Fishing In Dirty Water
Storms and hurricanes can instantly change the dynamic of fishing with the impact of water clarity. The recent impact of Hurricane Florence proves no different. There’s a lot of obvious issues with water and its clarity that will also impact our coastal fishing. This like the actual visibility and the quality of the water itself. These factors drive how and when and even if we fish.
The clarity is driven by the non-water particles that are present in the water itself. The light is deflected by these un-dissolved particles. Clarity is measured in terms of “clear”, “stain” and “dark”. The instrument that performs those measurements is called a Seechi Disk. The instrument is lowered to a certain depth in the water and then clarity is determined. The darker the water, the more it will have a negative impact on fishing, which forces the angler to potentially change his tactics. Fishing with lighter color lures is a must. The darker lures are harder for the fish to see, due to the lower light penetration because of the poor water quality. Also using a noise-making lure, whenever possible. The fish will be drawn to the sound rather than depending totally on sight. Lures, like rattlers, and the use of popping corks is a great way to overcome the darker water issues. Also remember that the fish do not like the dirty water any more than we do fishing in it. It impacts their feed habits and makes seeing and finding food even harder. This means that many times the fish will move away from the entire area, also seeking a better environment. Fish will also travel in smaller schools, thus making the fishing slower.
Other ways to combat the “dark water blues” is to just seek out cleaner water. This means moving away from inlets, rivers and creeks and other moving sources of dark water. This may mean moving further offshore and looking for pockets of cleaner water. Staying north of the inlets that are feeding the bad water into the ocean. Moving north of the inlets is another tactic that many times will work. With the currents constantly moving the water combined with the wind, dark water is constantly on the move.
The good news is, the water will soon clear and the fishing will return to normal. It just takes days and sometimes weeks to happen, but it will happen. Until then, think outside the angling box.