Clear Water vs. Stained/ Dirty Water Fishing in Ohio

I’m a clear water angler. I know its supposed to be harder to fish, but I prefer it to stained or dirty water. Luckily, many of the Northeast Ohio lakes we fish are clear or lightly stained lakes.
I am not a sight fisherman – I don’t search for bedding fish in the Spring, but I think being a visual person may have something to do with my clear water preference. I like seeing the weed line. I like watching the action of my lure. I like seeing fish chase. All these things teach me.
I am also the “finesse” angler in the boat. I generally throw smaller baits with more natural color. I don’t want my lure to be too flashy or bright in crystal clear water. I look to match the bait fish or the weed color. I have used this successfully for most Ohio clear lakes like Portage Lakes, West Branch and Mosquito.
Stained or dirty water is said to be more forgiving as far as lures and technique. You don’t have to spook or trick the fish into biting. Its more of a reaction to vibration or sound bite. It can certainly make for a fun day of fishing, as fish aren’t as skittish. My go to colors are chartreuse and white and I sometimes use painted spinner bait blades to be sure I get the fish’s attention. Try it at Salt Fork or mud lines along the shore at Berlin.
Whatever your preference may be, there are plenty of opportunities to fish both clear and stained water lakes throughout Ohio. Next time you go fishing, see if any of these tips work for you!
Fishing In Ohio