Sometimes catches are made in shade

February 23, 2013

Who would think that fish this time of the year would hang in the shade on a sunny day?

You’d think these fish would move toward the warmer water.

As usual, there are exceptions to the rules. You shouldn’t totally eliminate the shaded area even in cold water.

I first found this pattern many years back fishing the river above Whitney. The shade of the railroad bridge was the prime location to work my winter jig pattern mid-morning.

This also is typical at the Tin Top Bridge above Granbury. Essentially, the only place other than deep holes downriver that you could graph fish and bait were in the shade off the bridge. In fact that is the only place I could get a bite.

So why does the shade hold fish this time of the year? Here are some of my theories:

1. The boat activity in the area pushed the fish and bait into hiding?

2. There were some active fish and the bait was trying to find somewhere to hide?

3. The fish did not like the sunlight and the shade was more favorable?

Hybrid striped bass and striped bass as they are known to be sensitive to light and will tend to move deeper after day break. Many species also use the shade as an ambush spot, and many fish will hold in the shade in the summer where it is cooler.

One pattern that seems to be effective is working your presentation through the shaded area and in and out of the sun. The flash from your presentation as it moves from shade to sun may draw a strike.

Another insight given to me by a local black bass angler is that the fish are slow to adapt to a strong sun when moving up from deeper water and will tend to hang in the shade even if the water is cooler.


Water temperatures are in the mid-50s and the lake is still over 5 feet low. Golden algae is present from Indian Harbor to Hunter Park, but the kill is mild. On the other hand the lower ends of the lake are producing great catches of black bass to 7 pounds. Black bass are moving up with the warming water.

Squaw Creek fishing for large mouth bass continues to be good to excellent.

Best striper fishing on the Brazos continues to be on Possum Kingdom. Fish to 17 pounds have been caught. Golden algae is also present on the upper ends, so best to fish the lower ends.

Hybrid stripers are good on Benbrook, Bridgeport and Lewisville on swimbaits and soft plastics. Whitney sand bass are being caught on the main lake and up near Hamm’s Creek.

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Category: Sports Archived