Bass Fishing from Shore, part 1

In this multiple part article, I am going to be going over some tips and tricks that have worked effectively, for me, when bass fishing from the bank. Simple steps and techniques that can help set you apart from other land locked hawg hunters. I’ve been fishing my whole life, and like most people, started out flat footed on mud, sand, dirt, or whatever else may border the small lakes and rivers I could find. Over the years, I have observed plenty of people doing minor things, and been guilty of some myself, that hindered their ability to find and catch bass consistently.

First thing, take a look at what you wear when you go bank fishing. Now when I say this, I don’t mean you have to do your best impression of the ‘girl that everyone hates’ who puts on her hair and makeup before hitting the water. What I’m referring to is more about color. Have you ever walked down the bank and you see a swirl in the water, just off the bank about 10 feet in front of you? It means the bass can see you. Whenever I go bank fishing, I do my best to wear a ‘natural’ color. Light blue, grey, soft green, tan, something that is not going to reflect light well enough to guide a plane into the airport. Too often I see people wearing bright orange, bright yellow, BRIGHT colors, and all that does is stand out. In all reality, if you can see the bass, they can see you, and when you can’t see the bass, a lot of times they can still see you. Natural colors allow you to stand a little closer to the water without sending off an alarm to scatter every bass in the area.

In addition to what I’m wearing, I make a point of knowing where I’m going. Whenever I find myself going to a new body of water, I ALWAYS get information on it when possible. The message board can be your best key. If there is a body of water that has bass in it, there’s a reason why you found out about it. Someone has fished it before, and been successful. Not only do I try to pick the brains of people who have been there before, but I will go onto the Internet and get overhead shots of it. The easiest tool to use for this is Google Earth. Satellite imagery is HUGE, and it’s a very effective tool when scouting a body of water you’re not familiar with.

The final thing I have made a habit of doing, is when I’m fishing soft plastic, I will cast out and kneel down. I do this for a couple of reasons; the first one is related to my previous paragraph. It removes my silhouette from the ‘skyline’, therefore, making me less visible to bass in the area. This prevents spooking the bass. The other reason, I do this, is it brings my eye level closer to the water. When I fish with plastics, I’m a HUGE line watcher. I keep my eyes on my line no matter what it is, Stick-bait, Worm, Lizard, Tube, even Jigs and creature baits. Lowering my eye level allows me to focus on the line, while still being able to, within my peripheral vision, keep aware of the surrounding area. If I’m watching my line, standing up, I’m looking almost directly down at the line, eliminating my vision to the majority of the surrounding area. When I’m kneeling down, and a school of bait fish start hitting the surface, the movement catches my attention, and I will then start casting towards the school with a crank bait or jerkbait. Being lower to the ground allows you to keep a low profile, as well as allows you to see more.

Many little things can make or break your day when it comes to fishing. Are any of these tips going to make all the difference? Probably not. Will these little things give you a leg up on the next guy? Absolutely. You can go out and do NONE of these things and still catch bass effectively; but as everyone who has ever tried to figure out bass knows, the best way to be effective is to take away the variables that are preventing you from catching fish.

Derek Gardner

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