How to Adapt to 5 Different Water Conditions While Fishing

Being able to adapt as a fisherman is what separates the successful ones and those who go home empty-handed. Reading the water conditions and adapting is one trait that you can improve upon and work at until you can catch fish anywhere and at any time. 

We’ve all been there. You’re getting ready for a perfect day of fishing, you pick out your best lures and your favorite rod, only to sit out on the boat watching your line without a single bite. At this point, you may ask yourself “What did I do wrong?”. This is one painful question every angler has asked at some point.

Well, we’ve got some good news for you: It wasn’t really your fault. So, why did you strike out? The answer, more often than not, lies in how the weather affects fishing. And today, you’re going to learn all there is to know about it. Here are 5 different water condition scenarios that you need to watch for and adapt to while out fishing!

1. Clear Water

Clearwater creates great visibility when fishing, This means you should opt for more lifelike and natural lures and lure colors when casting. Since the fish can see better, it will be more important to mimic their natural prey and your presentation is even more important here. 

2. Strong Currents

When fishing rivers or even inlets in lakes and reservoirs, wind and other bodies of water can create strong currents. Fish prefer to avoid these currents, but they can be good for fishing if you know how to fish them and adapt. Much larger, predatory fish will hang out at the end of the strong currents, waiting for it to sweep smaller fish and other prey right to them. Try casting your lure or bait into the currents, and let it drift down into the slower moving water where the big fish should be waiting. 

3. Murky Water

Sooner or later you will probably be fishing in murky or muddy water. When the fish cannot see very well, they are usually less active. But with the right tactics, it can still be just as good! First, target any large structure in the area. Bass and other predatory fish love to use the structure as ambush points, and even more so when the water is murky. Next, use baits and lures that are bright in color, larger than normal, or loud. Bonus points if you have lures that are all three! This should help you catch fish even when the water is very dirty. 

4. Still Water

When the water is still, fish are ultra-sensitive to sights and sounds. For these types of water conditions, try using loud lures such as poppers or buzzbaits that will create plenty of vibrations in the water and around your lure. Predatory fish hunt by sound just as much as sight, so the louder and more action, the better! 

5. Choppy Water

During rough weather conditions, whether it is extreme wind or storms, the water doesn’t seem to move in any particular motion or direction. Fish absolutely hate these types of conditions, so it pays to target the areas where they hide such as coves, structures, and deeper water. Think about where the fish could go to get out of the rough water and start fishing there!

Final Thoughts

No matter what the water conditions are if you are able to adapt and improvise you will have no trouble catching fish. Hopefully, these simple tips can help you out on your next fishing adventure!

For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.