Best Lures for Clear Water Bass Fishing to Catch More

Clear water bass fishing has its own set of challenges. Bass are more careful because they can see well in clear water. It’s important to pick the right lures since bass really depend on their eyes to find food. Lures that look like what bass usually eat, such as green pumpkin crawfish or soft swimbaits, are your best bet. In clear water about 5 to 20 feet deep, bass will spot anything that looks strange. So, the color and kind of lure you use are very important for catching fish.

Key Takeaways

  • Swimbaits are highly effective for catching bass in clear water.
  • Natural colors like green pumpkin, white, and ghost designs work best in clear conditions.
  • The drop shot rig excels in tough biting and clear water scenarios.
  • Jerkbaits are ideal for cold, clear water, targeting largemouth, stripers, and smallmouth bass.
  • The Ned Rig is among the top three best lures for clear water bass fishing.
  • Color choice is crucial in clear water; opt for natural hues to mimic primary forage species.
  • Modify jig skirts and choose appropriate jig head weights to enhance fishing success.

Introduction to Clear Water Bass Fishing

Fishing for bass in clear water is tricky. Bass can see well, so they’re cautious. This means anglers need to adjust their tactics. Using the right lures that mimic natural bait is key to catching them.

Bass prefer water that’s between 60-75 degrees. They act more aggressively in these conditions. It’s vital to choose the right gear, like spinnerbaits, for your tackle box. These and other lures like Texas rigged plastics work well in clear water.

Ribbon tail worms, craws, and brush hogs are favorites for many anglers. Drop shot worms do wonders in deep, clear water. Using a small bait on a light jighead can catch their attention without scaring them off. This makes the 2.8-inch Jackall Rhythm Wave an excellent choice.

Today, technology like sonar devices from Humminbird and Garmin helps a lot. They give you a detailed look under the water. Even Aqua-Vu cameras offer clear views. And don’t forget, using light, hard-to-see fishing lines is a must for catching bass in clear water.

Why Specific Lures Are Needed for Clear Water Bass Fishing

top lures for catching bass in clear water

Fishing in clear waters brings unique tests, especially with bass. These fish can see well in water visibility between 5 to 20 feet. Therefore, choosing the right top lures for catching bass in clear water is about more than just skill. It ties in closely with knowing about the water’s clarity and how bass behave.

Understanding Bass Behavior

Bass in clear water use their eyes a lot to find food. They see tiny movements and details, making them very careful. Since bass can see certain colors better, lures should match their natural food. This means using lures that look like real prey is key.

Importance of Natural Presentation

It’s vital to make your lures look natural in clear waters. Lures in colors like green pumpkin and watermelon can mimic prey like bluegill. Green pumpkin is great for looking like small creatures. Swimbaits and the Ned Rig are also great choices for their lifelike actions.

Showing off your lures naturally is crucial. When the sun is out, use lures that match what bass eat. This way, the lures won’t look out of place. A common method is using a drop-shot rig with realistic worms. This keeps the lure looking and moving like real food for bass.

For bass in clear water, the best lures are those that seem real. By using the right top lures for catching bass in clear water, anglers can make their fishing more successful. Remember, making lures seem natural and move realistically is the aim for catching bass, even in tough spots.

Swimbaits: Versatile and Effective

Swimbaits are great for catching bass in clear water. They are available in many sizes and designs. This lets fishermen choose the right one to mimic the food fish in a specific area.

Types of Swimbaits

There are a few main types of swimbaits based on their structure and how they move:

  • Soft Swimbaits work well to attract bass over a wide area. Their realistic look and flexible design make them stand out. They can either come ready to use or you can add the hook yourself.
  • Hard-bodied Swimbaits last longer and include styles such as Glide Baits and Segmented Swimbaits. Glide Baits have one joint and move in a slow, wavelike way. Segment Swimbaits have several joints, giving a more lively action when reeled in.

Some of the top swimbaits are:

Recommended SwimbaitLengthWeightColorsPrice
G-Ratt Sneaky Pete8 inches2.4 ounces16 colors$35.99
Deps Slide Swimmer 25010 inches6.5 ounces40+ colors$169.99
Original Bull Shad6 inches2.35 ounces3 colors$59.99
22nd Century Triple Trout7 inches2.25 ounces112 colors$66.99

Best Practices for Using Swimbaits

To catch bass with swimbaits, work on a steady reeling motion. Make sure to vary your speed and pauses to make it move like a real fish. It’s important to use a rod that can handle the weight of the bait. Long, strong, and fast rods work best.

