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Tips For Fishing In Clear Water (our Top 6!)

Mark Armstrong
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Fishing in clear water can present some new challenges, especially if you’re not used to it.

But that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult.

Tips For Fishing In Clear Water - PinterestPin

As long as you have the right equipment and can adjust your technique, clear water can make for a successful day’s fishing.

But we all know it can take some getting used to, which is why we’ve made this guide to give you some helpful tips that you can try out the next time you’re on the water.

Why Clear Water Fishing Can Be Challenging

Clear water fishing can be a little more difficult than fishing in murky or muddy waters because, for one thing, the fish can see more clearly. This can mean they have a higher chance of seeing you and your line, which could scare them off and make them more difficult to catch.

You may also need to adopt different techniques in order to account for the conditions, which may involve you requiring a longer line to cast at a greater distance or perhaps you might need to use different bait.

Fish may be more likely to be found in deeper areas of clear water lakes because the oxygen levels are sufficient, which can make them more difficult to locate. To add to this, they can also be found in the shallow areas where there is enough cover for them to hide out.

Tips To Catch Bass And Other Fish In Clear Water

1: Opt For Smaller Bait

When the water is clear, the fish will likely see your bait a lot quicker than if the water was murky. Therefore choosing a smaller sized bait can often result in greater success as it may appear more realistic to the fish.

You may not be able to fool the fish as easily in clear water, as they can see your bait more clearly. It can also be a good idea to opt for a smaller hook as well, as a large hook may ward off any bites if the fish can see it.

Video: 3 Tips To For Bass Fishing Clear Lakes

2: Stay Quiet And Keep Your Distance

In clear water, both you and the fish can see what’s going on, meaning the fish will probably notice you coming if you disturb the water. So if you have a trolling motor on your kayak or you’re paddling or pedaling a kayak, it can be a good idea to go slow if you’re heading near to where the fish are hiding.

You may also want to keep your distance when you’re casting, perhaps around 20 to 30 feet away. This should mean the fish are not able to see or hear you and may be more likely to bite.

Additionally, If the sun is at your back, your shadow may also cause the fish to be a little wary. If the fish can sense your presence they may not be as willing to take your bait, as they may correctly suspect that it’s a trap.

3: Wear Polarized Sunglasses

Bright Sun - sun fishingPin

Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce the glare caused by the sun.

And on clear water, the sun can bounce off the water and make it difficult to see anything at all, let alone what’s under the water.

A pair of polarized sunglasses could help you to see into the water and keep an eye on your line, as well as protect your eyes from sun damage.

4: Choose Natural Colored Bait

One of the disadvantages of clear water fishing is that the fish are more likely to spot your bait, so you might want to opt for bait that looks more like the prey the fish are eating. 

Bait that looks natural can be more likely to attract a bite than, for example, black or blue colored bait.

5: Use A Lighter Line

A lighter line can be useful for fishing in clear waters as it can let you cast it further. This means you can keep your distance so that you don’t disturb the fish by getting too close.

Fluorocarbon line could be a good choice as it tends to be less visible in the water and has a higher density than some other lines, which should mean it should sink quicker. This can allow you to reach into deeper areas of the water where the fish might be hiding out.

Video: More Clear Water Bass Tips

6: Use A Drop Shot Rig

drop shot rig can be helpful when finesse fishing for bass in clear water, as it can allow the bait to effectively be suspended to create a more realistic appearance for the fish.

Whether you work your bait fast or slow, your success can just depend on how the fish are biting in that particular location or on that particular day.


Fishing in clear water can be just as lucrative as fishing in other types of water. It may throw up more challenges but as long as you know what these are, you should be able to easily navigate around them.

Remember you may need to cast your bait deeper and further away from you. It can also be a good idea to keep in mind that the fish will likely be more alert to threats and may bite more on natural looking baits.

Let us know if you have a particular technique for fishing in clear water? Or maybe your fishing buddies could benefit from some tips? Help them out by sharing this guide.

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