When you look at a shad or minnow it almost seems as if you can see through the fish’s body so a translucent or ghost color lure best imitates the hue of a baitfish in clear water. A ghost color lure basically features a mostly see-through body with a back painted in a subtle dark color of black, blue, purple or red.
Bass anglers do believe in ghosts when they are fishing gin clear water.
When Fish Get Picky
Bass in gin clear water tend to be pretty picky about what they eat because the fish can see a prey so well. Brightly colored lures look unnatural to bass in ultra-clear water so the fish tend to shy away from those baits. When bass are feeding heavily on shad or minnows, the fish are more inclined to bite a translucent bait that best mimics the colors of the baitfish then. Weather conditions also dictate when you should throw ghost lures in clear water.
What The Pro’s Throw
Lucky Craft Gunfish
Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Mueller favors throwing translucent suspending jerkbaits for smallmouth bass on bright sunny days in clear water. He opts for a jerkbait with a transparent body and a chartreuse belly to trick clear water smallmouth in the sunshine. Former Bass Fishing League (BFL) All American Champion Marcus Sykora prefers fishing a ghost color suspending jerkbait for winter and early spring largemouth bass in clear water on days with intermittent clouds and sunshine.
Ghost color swimbaits are also great baitfish imitators for catching bass in gin clear water. You can throw these lures individually on a jighead or as a conglomeration on an Alabama rig.
Going In DEEP With Tube Baits
Tube baits are also ideal ghost lures for catching bass in either deep or shallow clear water. Table Rock and Bull Shoals anglers have used clear tubes with black or blue flakes to vertical jig for spotted bass at depths ranging from 20 to 60 feet throughout the years. One of my favorite tactics for catching spawning bass is skipping a clear tube with red and blue flakes in shallow clear water. The clear tube skipping across the surface mimics the action of a frightened shore minnow hopping on top of the water.
Jerking One Past Them
Soft jerkbaits in ghost colors are also great baitfish imitators that bass will gobble up in clear water. These lures provide plenty of action for either spawning fish in the shallows or during the summer when bass school in open deep water and attack pods of baitfish on the surface.