To get the most out of swimbaits, remember to:

  1. Pick swimbaits that are 4 to 6 inches to catch more fish. If you’re after big bass, go for larger sizes.
  2. Try out different sizes, colors, and ways to reel in the swimbait. In clear water, use natural colors like silver and white.

Following these tips will help fishers do better with swimbaits in clear water. They’re a key item in any fishing gear collection.

Utilizing the Drop Shot Technique

best artificial lures for clear water bass

The drop shot method is great for catching bass in clear water. It lets fishermen show their bait naturally, attracting even the shyest fish.

Setting Up a Drop Shot Rig

Starting a drop shot rig can boost your fishing. Tie a hook 12-18 inches from your line’s end. This keeps the bait above the bottom. Use the Roboworm Straight Tail Worm for its natural movement, perfect for smallmouth bass.

Advantages of Drop Shot in Clear Water

The drop shot is effective in clear water for many reasons. It helps the bait stay in the fish’s area longer, thanks to its setup. This is great with the best artificial lures for clear water bass like Roboworm, Zoom, and Strike King.

Picking the right bait and color matters a lot in clear water. Match the bait’s color to natural prey, like using green pumpkin for crawfish. The Strike King Rage Tail Craw makes vibrations that fish like.

Below is a table of recommended lures for drop shot fishing in clear water conditions:

BrandRecommended LureKey FeaturesTarget Species
RobowormStraight Tail WormVersatile, natural colorsSmallmouth Bass
ZoomMagnum Trick WormEffective in all conditionsBigger Bass
Strike KingBig TexStrong water vibrationsBigger Bass
BerkleyPowerBaitLong-lasting, versatileVarious Bass Species
YamamotoSenkoHighly attractive, solid volumeDrop Shot Bass

Using the drop shot well, along with the right lures, improves fishing. It helps catch more and bigger fish often.

The Importance of Jerkbaits in Clear Water

clear water bass fishing bait

Jerkbaits are key for catching bass in clear water. They copy real prey to make bass want to bite. These lures work well during cooler times like spring and fall. Their quick, unpredictable moves catch the eye of bass, drawing them closer.

Types of Jerkbaits

There are different jerkbaits for different fishing spots. Suspended jerkbaits act like wounded fish and can stop in the water, which fish find irresistible. Floating jerkbaits move upward, perfect for fishing in shallower areas. When picking a jerkbait, think about the water’s depth, the fish’s size, and the type of hook. In open waters, go for lighter hooks. In challenging spots, use heavier hooks to keep control.

Best Conditions for Jerkbait Use

Certain conditions make jerkbaits work even better. Windy days help because wind roughs up the water’s surface. This makes bass less cautious. It’s best to use a 10 to 12-pound fluorocarbon line with jerkbaits. Also, choose a reel with a high gear ratio like 8:1 for fast reeling. A 7-foot, medium-action rod with a flexible tip is ideal. It helps cast smoothly and sets the hook firmly without losing the bait.

It’s also important to know how bass act and change how you reel in. Bass might like different speeds. So, try different speeds until you find what bass like. Adapting your strategy to how the fish are behaving and the environment can greatly improve your jerkbait fishing success.

The Ned Rig: A Highly Effective Option

The Ned Rig works great for catching bass in clear water spots. It pairs a light jig head with a soft plastic. This combo looks like small baitfish, attracting bass easily. The rig moves subtly and is a smart choice when the fishing gets tough.

Components of the Ned Rig

A typical Ned Rig has a small, 2 to 3-inch plastic lure and a mushroom head jig. You can change the weight of the jighead, from 1/16 to 1/4 ounce. This lets you adjust for different water depths and clarity. It’s best used on a spinning rod with light line. Try soft plastic baits like the Z-Man Finesse TRD and Yamamoto Ned Senko Floater.

