6 Essential Bank Fishing Tips

In this article, we will take a look at 6 tips to make your next bank fishing trip more successful. 

The majority of fishermen start out bank fishing. In fact, some of my best memories involve fishing from the bank. There are numerous reasons that someone may bank fish. Maybe they don’t want to spend the money on a new boat, or the body of water they are fishing is too small for a boat. Whatever the reason may be, bank fishing can be a productive and fun way to catch fish. Usually bank fishing requires less equipment than fishing from a boat. It can be a great option if you are in a time crunch and offers the chance to get others involved and introduce them to the successes bank fishing can allow. Let’s take a look at these bank fishing tips.

Stealth is Key

Use stealth to avoid scaring wary fish

When approaching the water, try to refrain from walking right up to the water’s edge prior to casting. Take the time to stand back and scan the area around the bank. It is also a good idea to cast while back from the edge of the bank prior to moving up and fishing directly from the bank. I have surprised countless fish by approaching too quickly. You may have an opportunity to hook a fish right off the bat if you take the time to scout appropriately. It is also important to not be loud and making abrupt motions when fishing. The fish can see and hear quite well and will move away if they hear or see you in the area. This isn’t to say you can’t talk while on the water, but just keep it down and avoid shouting. Remember that in order to catch fish, we must fool them. The best way to do that is by using stealth and not letting them know you are in the area. 

Mobility is Your Friend

Pack light and stay mobile when bank fishing

I try to bring along a tackle box that I can easily carry around and transport when bank fishing. There is a chance that I will walk a great deal when bank fishing depending on the size of the lake or pond. Don’t be afraid to walk to less popular fishing spots to begin fishing. Areas that are more difficult to get to are often better areas to target fish. Make sure to always wear comfortable clothing and footwear because you never know when you will need to hike to access the best spots. Lots of fishermen will move frequently until they are able to catch fish in a general area. They will then determine what the fish are biting and utilize that technique throughout the rest of the body of water. Don’t be afraid to implement this technique. 

Dress Dark 

Wear dark clothes to avoid spooking fish

If there is any advice I remember my grandad telling me, it was about dark clothing. If you think of it from the fish’s perspective, it makes a lot of sense. When the fish look up, the trees and cover look dark to them. By wearing dark colors, we are camouflaging ourselves to the fish. Brights and whites will alert the fish to your presence and greatly hinder your opportunity to be successful. It can be intimidating to think about dressing dark in the middle of summer, but it is very necessary. Use those opportunities to find cover and shade to fish from. [1]

Use Finesse First 

Weightless worms are an excellent finesse bait

Just as we talked about being stealthy with our approach to the water, try employing that tactic with your lures. Finesse techniques can be very successful when first approaching a body of water. These techniques generally present the bait in a subtle way that does not surprise the fish. Many anglers will want to start out with an attention grabbing bait, such as a topwater. This tactic can backfire in some instances. Some fish will find the noise to be too much and will swim in the opposite direction. Try the finesse techniques first and see what fish you are able to pick off. Once you have had your fill of the finesse techniques, switch back to the more noisy presentations. This can be a very effective tactic in ponds that do not get a lot of pressure. 

Watch for Environmental Factors 

Windblown banks and shady areas can hold numbers of good fish

If fishing on a body of water that is fairly absent of any type of cover, make sure to pay attention to the environmental factors present. When talking about environmental factors, there are generally a few to key on. Things such as shade and wind are important to pay attention to in these situations. Target the areas that are shady to find bass that are hiding out waiting to ambush prey or just trying to get out of the sun in the summer. Big bass can be found in the shady areas of limited cover lakes and ponds. Also key in on windblown banks. The banks will hold fish that are not able to fight back against the wind, such as small baitfish. Predatory fish will take this opportunity to target baitfish and can present a fantastic opportunity to for you to have a successful day. 

Patience in the Target Area

Have patience and work all angles multiple times

One of the best tips on bank fishing is to have patience in the target area. When finding great spots, take the time to fish them thoroughly. This means fishing the spot from all angles and taking advantage of these angles multiple times. It is also advisable to try out different lures in these spots. This will allow the angler to learn what the fish are biting and what presentation or angle is most appealing to them. On small bodies of water, gathering this knowledge can prove to be invaluable and will have you racking up the fish. Patience is a virtue and especially when fishing. Don’t forget to enjoy your time on the water and learn something new each time you head out. This patience will make you a much better fisherman. 

What’s Next

Get out on the water and test out these tips. I have employed them in my fishing over the years and know that I have caught more fish because of them. Remember to be stealthy and patient and enjoy your time on the water. Make sure to check out our other articles and reach out to us with any questions. Good luck out there! 

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