5 Shallow Water Fishing Tips

Fishing in shallow water requires a completely different set of techniques. Everything from the way you cast to the lures you use will play a role in whether or not you finish out the day with a successful catch. In no particular order, here are five easy tricks you can use when you’re fishing in shallow water:

  1. Select your bait based on the clarity of the water. If it’s muddy and murky, you’ll probably have better luck using darker bait like a black plastic worm. If the water is more clear, something more translucent like a see-through blue will work better.
  2. Cast underhand or sidearm, pulling back just as the lure hits the water to reduce its splash. A powerful cast will disrupt the water with a big splash, causing fish to potentially get spooked and swim away. On a related note, use smaller, lightweight lures that won’t cause a big splash.
  3. Improve casting accuracy by pitch casting. Give your lure about 3-4 feet of slack and hold it in one hand. Point the rod straight out to where you want the lure to land and add some tension to the rod so the line is taut. Toss the lure out into the water and repeat that pullback motion to reduce the splash.
  4. Maneuver your boat slowly. Fish living in shallow water love to hang out near vegetation or fallen branches. If you see areas like this, don’t power through them. Drift whenever possible and leave your boat’s electronics off so as not to spook any fish directly beneath you.
  5. Try using a wacky rig. If you’re fishing for bass, a wacky rig will allow both sides to move in the water and, if you’ve baited it with a worm, will cause it to kick and put some resistance into the water. You’re less likely to have your rig move several feet away from your initial cast point and more likely to get some strikes.

Shallow water fish tend to spook very easily. By treating their habitat with a delicate touch, you’ll get better results each time you go out to fish in shallow bodies of water. Got a tried and true technique that works for you in shallow water? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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