Weekend Angler: Dallas/Fort Worth
The combination of clear water and shallow bass requires a carefully planned approach of the bank, whether from the water or the shore. Cruising smallmouth and largemouth often move within inches of the bank when attempting to flush smaller sunfish and minnows out in the open.
Often, a bank's fish-holding potential is confirmed by the angler when he spies a spooked largemouth racing for deep water. A fly line landing on the water, the movement overhead of an angler's casting arm, or the approach of a dark silhouette is all it takes to spook the shallowest fish.
When first approaching by land, anglers need to kneel or stand a safe distance from the water and cast so that the fly line doesn't enter the water. Once the immediate area has been tested, the angler can carefully wade out into the water. It's important to wade up-bank, casting to new water and parallel to the shoreline.
The danger of spooking fish is equally likely when approaching by boat. Banging the deck with a dropped rod, tackle box, or rod locker lid will cause fish to evacuate the shallow water, as will a trolling motor set on high or an overhead cast. It's equally important to remain vigil about lining the fish. Try to keep your line out away from the shallowest water.
As one might expect, the float tube angler has the advantage, over both boater and bank angler, when the bass are shallow. The low profile of the angler and the float tube, as well as its quiet means of propulsion, make it ideal for approaching Squaw Creek's shallow fish. The biggest problem a float tuber encounters on the reservoir is the stout wind that is common in late fall and early winter.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication