates an appealing combo in very muddy water.
GoldGold lures work well in stained water, particularly during sunrise and sunset, when the light can make them glimmer and catch a fish’s attention.
yellow lure color for muddy water


There’s a certain beauty to simplicity, and black lures exemplify that perfectly when fishing in murky or muddy water. From my countless fishing escapades, I have observed that black offers exceptional visibility, creating a powerful silhouette against the stained water backdrop. The advantage of black lies in its solid color, making it the prime choice for low visibility conditions.

I vividly recall an outing where I found myself at a particularly muddy pond, the water resembling a thick, chocolate milkshake. A black spinnerbait was my weapon of choice.

To my delight, it was the only lure that caused ripples in the water that day. Its dark silhouette stood out in the muddy waters, drawing the attention of the fish lurking underneath. This experience cemented my belief that black lures work exceptionally well because they provide the stark contrast necessary to be noticed in stained waters.


On the opposite end of the color spectrum, chartreuse is another reliable choice for muddy water fishing. This bright, almost radioactive yellow-green hue slices through the murkiness with the ferocity of a lighthouse beam. Chartreuse’s prowess lies in its ability to retain its vividness even in deep waters where other colors succumb to the muddy abyss.

Navigating through muddy waters, I often entrust my hopes of a catch to a chartreuse crankbait. This brightly-colored ally has aided me in winning more than a few battles with those elusive trophy bass hiding in the murk.


In the world of muddy water fishing, the brightness of white lures can be a godsend. These glowing baits are easy for fish to spot in low visibility environments, making white my default choice when angling in dirty water.

I remember an occasion when I found myself fishing in a creek that was so muddy, I was convinced that no fish could possibly detect my lure. However, when I switched to a white chatterbait, the tides turned in my favor. While they weren’t trophy catches, the multiple tugs on my line confirmed that the fish could indeed see and were attracted to the white lure amidst the muddy swirls.


Firetiger lures, a vibrant green, orange, and black mix, are an angler’s secret weapon in stained waters. The alternating bright and dark colors mimic the natural patterns of many prey animals, making them irresistible to fish. These multicolored lures play with light at different angles, capturing fish’s attention even in the cloudiest waters.

When solid colors fail to entice the fish from their muddy retreats, a firetiger lure is often my next artillery. The multitude of colors offers an alternative attraction that has often proved successful for me.


The red lure is not typically the first choice for muddy water, but given the right circumstances, it can shine. I’ve found that red lures work best in stained water when just a hint of sunlight pierces the surface. On numerous occasions, my trusty red spinnerbaits and plastic worms have led to some quite memorable showdowns with the underwater world.


Junebug, a blend of purple and black, is a unique color choice commonly found in plastic baits. This dark, shimmering hue has repeatedly proven its worth in muddy water fishing. Combining the dark base and the iridescent purple reflections creates a unique profile that fish can detect even in low visibility conditions.

One fishing trip still stands out when I used a junebug colored plastic worm and caught a sizable catfish. The fish seemed completely enamored by the lure – proof of the color’s effectiveness in murky waters.

Black and Blue

The black and blue combination holds a special place in my angling heart when it comes to fishing in muddy water. This duo capitalizes on the striking visibility of black complemented by the appealing shades of blue. In extremely dirty water, this color combination tends to work wonders.

I recall one particular day when I was on the brink of calling it quits after an unsuccessful day of fishing. Out of sheer whim, I gave a black and blue jig a chance. To my utter surprise, that decision led me to land the catch of the day.


When it comes to lure colors for muddy water, orange is a bit of an unsung hero. The bright aura of orange can assist in making your lure stand out in stained water. My experiments with an orange crankbait have often resulted in success when other lures failed to attract any attention. While it might not be a traditional muddy water color, my experience has shown that it’s worth a shot!

Chartreuse and Black

When the going gets tough, and the water turns murkier than ever, I often reach for a chartreuse and black combo. This pairing provides the best of both worlds: the high visibility of chartreuse and the stark contrast of black. The combined color contrast of a chartreuse and black spinnerbait or crankbait is often just the ticket for a triumphant fishing expedition.


Last but certainly not least on my list is gold. Gold lures shine in stained water, especially during sunrise and sunset. The golden hour can make the lure glimmer and twinkle, grabbing the fish’s attention. During a breathtaking sunset, I remember a momentous catch of a massive bass on a gold blade spinnerbait in murky water.


The right lure color for muddy water fishing depends on visibility and contrast. But remember, every day on the water is different, and what works one day might not work the next. It’s always worth experimenting with different lure colors to see what the fish are responding to. As an angler, it’s all about being adaptable, observant, and patient.

So next time you face muddy water conditions, you’ll know exactly what color lures to pull from your tackle box.

Leave a Comment