Tips For Bank Fishing

No matter what point you are at in your fishing journey, chances are that you started out by fishing from the bank. While many anglers move on to other forms of fishing, bank fishing can still be quite enjoyable and productive. 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 success. Here are a few ideas that just might help.  

Parallel the bank: 

There’s a peculiar thing that happens anytime we see someone fishing from the bank or from a boat. From the bank, there is this tendency to cast as far straight out as possible towards deeper water. But whenever someone is fishing from a boat, the common cast is straight in toward shore, as close as possible to the bank. This practice doesn’t always make sense but is common among many of us. 

The key to success from both vantage points is to make casts that parallel the bank. The most productive strike zone is often the first 10 to 15 feet of water closest to the shoreline. If you’re in a boat, position it near the bank and cast along it. You can apply the same technique from the bank by casting parallel to the shore. This way, your bait stays in the prime strike zone longer, increasing your chances of a catch.  

Watch for snags:

Fishing from the bank often means limited access to cover, which can lead to regrettable decisions and lost baits. Baits with treble hooks like Spooks and lipless crankbaits are excellent for bank casting but are hazardous around wood and other solid cover.

If you snag one of these baits on a log or stump, you might end up wading out to retrieve it or losing it altogether. It’s best to avoid casting these baits close to cover when fishing from the bank. Instead, reserve the treble hooked baits for open water and switch to more snag-resistant lures for cover, such as a Texas-rigged worm or a hollow body frog. These baits allow you to fish near cover with a reduced risk of snags.  

Keep your bait clean: 

This tip may seem simple but is crucial for success. When fishing from the bank, especially in a pond, your bait is likely to pick up debris like grass, moss, or scum. Remember, you’re trying to mimic live prey with artificial lures. A real shad or a frog wouldn’t swim around with vegetation stuck to it.

Any foreign material on your bait can cause a fish to lose interest at the last second. Always check and clean your bait after each cast to ensure it looks natural and enticing to fish. Keeping your bait clean will make it more presentable and increase your chances of attracting bass. 

By implementing these three simple tips—casting parallel to the bank, avoiding snags, and keeping your bait clean—you’ll enhance your shore fishing productivity. These strategies ensure you spend more time fishing productive water with the best-suited baits. Enjoy your time on the bank and happy fishing!