If you want to catch more and bigger bass, from the bank is where it’s at.
Here are some tips and tricks for Bank Bassin’
For starters, understand that standing on the shoreline puts you at a lower angle than anglers in a boat, so your retrieves automatically follow a flatter plane. Save yourself a ton of heartache and always use WEEDLESS lures. You may miss a strike or two (probably not) but it sure beats staying tangled in the weeds and lily pads.
Bank fishing offers several benefits – immediate easy access, no boat ramp mayhem and minimal startup cost. But don’t mistake this relaxed scenario with its minimal requirements for an easy stroll to instant success. Truth be told, the shoreline game presents a handful of challenges unique to fishing on foot. Oh, and a good pair of water-resistant fishing boots don’t hurt…
Bank anglers may, at times, have to cast across vegetation to reach a sweet spot, or hit the fish they’ve spotted busting bait or swirling as they chase prey. This always sounds easy and looks like a good idea, until you actually hook a fish separated by a mini jungle of dense vegetation.
Case in point: I once hooked a 6 1/2-pounder when I saw it swirling on the opposite side of a small lily pad field. The fish bit immediately and when it ran into the heavy cover, I kept my rod as high as possible without compromising control and leverage. I still ended up wading and dragging the big guy the last several yards – weeds and all.
Wherever I fish in Florida and many other southern waters, I’m always looking for things that might bite, sting, or scatch me. Some of the potential hazards – fire ants massing amid debris, to cottonmouth water moccasins slithering amid the vegetation and suspended in overhanging tree limbs, to alligators hiding just about anywhere. I don’t let potential threats dissuade me from fishing; but I definitely maintain a high level of awareness.
Alligators: In truth, the small gators are more interested in catching my topwater frog, but dehooking one of these bandits can be a finger-risking exercise. Moreover, a larger gator might decide to help himself to my struggling catch and such close encounters can, at best, become perpetual YouTube fodder; and, at worst, an E.R. visit.
These hazards do exist, and we did not even mention the mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums and scratch-ankle briars. Just remember if it was easy, everybody would be there to really bug you…
The moral of this tale is you can catch bass the boat boys can’t reach and you don’t have to pay the fifteen grand and up (boat) for the privilege.
Bank Bassin’ is fun and the biggest bass I ever caught was from the bank of a farm pond in Jay, Florida.