Plastic Lure2 to 3 inches, resembling a small worm or creature bait.
JigheadMushroom head design, weighing 1/16 to 1/4 ounce.
RodSpinning rod, medium or medium-light power, extra-fast action.
LineLight line for subtle presentations.

When and How to Use the Ned Rig

The Ned Rig is a good pick all year in any water. You can fish it lots of ways, like dragging or swimming it. Its lifelike look and motion attract even careful bass.

This setup is great for snagging largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. To avoid weeds, use weedless hook options. Styles like the VMC Finesse Weedless Jig and Z-Man Pro Shroomz Weedless work well in thick water areas.

Compared to the Texas rig, the Ned Rig falls and moves more naturally. This makes it perfect for clear water fishing. Mixing up the plastic baits, weights, and how you move it can really up your game.

The Best Lures for Clear Water Bass Fishing

Success in clear water bass fishing is all about the right lures. These lures need to work well in water that’s clear enough to see 5 to 20 feet deep. They have to look like natural prey to catch the bass’s eye.

Some top lures for clear water include swimbaits, drop shots, jerkbaits, and the Ned Rig. Swimbaits are great because they cover a lot of water and look like natural bass food. The drop shot rig is good too. It moves like real fish, so it attracts bass from far away.

Jerkbaits work well when the water is cold. They move in a way that seems like a wounded fish. This triggers bass to bite. The Ned Rig, with its light jig heads and soft plastics, does wonders in summer. Its gentle motions are very appealing to bass in clear water.

When picking lures, think about the lure’s color and how it looks. Go for natural tones like green pumpkin, white, and see-through colors. These can trick the bass, which depends on its vision for hunting in clear water.

Keep in mind that what bass like can change with the weather and other environmental elements. So, you might need to change up your lure’s color. Testing different lures and being aware of the water’s conditions can boost your catch rate.

Using top-rated lures and paying attention to how you present them can majorly up your game in clear water fishing.

Jigs: A Classic Approach to Clear Water Bass Fishing

Jigs are a top choice for clear water bass for their flexible design. They look like natural food such as crawfish, a key meal for bass. Picking the best jig considers many factors to boost its catch rate.

Choosing the Right Jig

In clear water, the right jig has specific features like color, head shape, and weight. Shades like green pumpkin and watermelon mirror crawfish and small fish well. The head shape, whether football or finesse, matters for jig movement to look natural. Jig weight decides its sink speed and how it swims; light jigs are better in shallow water.

  • Z-Man TRD MinnowZ
  • Damiki Armor Shad
  • Basstrix Live Trix
  • Terminator Finesse Jig

Modifying Jigs for Better Results

Many anglers tweak jigs for better results in clear water. They might cut the skirt for a more realistic look, which helps it move freely. Adding color details makes the jig appear even more like real prey, attracting bass. Modified jigs are proven to work well in top-level fishing, especially with advancements like sonar.

Talking about success, competitive anglers rave about finesse jigs paired with small minnows since 2011. These combos, sometimes called Damiki or moping rigs, have won big tournaments. They perform well on lakes like Table Rock and even in national college championships. Using these tweaked setups gives anglers an advantage, especially in clear water.

Jig TypeRecommended UsePopular Models
Finesse JigClear water, light coverTerminator Finesse Jig, Strike King Structure Jig
Swim JigClear water, moving presentationsSantone Rayburn Swim Jig, Advantage Bait Company Swim Jig
Football JigRocky bottoms, deep waterStrike King Baby Structure Jig, Andy’s Edwin Evers E-Series
Hair JigCold water, slow presentationsTalon Lures Pete’s Preacher Jig, Mann’s Preacher’s Jig

Tweaking or picking the right jig is crucial in clear water bass fishing. The right customization can drastically increase your chances of catching more fish. These changes are key to succeeding when fishing in clear water.

Choosing Lures Based on Lighting Conditions

Selecting the right fishing lures for clear water bass depends on the light. Water clarity and how much light is available are key. They help decide which lure colors work best.

Sunny Conditions

Sunny weather means bass can see well. So, it’s smart to pick lures that look like the fish’s natural snacks. Choose light colors like white, silver, or gold. They don’t make bass on edge. Green pumpkin and brown are good choices too. They fit with the natural look of the lake. These work especially well in the shallows.

