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Largies4Life

Fishing Crystal Clear Water?

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One of my favorite lakes to fish on growing up was at my grandparents on a small, private lake which is spring fed. The water is always very clear and you can see anywhere from 20-30 feet down. It's shaped like a circle, so there's no bays or points of any sort. We have had plenty of success using plastic worms and this past year, I was very successful with a swim jig. There are no crayfish, no rocks, (sandy bottoms throughout the whole lake) but a good amount of weeds on drop offs and in the shallows. As spring is approaching, I am getting ready to head back up there, but was curious if anyone has any go-to baits for crystal clear water like I've mentioned? I'm pretty picky on what I throw there since my confident lies in the wacky rig worm and a swim jig. Topwater works on occasion too, but moreso in the middle of the summer. I'm looking to expand my arsenal and have the chance at that trophy lurking down in the depths..

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Crankbaits and jerkbaits.

 

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7 minutes ago, Dens228 said:

Crankbaits and jerkbaits.

 

I'd love to get into crankbait and jerkbait fishing, but have absolutely no confidence in them. What crankbaits and jerkbaits do you like to use in this scenario?

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Spybait

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2 hours ago, Largies4Life said:

I'd love to get into crankbait and jerkbait fishing, but have absolutely no confidence in them. What crankbaits and jerkbaits do you like to use in this scenario?

Jerkbaits I use the model that suspends at the depths I want to target. I also tend to stay with natural or metallic colors. I use them when fish are not chasing all over after baitfish.  Like in colder water.  Jerkbaits allow you to present the lure to the bass for a longer time rather than just crank them right by.  Plus if you stop the retrieve they don't float back up......at least the suspending type I tend to use. 

 

Crankbaits are nothing but fun........There's a particular quarry I fish that is as clear as you describe.  There are fingers of land that jut out into the water and submerge but still exist under water........the channels are anywhere from 30 to 90 feet wide.   I'll sit at the mouth of the channel and fan cast across the a couple times with a shallow squarebill, if I don't get anything I tie on a deeper diving crankbait, and do it a again, I keep working deeper until I starting getting bit..........At his place shad and bluegill colors work.........

 

You just have to work different depths, colors, and retrieves until you find what the fish want. 

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@Dens228 gives you good advice.  If you want to simplify the crankbait idea just get some natural-colored lipless cranks.  You can fish them at any depth and when you can see so far down there's no guesswork.  I'm assuming the fish are holding in the weeds/grass and with water that clear it's ideal for running a lipless right above the very tips of the weeds.  Let it tick the tops of the vegetation like a bait fish swimming through the weeds.  If you get hung just rip it through (which might get you bit) and then slow it down again.  It's really cool to be quietly watching that lipless as you reel it along and then see a LM fly out of the weeds and hit it like a freight train.  Gives me a jolt every time.  My #1 producer in 2018 was a shad-colored lipless crank.  There just isn't a wrong way to fish it.  

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59 minutes ago, BigAngus752 said:

@Dens228 gives you good advice.  If you want to simplify the crankbait idea just get some natural-colored lipless cranks.  You can fish them at any depth and when you can see so far down there's no guesswork.  I'm assuming the fish are holding in the weeds/grass and with water that clear it's ideal for running a lipless right above the very tips of the weeds.  Let it tick the tops of the vegetation like a bait fish swimming through the weeds.  If you get hung just rip it through (which might get you bit) and then slow it down again.  It's really cool to be quietly watching that lipless as you reel it along and then see a LM fly out of the weeds and hit it like a freight train.  Gives me a jolt every time.  My #1 producer in 2018 was a shad-colored lipless crank.  There just isn't a wrong way to fish it.  

I have lipless cranks on my list for my before-season purchase. I can't say I've ever thrown a lipless crank or jerkbait and really knew what I was doing. I can't say I even have any lipless cranks left. I hear a lot of people speaking of the Rat-L-Trap and the Red Eye Shad, what do you prefer? Any suggestions on jerkbaits? I see a lot of members speaking about the Vision 110's. Might have to grab a few for early spring!

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10 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

I have lipless cranks on my list for my before-season purchase. I can't say I've ever thrown a lipless crank or jerkbait and really knew what I was doing. I can't say I even have any lipless cranks left. I hear a lot of people speaking of the Rat-L-Trap and the Red Eye Shad, what do you prefer? Any suggestions on jerkbaits? I see a lot of members speaking about the Vision 110's. Might have to grab a few for early spring!

Before you spend $25 on a Megabass jerkbait go get yourself a package of Zoom Super Flukes in white pearl and a pack of 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hooks. Twitch, twitch, pause and watch how it looks in the water. You can even throw them over the weeds you mention because you bring the hook back into the bait so its pretty weedless.

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1 minute ago, Fishin' Fool said:

Before you spend $25 on a Megabass jerkbait go get yourself a package of Zoom Super Flukes in white pearl and a pack of 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hooks. Twitch, twitch, pause and watch how it looks in the water. You can even throw them over the weeds you mention because you bring the hook back into the bait so its pretty weedless.

