Top Tips To Catch More Bass
Bank fishing can provide those who love fishing or are learning to fish with an easy way to catch bass any day without a boat. In addition, bank fishing has many benefits that often get overlooked, such as accessing some hard-to-reach and less-fished areas. You can also reach the shallow areas that boats wouldn’t be able to enter and sneak up on those fish without worrying about the motor or other boat sounds spooking it.
Best Seasons To Catch Bass From the Bank
Anglers can enjoy bank fishing throughout the year, especially in Florida. However, fishing in the Fall and Spring generally are the best seasons for bass fishing from the shore since the bass are more likely to migrate into the shallow water near the shoreline to feed or spawn.
The spring is typically the best sight fishing season for bass. So when you find bass in the water, you can enjoy the fact that you don’t have to worry about lining up the bass boat or keeping a reasonable distance before working the fish.
The Fall is usually the best time to walk quietly along the bank, looking for schools of bait fish in the back of canals and creeks.
Best Spots For Bank Bass Fishing
There are endless spots to catch bass from land in Florida, but there are a few rules of thumb to help you spend more time catching and less time blind casting and praying for a bite. The central concept that increases bass fishing success is to focus on spots that may otherwise not come to mind first. Think of the places that most people may not know about or may not want to take the extra steps to access. Usually, the smallest ponds and canals or private lakes make for the best bass fishing and often hold the biggest fish. Overall, there are many good places to fish from the bank, including any public access areas, spillways, and old gravel roads.
Look for brush piles that will likely be holding bass all year. The best spots have brush piles planted in shallow water and others in deeper water. It’s usually best to start fishing at the shallowest areas that could be holding active fish. The dams are also a top spot for bank fishing, especially in the summer or mid-day fishing. Boat ramps are another excellent spot for catching bass. The ramps often have algae growing on their concrete which attracts baitfish and will ultimately attract bass. The boat ramp bass will often hide in the blowholes created by boats powering up on trailers to ambush the bait.
Where To Cast When Fishing From The Bank
A common mistake that anglers can make when bank fishing is only focusing on a far casting distance. It is helpful to visualize the internal structure of the area you are fishing for drop-offs and scope the external for channels or structures that may be holding fish. Fishing in the middle of a deep canal or lake when the drop-off edges may be closer to you won’t often be productive. If the water clarity of the area is good, look for deep drop-offs that will likely have bass concentrated. Otherwise, any vegetation above and below the surface are good casting points when bank fishing for bass.
Bass Fishing Small Bodies Of Water
Small lakes and canals often make for excellent bass fishing spots since the fish are confined to a smaller area. Small, low pressured areas will often produce bass in good numbers and sometimes big bass. It usually seems that waterbodies will have average-sized bass in good numbers or big bass in lower quantities. There are often cues from these areas that tell you whether there are likely to be big bass or not.
A cue to look for is colored water and runoff; these areas will sometimes hold the biggest bass. Another sign of big bass potentially thriving in this body of water is the amount of bait and vegetation that provide an optimal environment for bass to grow large. The size of the fishery doesn’t have much impact on whether there will be big bass or not. Some tiny lakes will still hold quality bass in the five-pound range, but usually, the lakes over 10-acres will better sustain a big bass population.
Top Bank Fishing Lures
It’s best to carry various lures when bank fishing to catch even the pickiest of fish. Some of the best options for pre-spawn bass are medium-diving crankbaits, jigs, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures such as poppers or walkers. During the summer, the best lures to use when bank fishing include deep-diving crankbaits and various plastic worms ranging from six to ten inches. When the bass move into the shallows in the Fall, load up on topwater plugs, spinnerbaits, buzz baits, and squarebill crankbaits. Lipless crankbaits are also a great option to have with you when bank fishing in the spring and Fall. Lipless crankbaits are highly effective because they allow you to control the depth and catch more bass easily.
The spawning months will generally call for reaction baits such as loud topwater plugs, lipless crankbait, or a spinnerbait. These bass fishing rigs are great for getting reaction strikes from nesting bass. Having a swimbait on hand is also ideal for imitating baitfish schooling or foraging near the shoreline.
Our Favorite Lures
When in doubt, start with stick worms. These finesse lures have likely caught more largemouth bass in any water system than any other lure. The most known stick worms are the Senko, but any similar stick style version of soft plastic worms will work. These lures can be fished on a wacky rig, on Texas Rigs, Ned rigged, or Carolina rigged.
Creature-style soft plastics are the next go-to fishing lure to have on hand to catch fish when bank fishing. Creature baits can mimic bottom-dwelling forage such as crayfish that are often living near the shore. Creature baits are best fished on heavy terminal tackle such as a large jig head. A Texas rig with creature bait and a tungsten weight is an excellent method to catch more bass in deeper waters.
There are numerous color options for fishing lures, but it’s best to keep it natural and simple. Keep your bank fishing tackle box light with a few of the most productive color selections. The top colors that will work just about anywhere are black and blue, white shad, and green pumpkin. If you have a specific lure or color, you can fish confidentially then throw it in your bank fishing tackle box. Every spot and day can vary, so having the bank fishing lures you feel confident in is essential.
Bass Fishing From The bank Takeaways
Overall, bank fishing is an excellent way to catch bass any day easily. It allows you to cover more ground and sneak into the hard-to-reach places and land a big bass that boats wouldn’t be able to reach. However, catching bass from the bank requires a bit of stealth and determination to find the best spots without spooking fish in shallow areas. Limit your rigs and lures to keep your tackle bag light. Instead, have a few different types of fishing lures with you to be ready for any occasion, like some swimbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures.
As you get more familiar with a particular area, you will notice which lures work to attract more bass than other lures. Try to take a lap and scout out the canal or lake to increase your odds by spending more time on spots most likely to hold fish.