Have you ever fished a topwater or jerkbait in clear water and had fish slash at the lure but not commit to it?
Or have you been in an area, convinced you were doing everything right, but instead of getting a solid bite every 10 minutes, you get a halfhearted strike every 20 or 30 minutes?
Kurt Dove has been in that situation before, when fishing tournaments and when guiding clients on Lake Amistad, and when things seem a bit off kilter, the wheels in his mind start spinning.
“Sometimes it’s the area and sometimes it’s the lure that you’re throwing,” he said. “You’ve got to keep adjusting until you start catching more fish.”
Normally, on the gin-clear Amistad, a Tennessee Shad IMA Flit or Chartreuse Shad IMA Skimmer get the place of honor on Dove’s boat, but when the fish start turning their noses on the lures at the last second, that’s when he goes clear. In the Flit, that might mean Ghost Minnow, Ghost Tennessee Shad or Pro Blue, all of which have see-through bodies. Likewise for the Lime Ghost, Ghost Minnow, Smoking Ghost Shad and Ghost Blue Back patterns of the Skimmer. Even then, there are times when something is just a little off.
“When they’re really fickle, sometimes it means that they’re getting too good of a look at it,” he said. “They’re realizing the paint job doesn’t totally match the hatch.” That’s when he goes to a totally clear bait.
“It still provides the same profile, but they never see it really great,” he concluded. “They can’t pull off at the last second.”
If you fish clear water and the fish get fickle, it can pay to go clear and fill the livewell.