Clearer water is ideal for a lot of water-related activities — except fishing. For anglers, fishing in pristine water can be as challenging as muddy or dirty water. Since Bass can see clearly, they tend to be more cautious. To improve your chances of getting bites, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how bass behaves and adjust your presentation accordingly. Here are some tactics you can use for clearwater Bass fishing.


Having unrestricted visibility means you can easily spot Bass in the water. Unfortunately, this also means that the Bass can see you clearly. In clear water, Bass are wary and easily spooked. They’ll be quick to notice any disturbance in the water, such as your boat’s movement or the noise your trolling motor makes.

When Bass fishing in clear water, it’s important to be stealthy. Even your choice of clothes can help you blend in better with your surroundings. Try to stay as far back as you can. Be quiet and deliberate with your movements.


Your shadow can also alert the fish of your presence. When fishing, have the sun in front of you so that the shadow casts behind you. This is because Bass tend to swim away from the sun.


Bass tend to stay in shaded areas for protection and feeding opportunities. As such, in clear water, target areas with shady cover such as weeds, tree stumps, fallen branches, lily pads and docks. Bass are often waiting to ambush prey so will be more inclined to bite your lure. Since there’s less light, you can also avoid detection and catch them by surprise.


Light is able to better penetrate clear water. This allows weeds to grow deeper and thus, there’s more oxygen farther down the water. Bass prefer darker areas, so they’ll be deeper in the water. With this in mind, use tackle that will allow you to access deep water.


A lighter and thinner line will be harder to detect in clear water. I an 8 to 10lb fluorocarbon line. You need something that won’t break as you go through the weeds or cover. Upon hooking a Bass, some tend to dive into the grass. If your line hits a snag, your catch may escape unless you get onto the retrieve fast.


To avoid detection, you need to make long but accurate casts.


Since Bass can see clearly, choose translucent lures with natural colours such as green, brown, silver and grey. Dark and bright colours will just spook Bass. In clearer water, simple works best. So, lures that are small and quiet will be enough to produce results. You can use a variety of lures, but those that can move more freely and go deeper in the water will increase your chances of catching Bass.

Anglers know that factors like water clarity largely determines their fishing presentation. Just like dirty water, clear water also presents its own challenges. You’ll have to adjust your techniques if you want to catch Bass. Everyone loves fishing for Bass because they are so much fun. I hope these tips will help you catch more fish when fishing in clearer water.



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Peter Hollingsworth
Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.