As a self-proclaimed shallow water fishing fanatic, I have spent countless days chasing skinny water bass. During that time, I have made my fair share of mistakes that at one time or another have kept me from reaching my full catching potential.
Here are some shallow water fails that I believe make a huge difference when targeting bass in the shallows:
Silent..... Like Hunter
For some reason, anglers tend to underestimate the value of the element of surprise. For hunters (many of which also are fishermen) the concept of the element of surprise is considered essential to success. For whatever reason, many fisherman don't approach fishing the same they would hunting.
In shallow water situations, the element of surprise is especially important as you are much closer to your prey. One of the biggest things that anglers do that gives away their presence is making too much noise in the boat. Everything from slamming locker lids, to slapping your lure on the water to free grass from the hooks, is chipping away at the element of surprise that can help you catch more fish.
Some other things I try to avoid are:
-Trolling motor related noises (try avoiding as much cover as possible)
-Unnecessary use of sonar (try putting your Lowrance on "stand by" mode)
-Stepping loudly around the deck.
-Dropping pliers, or anything else on the deck.
Once again, taking away from a hunter's playbook, you always want to be aware of anything that might give away your presence. A fisherman's shadow is one such give-away, and something that you never want to be cast over the fish you are trying to catch.
When I am fishing any shallow cover, one of the most important things I take into consideration (especially in the morning hours) is where my shadow is. I always try to keep the sun in front of me, and I certainly always try to avoid letting my shadow fall over cover I haven't fished yet.
Nobody Likes Backwash
I see it time and time again- an angler is fishing fairly fast through shallow targets, and then gets to a prime piece of cover, but the boat is moving too fast and he needs to turn the trolling motor around and backwash the cover to slow the boat's momentum. Some guys will actually think they can catch a fish after such a blunder, but in my opinion, the odds are slim.
One of the keys to fishing shallow cover is to constantly be looking forward of the boat and planning your boat positioning strategy at all times. I always like to make sure I have identified what is likely the most productive cover in an area, and approach the area with that piece of cover in mind. I never want to get to a productive piece of cover and be going too fast, causing me to use the trolling motor to avoid a target.
Using my Power Pole's to slow down my drift as well as anchor the boat while I am fishing a key piece of cover is also another approach when it is possible.
Overall, these three fails revolve around being a hunter on the water. If you are doing something that a hunter in the woods wouldn't do, than you probably are missing out on reaching your full potential while fishing shallow water.