Low-Light Conditions

When light is low, early or late in the day, bass don’t see as well. In these times, dark lures or high-contrast colors are great. Black, blue, or purple lures stand out against the dim water. They look like food because they make a clear shape.

Lures that vibrate, like spinnerbaits, also catch bass’s attention. Especially if they have shiny parts. For nighttime fishing, choose lures with dark colors but lots of sparkle. Like motor oil with gold glitter. These lures are easy for bass to spot in the dark.

Picking the right lures for clear water bass means looking at the light. You want lures that look natural or are very easy to see. This way, bass are either attracted or fooled. This skill in choosing lures helps you catch more fish.

Tips for Experimenting with Colors

Understanding lure colors is key for clear water fishing. The right lure in a clear water lake can blend in or stand out. This is vital for catching bass.

Why Color Matters in Clear Water

Bass can see well in clear water, almost like us. They can see colors from 5 to 20 feet away. So, the color of your lure matters a lot. Lures that look like natural prey are best. Swimbaits with lifelike action are great for catching bass in these conditions.

Bass see best in the red to green range. So, use lures in these colors. Avoid blues, purples, and deep reds. Stick to natural or earth tones for better results. Start with proven colors and then try new ones to see what works best.

Adapting to Changing Conditions

Be ready to change your lure based on the day. Sometimes, very bright or dark lures can get bites in clear water. But, on sunny days, stick to natural, light colors. Trying something different can also work well.

Here are some color suggestions for different days:

ConditionRecommended Colors
Sunny, Clear WaterNatural, light-colored lures (green pumpkin, white)
Cloudy or OvercastBright or very dark-colored lures
Experimentation PhaseMixture of natural and unusual colors

Use a mix of colors and adjust based on the water and light. This will make you more successful. Choose lures that can change with the conditions of clear water lakes.


Fishing for bass in clear water calls for a smart bait strategy. Bass in clear water spot lures easily, so anglers need to pick baits that look real. Knowing what largemouth bass like can help anglers choose the right bait for different conditions, like water clarity, weather, and time of day.

Certain lures work well in clear water, like swimbaits and jerkbaits. These lures move naturally, just like real prey, which can attract bass better. Trying different colors and styles is smart since bass may prefer these looks to live bait. Apps like the Fishbox App can help anglers pick the very best lure for their fishing trip.

Also, picking the right lures for the light can make a big difference. For bright days, choose quiet, natural colors, and for darker days, consider brighter colors. Jigs are great because they can work in many water depths. Techniques like using stop-and-go motions can be more appealing to bass. Knowing where to place your lure, such as deeper in the water in Fall and Winter, can increase your chances of a catch in clear water.


What are the best lures for clear water bass fishing?

Swimbaits, drop shot rigs, jerkbaits, jigs, and the Ned Rig are great for clear water. They look like real prey, fooling cautious bass.

Why is the choice of lure color important in clear water bass fishing?

Clear water bass depend on vision, so color matters. Green pumpkin and white blend well. Changing colors matches conditions and bass tastes.

How do swimbaits work for clear water bass fishing?

Swimbaits match live fish well and come in various sizes and designs. Anglers can pick ones that look like the food the bass are eating.

What is the drop shot technique and why is it effective in clear water?

The drop shot suspends the bait for a natural look. Bass in clear water are tricked by this realistic motion.

When should jerkbaits be used for clear water bass fishing?

Use jerkbaits in cool weather for their sharp movements. They catch the eye of sight-feeding bass. Choose the right type for the depth you’re fishing.

What makes the Ned Rig a good choice for clear water bass fishing?

The Ned Rig is simple and works well in clear water. Its small size and soft movement attract fish, even on slow fishing days.

How do lighting conditions affect lure selection for clear water bass fishing?

In the sun, go for natural-looking lures. Use bright or dark lures in low light or at night. These lures get bass’ attention through silhouette or sound.

What should anglers keep in mind when modifying jigs for clear water bass fishing?

Modify jigs by thinking about color and shape. Trimming skirts and adding colors acts like real prey. This makes the bait more appealing.

Why is it essential to experiment with different lure colors for clear water bass fishing?

Bass have preferences that vary with water and light. Testing different colors helps find the right one for the day.
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