Our subscriber data shows us that many FishVault members do bank fishing as their main technique. Whether you’re walking the bank of a creek, lake or pond, there are a few things you can do to greatly increase your chances of getting a bite. We’re going to take a look at a few of those today and hopefully help you increase your productivity the next time you try bank fishing.
Parallel the bank
There’s a peculiar thing that happens anytime we fish from the bank versus fishing from the boat. From the bank, we have this tendency to cast as far straight out as one possibly can towards deeper water. But whenever we’re fishing from a boat, we cast right up as close as we can to the bank.
This makes no sense when you think about it, but most of us are probably guilty of doing it at some point. The best practice from both vantage points though is to make casts that come closer to paralleling the bank. The most productive strike zone is often that first 10- to 15- feet of water closest to the bank.
So if you’re in a boat, try to position close to the bank and throw down the bank. You can do the same thing from the bank. Simply make your cast down the bank as opposed to straight out. Then your bait will be in the best strike zone possible for a longer period of time each cast.
Keep your bait clean
This one may seem pretty simple, and it is really. But it’s also extremely important. When fishing from the bank, especially in a pond, there’s a better chance you’re going to get a little grass, moss or scum on your bait than not most casts.
But remember, you’re trying to mimic some sort of live prey with artificial lures. And you’re not likely to see a real shad swimming around with a piece of pine straw stuck on its dorsal fin.
Anything out of the ordinary may be enough to cause a fish to turnoff at the last possible second. Picking any trash off that gets on your bait and keeping it as clean as possible for each cast will ensure that your bait is as presentable as possible when it passes by a bass.
Avoid throwing open hook baits at targets
When you’re fishing from the bank, the rare instance that you can reach a piece of cover or two can lead to some regrettable decisions and lost baits. Treble hook baits are great lures for casting from the bank, but they’re also extremely hazardous around wood.
Hang one of these in a log or stump and you’ll be wading out there to get it if you don’t want to lose it. You’re just better off not throwing a bait like this close to cover when fishing from the bank. But cover holds fish, and again you’re usually doing good to have two or three pieces of cover within casting distance when fishing from the bank. So how do you take advantage of the opportunity?
It’s best to fish the open water with your treble hooked baits and lures with other exposed hooks, like a swimbait on a jighead for instance. And then swap lures to something more snag resistant for the cover, like a Texas rigged worm or hollow body frog for a couple of examples. These baits will let you pick fish off the cover with a much better chance at avoiding unwanted snags.
If you implement these three simple tips into your bank fishing, you should see an increase in your productivity. Making casts that parallel the bank, keeping your bait clean and avoiding as many snags as possible by steering away from open hooked baits around cover will ensure you spend more time fishing productive water with baits that are best suited for the task at hand.