Clear water makes muskie fishing a lot harder, however, there are some unbelievable fisheries up in Canada that offer clear water and some of the best muskie fishing you will ever find. However, these are special places and definitely not the norm. For the most part, clear water offers several challenges.
Fishing Line & Leader
You will get more bites without the heavy line and steel leaders, however, how are you going to catch a big muskie without heavy line and steel leaders? Catching a muskie on light gear is kind of difficult.
Our recommendation is to use a super line that gives you the strength and smaller diameter, then add a 4 to 6 foot fluorocarbon leader. This will help you get more bites.
Boat Side Shyness
You will most likely get a lot more follows in clear water. This happens for a couple reasons. One, the water is clear so the fish can see you easier and many of these fish will scare easily and they won’t even give you a chance to do a figure 8. Two, the water is so clear that you will actually see more follows than what are actually happening in murky water. Seeing more fish that do not bite or even give you a shot at a figure 8 can be frustrating.
They Will Be Much Deeper
Muskie are often found much deeper in clear water than in murky water, so it’s going to be a little harder to find these fish. Sometimes, it’s going to be a lot harder to fish active fish.
Now, Let’s Catch Those Clear Water Muskie
Those are the major challenges, so now let’s talk about catching these fish in clear water. From reading above, you already understand that you may need to go with longer fluorocarbon leaders and leave the steel at home. That’s a good start. Next, you’re going to want to fish deeper than in murky lakes. After that, there are a few more things you can do to help boat more muskie in clear water.
Fish During Low Light Conditions
The early mornings and late evenings are ideal times for getting more bites in clear water. You can usually find some fish a little shallower during these times of the day as well, especially early in the morning.
Fish at Night
This can be difficult. Some anglers don’t want to chuck super big lures with super big hooks and then wrestle with 45 to 50 inch fish near the boat with those super big hooks during the night. We get it and we don’t blame you for wanting to fish at night. If you want to target some of those very big muskie that live in some of those beautiful, clear water lakes, then you may want to try night fishing. Bring a friend and bring all the necessary safety equipment to make it a successful trip.
Use More Natural Colored Baits
This is obvious. More natural colored baits will usually get more bites in clear water for most species of fish and muskie are no different.
Use Live Bait
It’s hard to beat a live sucker.
Make Longer Casts
Making longer casts is essential in clear water, especially when you fishing somewhat shallower water.