The color of the water when you launch your boat or kayak or walk down the bank is one of the most important things to pay attention to in bass fishing. Water clarity as it is referred to changes everything from lure style and color to where the fish will be. By recognizing this and making adjustments, you can ensure a successful outing.
Bass Fishing In Clear Water
Clear water is relative to where you live. Great Lakes clear is not the same as clear water in the deep south. Clear is usually seen as when you can to see down five feet or more below the surface.
Clear water offers both challenges and opportunities as anglers can visually see fish swimming, but these same fish are spooked more easily. Some of the best lures to use for clear water bass fishing are those that appear natural and without bright or flashy colors.
Clear water is tailor-made for finesse fishing with popular techniques like the drop-shot, Ned Rig, and shakey head. If fishing this way is not your style, you have some faster moving options. Jerkbaits and topwater lures are two proven bass techniques in clear water situations.
If you notice an abundance of fish activity but are having trouble getting bites, it may be a good idea to search for slightly dirtier water. Another option is to search for windy areas as this will help to conceal both you and your lures.
Bass Fishing In Stained Water
This water clarity is one of the most universal as much of the bass fishing world is full of lakes with some clarity, but not clear enough where you can see down five feet or more.
Stained water also offers an excellent opportunity for bass anglers because it opens up the use of every technique possible. With that being said, crankbaits, jigs, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits are four of the best types of lures you can use in stained water conditions.
Bass Fishing Muddy Waters
Muddy water can be your friend as it can help conceal you as an angler and also allow the bass to roam more freely. Generally, murky water should be approached with bright colored lures and with those that produce added vibration.
One of the best choices that cover both of these is a brightly colored spinnerbait. The flash from the blades and vibration moving through the water allows the bass to hone in on your lure. Other good choices are vibrating jigs (ChatterBaits), lipless crankbaits, and jigs.
Even though muddy water can be useful, when the water is cold (50-degrees or less), it can lead to tough fishing. In these scenarios, it may be best to seek clearer water.
Water clarity can change from day to day and even during the same day on different sections of where you are fishing. Knowing the basics of what lures are best for each water clarity can help you determine if you are in the right area or need to seek out water that is dirtier or more clear.
Tyler Brinks is an avid bass angler from Spokane, WA. He works full-time in the fishing industry as a writer and social media marketer and fishes any chance he gets and everywhere he goes.