Winter clear water
by Mike Gerry
Looking at the clear water in the winter can be viewed by many as the death of the day on the water in mid-winter.
If you are a brave soul and get out on the water a lot during the cold of winter, you are greeted by the bane of winter anglers and that being clear water. In most cases the water clears quickly in the winter even after strong winter rains and the chance of seeing clear water increases in the wintertime.
I believe that the clear water can be your friend, you just have to understand the dynamics and positives and use them to pick your places to fish.
First, let us make sure we are rigged correctly to fish clear water; I like using clear fluorocarbon line in the winter, it blends into the clear water very well and is the perfect line for fishing crank baits or shakey heads.
Secondly, whatever your bait, fishing subtle colors like whites, or root beers or just shad type shades are some of the keys to working your bait in the clear water.
Let us also not forget that clear water helps the sun warm the water in the shallows and especially around docks, riprap, lay downs or deep structure; so, choosing an area to fish that is a warming blanket area, and attracts fish, will help you find that big winter bag. Use your temperature gauge continually during the day.
It is also a fact that bass are very lethargic during the winter and many times that clear water helps you put your bait exactly where you need for it to be to get bit, as proximity to structure and accuracy can be a key to winter fishing. The fact that fish do not like the bright sun in clear water can actually help you find fish as, many times, the shady part of structure, especially deep structure, allows you to eliminate some of the angles that you have to use when the water is more stained.
The key is to take what the good lord has given you that day and make it work for you by lure choices, presentations, and fish the areas that make sense to fish in these clear water conditions.