Can't say I've ever used flukes before, but when I was using a paddle tail swimbait (fat keitechs) on the back of my swim jigs, I was catching a bass on nearly every cast it felt like last year, but when I used a craw or creature plastic....not a single bite. Do flukes suspend pretty easily? Weightless? I'll throw the flukes and hooks on my list as well. :) 

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3 minutes ago, Largies4Life said:

Can't say I've ever used flukes before, but when I was using a paddle tail swimbait (fat keitechs) on the back of my swim jigs, I was catching a bass on nearly every cast it felt like last year, but when I used a craw or creature plastic....not a single bite. Do flukes suspend pretty easily? Weightless? I'll throw the flukes and hooks on my list as well. :) 

Yes they slowly sink based on the weight of the hook. I'm sure they have videos of Youtube of how they work. Flukes are simple to fish.

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3 minutes ago, Fishin' Fool said:

Yes they slowly sink based on the weight of the hook. I'm sure they have videos of Youtube of how they work. Flukes are simple to fish.

I'll make sure to check out some videos prior to the season opener. I'm getting to the point where I feel like the bass are sick and tired of seeing my go-to baits year in and year out. I have high hopes for the lipless cranks and flukes though. They both go along with the way I fish the lake, so I'm sure these will get bit no problem!

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2 hours ago, Fishin' Fool said:

Senkos, drop shots and flukes.

Drop Shot and fluke for me also.

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1 hour ago, Largies4Life said:

I have lipless cranks on my list for my before-season purchase. I can't say I've ever thrown a lipless crank or jerkbait and really knew what I was doing. I can't say I even have any lipless cranks left. I hear a lot of people speaking of the Rat-L-Trap and the Red Eye Shad, what do you prefer? Any suggestions on jerkbaits? I see a lot of members speaking about the Vision 110's. Might have to grab a few for early spring!

I use both Rat-L-Traps and Red Eye Shad cranks and both are excellent.  Honestly, if you are just trying out lipless to see if you like them you should find some Cotton Cordell lipless crankbaits.  Many times you can find them at Walmart for about $2 each.  They are light and sink slowly compared to the Red Eye Shad but they are very inexpensive and that encourages me to throw them into places that I'm likely to not get them back.  And that catches fish.  

 

I've never tried a Megabass jerk but they sure do get good reviews.  I use Rapala and Strike King jerks and have good luck.  I think @Fishin' Fool had a great suggestion with the flukes.  Get some weighted swimbait hooks and some flukes and paddle tails.  I love paddle tails by themselves or as trailers on spinnerbaits and bladed jigs.  

 

We are opposite ends of the spectrum.  I fish a lot of T-rigs and Carolina Rigs but I've never caught a fish on wacky rig and I have little experience with jigs.  This year I am devoting every outing to jigs and plastics.  I'm putting the cranks away...if I can stand to do so!

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Drop shot!

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Crystal clear water intimidates many anglers and, for the most part, it's unjustified.  Bass are predominately sight feeders and clear water is advantageous to them.  Success, from an angler standpoint, is your ability to play to that, just as you would to murky water when they rely on their other senses in combination with sight.

There is no need to draw attention to your bait with 'loud' colors or noise unless you are fishing heavy cover when their line of sight is reduced significantly. Reducing the size of your presentations is advantageous, as is 'matching the hatch'

with color selection. With fast moving presentations, the speed of your retrieve and the length of any pauses you impart become more critical.  Generally, faster retrieves with fewer, short, pauses is the way to go.  The longer a bass has to inspect your presentation, the lower the odds that it will commit to striking it. Faster, of course, is relative to water temp.

Lipless and regular cranks, jerkbaits, drop shots and flukes are all good baits. Using them in the matter I mentioned will help increase your confidence (and hopefully your catch rate) in them under clear water conditions.

 

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Water + weeds = crawdads, you may not see them but they are there!

Clear water I would be using swimbaits, jerk baits, crank baits, slip shot and drop shot finesse rigs with hand poured worms and jigs because that is what I use in clear water.

Tom

 

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Ned rig, Keitech, jerkbait, spook, shakyhead, swimming grub, wacky rig. 

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TacticalBassin has some good Youtbube videos on both jerkbaits and lipless cranks. 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Dens228 said:

TacticalBassin has some good Youtbube videos on both jerkbaits and lipless cranks. 

 

 

I like watching their videos, but most likely skipped the ones on jerkbaits and lipless cranks. I'll have to go back and check them out, thanks!!

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Jerkbaits and topwater in the mornings...

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drop shot with 4 or 6 lb Invizx. Bait of choice is a Yamamoto shad shape worm in natural shad. If that doesnt get bit, there are no bass in it.

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28 minutes ago, RyneB said:

drop shot with 4 or 6 lb Invizx. Bait of choice is a Yamamoto shad shape worm in natural shad. If that doesnt get but, there are no bass in it.

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On 3/5/2019 at 2:06 PM, Fishin' Fool said:

Senkos, drop shots and flukes.

He makes a good point. Since it's a pond I'm guessing the bait fish isn't to big, so a drop shot, 4-6 fluro. Might do the trick and I would mix it up between a zoom tiny fluke and a regular one. Just got to match the hatch.

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I've had good luck with the Boyah pond magic spinner on clear small ponds. I haven't tried 20 ft deep, but I bet you can let it sink and slow roll it back.

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