Clear water makes fishing more difficult for spotted bass, however, in you know how to fish clear water, you can still catch a lot of fish. The fish can see you much easier, so it’s harder to fish the shallows without spooking them. In clear water, they also go much deeper and heavier lines will usually result in less bites. Take a look below to learn some great tips for targeting spotted bass in clear water.
Use Light Line
Using lighter line is key to getting more bites in clear water, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is out. Use 6 to 8 pound test line and you’ll get a lot more bites and still have enough strength to get some big fish in the boat.
Use Fluorocarbon Line
Fluorocarbon line is close to invisible under water, so rigging your spools with fluorocarbon line or at the very least, a fluorocarbon leader will help you catch a lot more spotted bass in clear water.
Lighter line combined with a faster-moving lure can help you get more bites in clear water. This doesn’t mean that you need to burn a crankbait in either. Just fish with baits that stay on the move and a hungry bass won’t have time to think about whether or not they want to eat your bait. You can swim grubs, ringworms, swimming worms or go with hard baits such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits or spinners. They all have their time and place.
Finesse It Up
At times, a drop shot rig and finesse worm may seem like the only technique to get bit. When the bite slows down, drop-shotting finesse-sized soft plastics such as worms, minnows, creature baits or crayfish baits will still get plenty of bites in clear water.
In very clear lakes, spotted bass will be found much deeper than in most murky-water lakes. They can often be found in the 15 to 30 foot depth range in clear water and it’s not uncommon to find them even deeper as well, so expect to be fishing some deeper water when fishing clear water lakes. Use your electronics to find some of the schools of bait fish and you’ll find the spotted bass there too.
Make Longer Casts When Fishing Shallower
When fishing 10 feet or shallower, you’re going to need to make longer casts to consistently get bites. The bass will see you easily and will usually scatter from the boat, so making long casts and giving them a chance to see your bait before they see your boat is key to catch more fish.
Sight Fish the Shallows in the Spring
In the spring, when spotted bass move shallower, you can have some awesome fishing by sight fishing for them. Get a good pair of polarized sunglasses, wait for the sun to come up and keep the sun at your back. This will help you find the fish and keep them from seeing you first.
Use Live Bait
You can use live bait from spring through fall and you’ll get more bites that fishing with artificial lures. In the summer, using a drop shot rig and lively nightcrawler will get you plenty of bites. Minnows and leeches work well too.