We have all been there; you are sitting in deeper water looking at an awesome stretch of shoreline or a piece of structure that requires you to travel through impossibly shallow water in order to access. In many situations, an angler will think that there is no way to access this spot, in some cases this is true, but there is more than likely a way to get a bass boat into even the most difficult of locations.
Let’s begin with the most obvious of tips to get into a skinny water location, always trim your motor all the way up! There are many people who have been idling along in shallow water not realizing how deep their lower unit is until the worst case happens. In most instances, a busted prop can cost hundreds to replace or repair. After your motor is trimmed, using a trolling motor is the most efficient way to get to a lot of shallow water locations, but in some cases, it will bottom out as well. In some cases when the trolling motor bottoms out, you are able to adjust the shaft of the trolling motor to be better suited for shallower situations. If this is not the case, pull the trolling motor from the water and try this tip.
Though many anglers in the saltwater flats utilize push poles for fishing shallow water, very few bass anglers actually utilize this simple tool. Now, you can purchase a fiberglass anchoring pole such as a PowerPole Micro Spike, and it will work the best our of most options, but in some cases with smaller bass boats, an 8-10 foot piece of semi-rigid PVC piping works as well. The 2” diameter PVC is able to push a 17-foot aluminum bass boat through water less than a foot deep with 2 people. With aluminum boats, gravel and other abrasive bottom material does not truly hurt the hull as it would on some fiberglass boats, so they are able to make moves into extremely shallow water. When polling, you should stand at the rear of the boat and slowly and steadily drive the pole into the lake bottom to slowly glide your boat where you need to go. With this method, even weight distribution is key to maintaining correct buoyancy, and maximizing your shallow water capabilities.
By utilizing these tips, you will be able to take your boat shallower and reach more fish in many areas. Who knows, the next fish you catch in the shallows could be a tournament winner!