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Dont Cast Shade On This

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

I’d love to hear some thoughts/opinions on an apparently controversial topic in shallow waters scenarios: shadows. Fisherman are world famous for being superstitious story tellers, and no matter where I go and fish everyone has a different option on some fishing various topics, and this is no different. In hopes to settle the debate, I have been experimenting with different scenarios over that last few months to find if a simple yes or no answer exists.

Ive caught myself many times maneuvering the boat into awkward angles on flats to avoid casting a shadow across the water. To then find fish set up in the shadow of a collapsed mud slide or a bundle of spartina. Ive been told for as long as I can remember that fish can “ feel” shadows or see a shadow even in heavily grassed areas, and I’ve always fished with that in mind. What I can definitely say is many factors effect the scenario: water clarity, food abundance, water temp, barometric pressure, and predators in the area. The happiest, least spooked by a shadow, fish I have found are fish actively hunting on flood flats during a flood. Food being the major factor with this, I’m not sure if they don’t mind a shadow because all of their focus is in looking down or if they just don’t care because they are in the zone. The most affected fish were low tide fish in creeks. Lack of water and shelter I’m sure have a big factor but the different schools I found although fishable, they were not happy and very easily spooked.

Conclusion, do shadows effect fish in shallow water? Well yes and no. All situations are different, get on the water and learn your fish. No app or Youtube video will ever replace what you’ll learn from just being on the water.

- Capt. Conner

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