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Rough guidelines for how deep to fish based on water clarity?


GoneFishingLTN

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I don't have a rough numbered guideline, but for general purposes, the clearer the water the deeper I fish.  And the further I am from my target too, making longer casts.

 

Bass in clearer water are often spookier than ones in murky water.

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Just now, GoneFishingLTN said:

You believe no matter how dirty the water is they will still sit in 19 sometimes?

I’ve caught em down there 

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I copied this from fishing gurus, and is the same as a video from Fish the Moment.  I agree with the depths as a general guide line, but nothing in bass fishing is written in stone.

1) Water clarity 6 inches or less, bass will be less than 6 feet deep.

2) Water clarity 6 inches to 1 foot, bass will be less than 10 feet deep.

3) Water clarity 1 foot to 2 foot, bass will be less than 15 feet deep.

4) Water clarity 2 foot to 6 foot, bass will be less than 35 feet deep.

5) Water clarity 6 foot or more, bass will be less than 55 feet deep.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, king fisher said:

I copied this from fishing gurus, and is the same as a video from Fish the Moment.  I agree with the depths as a general guide line, but nothing in bass fishing is written in stone.

1) Water clarity 6 inches or less, bass will be less than 6 feet deep.

2) Water clarity 6 inches to 1 foot, bass will be less than 10 feet deep.

3) Water clarity 1 foot to 2 foot, bass will be less than 15 feet deep.

4) Water clarity 2 foot to 6 foot, bass will be less than 35 feet deep.

5) Water clarity 6 foot or more, bass will be less than 55 feet deep.

 

 

I found this also and that’s sorta what I was thinking as a rough guideline 

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Y'all kidding right 😉

 

The bass determine where they're gonna be not me & a chart. 

 

Toledo Bend for example, you can catch em up shallow frogging in the morning, out 35-40' on a flutter spoon round mid-day, & 12-18' on a worm in the evening 

 

Water clarity ain't changed 

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3 hours ago, GoneFishingLTN said:

Do you have a rough mental guideline for how deep to fish based on the water clarity? example it's only about 2 foot clear so you fish up to 10 foot deep or do you not believe this matters much?

Too subjective or broad based question to objectively answer.

Bass locate at a depth where they are comfortable and abundance of prey is available.

Example spring the spawn the bass ( Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted and all other Black Bass species can be found anywhere from a 1’ to about 12’ or deeper in gin clear water or off color water. During the spawn prey isn’t an issue, procreation is. 

During the cold water period when the water drops below 50 degrees and no thermocline exist all bass species can be found in the warmest water wherever it's located from 1’ to 80’.

Post spawn (after it’s over) through the fall before a turn over occurs and a thermocline is developed all the bass species can be found in 6” of water to around the thermocline depth is, every lake is different but around 35’ is considered average depth. 

Rivers or impoundments with current thermoclines are not a major factor so depth vary more the lakes or ponds.

Depth of light into water is so variable from particulates to wind conditions no general rules can apply.

Tom

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     I fish a lake where water clarity seems to be a big factor.  I always measure the water clarity as soon as there is enough light to do so. If the water is less than a foot deep, I never catch or mark the fish deeper than 15 feet deep.  They may be suspended in trees, that are in 40 feet of water, but the bass themselves always seem to be in 15 or less.  They may be on the surface and 15 feet deep at the same time, but they wont be deeper than 15 feet.  Much of the year there is no thermocline on this lake so it is not a factor.

    When the water has two foot of visibility or more I catch and mark bass in all depths.  I can catch them right on the bank, and in deep water suspended or on the bottom.  If there is a thermocline, they are always above the thermocline.

    When the water is 6 inches to a foot, the bass are usually along the shoreline, but can be suspended in the trees over deep water. 

     When the water visibility is less than 6 inches, the bass are always in very shallow water and are never suspended over deep water.

     I realize this is just my experience in one lake.  I am sure others have had different experiences, but from what I have seen, the chart is a good general guide line.  It does not predict what depth the bass will be in, it only is a general guide to the limit of depth they will go.  If the water is relatively clear, that doesn't mean they will be deep, it only infers, it is possible they will be deep, but does not rule out the possibility of them being shallow.  If the water is pure mud, they probably wont be more than a few feet deep.

    If the water has more than 3 feet of visibility a person can probably catch bass at almost any depth in the lake on the same day, but if the water visibility is 8 inches, I would suspect the bass would not be on the bottom in 15 feet of water.

    My best luck for multiple big bass in the lakes I fish have been when the water clarity is 2-6 feet.  The bass are not as spooky as they are in clearer water, can be found in schools of like size, and are susceptible to a large variety of techniques.

    I have caught DD. bass in 6 inches of clarity, but they always seem to be lone bass, and may be one of the only bites of the day.

     1-2 foot of clarity is good for me on one lake, simply because that is what it is most of the time.    With the clarity being constant, I concentrate on other factors more to determine depth of the bass.

     People that fish water with fairly constant clarity probably wont think it makes much of a difference.  Some of the places I fish, I feel it is probably the biggest factor.  That being said, those places have an almost constant water temperature, so therefore in my experience water temperature is not much of a factor.  Where many places temp. is a bigger concern than clarity when determining the depth of the bass.

    The bass will always be near their prey.  If the prey like a certain water clarity you can rest assured the bass will be near by.  They may be a little deeper, or more shallow than the prey, but they will be at a depth they can easily ambush their next meal.

    One other thing to consider is the length of time of a certain visibility.  If the water has had one foot of visibility for weeks, the bass may have a deeper max limit, than if the water recently went from 4 foot of vis. to one foot of visibility.

 

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One of the things I've learned about water clarity and bass is, it's all relative.  Like if a lake is always muddy, the bass will act a lot different in 6 inches of visibility than a lake that's usually very clear, but suddenly only has 6 inches of visibility.  They adapt to their environments rather well.  

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As a very general rule of thumb, the 1% light level zone is usually 3 to 4 times secchi depth (roughly how deep you can see a bright white/chrt bait). As a starting point, my first approach is to stay above that level when searching for bass (fish down to that level). Lake to lake variability can be pretty wide though, especially when dealing with different species (spits, SMB, LMB).

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Another factor here may be dissolved oxygen (DO), as fish tend to congregate where the "breathing" is easier.  Deeper lakes also tend to stratify during certain times of the year, which can also dictate where you tend to find fish.  It's not uncommon to see seasonal anoxic zones in the deeper parts of a given lake, which again would likely influence where the fish are (or are not in these cases).

 

All that said, apparently catfish don't need oxygen to to survive, as we've seen them way deep around dams and water intakes.

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Where I'm at clear water means vegetation.  I usually find the vegetation first and then work on depth.  The bass could be anywhere in the water column buried in that stuff.  I just start picking it apart until I find a bait they want to eat.

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