Tips for Catching Crappie in Clear Water

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Clear Water Crappie Fishing Advice

Here are some tips for catching crappie in clear water. Clear water presents a number of challenges for anglers. Not only can the fish see the lures and tackle more easily, but the movements of the angler are more likely to spook fish as well. By making a few simple changes, fishermen and fisherwomen can increase their odds of success when clear water crappie fishing.

Fish Deep Water Structure

Underwater structure such as creek channels, vegetation, and rocky banks are always good places to find crappie, but finding structure in deep water is key to catching clear water crappie.

Smaller Lures

Though crappie will routinely strike large lures, clear water conditions make seeing the lure easier and more reasonably sized lures often produce better in clear water. This doesn’t mean that anglers need to use tiny lures, just don’t start with oversized crankbaits.

Realistic Patterns

More natural patterns tend to work best in clear water as fish can see the lures well. Try to match the lure pattern to the natural prey fish in the water.

Keep Lures Moving

By keeping the lure moving, anglers give the fish less time to realize that it is a lure and not a real food source. Crappie will have no trouble seeing and finding the lure from long distances in the clear water making slow and stop and start retrieves unnecessary.

Lighter Line

The use of lighter line is also a good idea in clear water as the thinner line is more difficult for fish to spot. Don’t go too small for the water being fished as other larger game fish such as largemouth bass and walleye may strike the lure as well.


The use of bait is another good option for fishing for crappie in clear water. The bait can be seen by crappie over a long distance and there is no concern over an unnatural presentation.

Fish Into the Sun

Whenever possible, anglers should fish into the sun in clear water. By fishing into the sun, the angler’s shadow won’t fall over the water being fished and spook the fish away. Movements should be kept to a minimum as these can be spotted by the crappie more easily in clear water conditions.