Best Baits for Largemouth Bass in Muddy Water + Tips & Tricks

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Muddy lake water soothes with natural mess.

When fishing for bass in muddy water, you want lures that will move water, make noise, and be easy to spot. Consider using lures like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, buzz baits, swimbaits, and creature baits. These will give you the best chance of landing largemouth bass in muddy water.

When rains hit or snowmelt begins, many anglers choose not to fish because of challenging water conditions. In muddy water, bass aren’t in their typical holding spots, and the potential to catch a trophy is high. Bass will make aggressive reaction strikes if you present the right lures.

Best Bait Choices for Bass in Muddy Water

Every muddy water fishing situation will vary. You want your lures to move water and make noise – you’ll struggle to catch fish if you can’t get their attention.


If I had to choose one bait when fishing muddy water, crankbaits are the best option. They move water, make noise, and are obnoxious lures. All these features combined are exactly what you need to catch bass in muddier water. 

While bass can become disoriented and move away from structure in muddy water, you shouldn’t just throw these at random. Look for cover and structure, and start there. 

As you retrieve the crankbait through structure, it will knock into rocks, logs, and everything around it. The noise and flash as it hits everything around it can cause a reaction strike from a bass. It’s hard to predict a strike in muddy water, so always be ready. 

Fish the traditional holding areas before you move to different waters. When fishing muddy water, don’t stick to one specific method or location. You’re going to want to cover a lot of water. 

When the bass aren’t biting in muddy water, I always start by throwing a crankbait in all the other holding areas.

Green spinner bait on line in clear water with black backdrop.


The vibration from spinnerbaits is helpful when fishing for bass in muddy water. The spinning blade mimics the tremors of a baitfish. Plus, the larger profile of a spinner bait is easier for bass to see.

I often use a large spinner bait in muddy water to increase my chances of standing out in the murkiness. I’ll fish it slowly and trust that the blades are moving enough water to gain the attention of nearby bass.

Again, I’ll start by fishing these lures in areas of cover and structure, but I’m always willing to move into more open areas. Spinnerbaits are among my favorite search baits regardless of the water conditions, so if an area isn’t working, I’m not afraid to try other spots. 

I always find some of my biggest bass strike spinnerbaits when fishing muddy water.

I’ll stick with spinnerbaits that have Colorado blades in muddy conditions. These blades produce a consistent “thumping” sound that gives me the best chance at attracting fish.


Like crankbaits, jigs are ideal when fishing heavy cover in muddy water. They knock into almost everything, and they cause quite a commotion. I find jigs to be the best option after a heavy storm.

Bass are usually deep in the structure and cover, and jigs are one of the few lures that can get through it all. I attach a soft plastic worm or crustacean to the jig for more movement

Some anglers even attach beads to the tops of their jigs for muddy water fishing. The large profile of the jig and the noise from the beads make for the ideal combination.

Flipping jigs is fun in clear water, but when the water turns muddy, the anticipation of a strike is hard to beat. You never know how big of a bass you’ll find on the other end.


Buzzbaits are the best lures for noise-making and one of my go-to options for muddy water. If you want to see if the bass are in shallow water, a buzz bait is what you will want to use. As soon as the bait hits the water, begin the retrieve.

The blade on the back of the lure will start turning on the surface, leaving a trail of bubbles behind it. 

In muddy water, this bubble trail and the heavy vibrations are all a bass needs to strike. Since bass are territorial, they’ll jump through the surface and hit your buzz bait. They won’t have time to study the bait before they make the strike.

Soft Plastics

Soft plastics paired with beads are another easy target for bass in muddy water. Soft plastics have a more extensive profile that makes them easy to see. You can Texas Rig these soft plastics to make them stand out even more in the dark water. 

Attach a few beads above the eye of the hook, and you have a perfect setup. Cast these into all parts of the water, and start with a slow jigging motion. You can slowly retrieve the bait from there while moving your rod tip.

The rod tip movement causes the beads to rattle and attract local bass. 

Three Rivers Lake: A Great Spot to Fish.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Color Bait Should I Use in Muddy Water? 

In muddy water, you should use darker-colored lures. Blue and black lures create more of a silhouette in the water than a white or brighter lure. Some more vibrant colors, like chartreuse, can be effective if the water isn’t too stained. 

In general, the darker colors are easier for the bass to see. 

An effective strategy is to have a dark-colored body with brighter accents to get the best of both worlds.

Do Largemouth Bass Like Muddy Water?

Muddy water isn’t the preferred water for bass. Not only does it make food hard to see, but it also lowers the amount of oxygen in the water.

Is it Harder to Catch Fish in Muddy Water? 

Yes, it can be harder to catch fish in muddy water. You have to work harder to get the bait near the fish; otherwise, they won’t be able to see or hear it. In muddy water, bass move around, making it harder to locate them.

Do Bass Bite in Muddy Water? 

Yes, bass will bite in dirty water. Often, their bites are reactionary. They don’t have time to hunt down and locate their prey, so anything that swims by them will cause them to react and bite. 

How Do I Fish for Bass in Muddy Water? 

Start by fishing near cover and structure. Also, ensure you’re fishing slowly with baits that can move water and make noise. You want to make as much of an impression as possible in muddy water.

Do Bass Caught in Muddy Water Taste Good?

Bass caught in muddy water generally don’t taste good. Their meat is mushy, and it can contain harmful bacteria. Ideally, you want to eat bass caught in cool, clear, highly-oxygenated water. 


Fishing for bass in muddy water will make you a better angler. You’ll learn more about the habits of the fish and you can test your abilities.

Remember, you want to use baits that are large and obnoxious. Bass can’t help but get curious and go in for the strike. If it’s a decent imitation of bait, you can land bass in muddy water.

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