Bank Fishing Tips

I have done a lot of fishing from the bank and so do most other anglers.

It can feel like you are missing out, but fishing from the bank does not have to be a disadvantage.

You can bank fish with a few tips and tricks.


Six Tips for Bank Fishing:


This tip is the best tip to tip the odds in favor of you.

Prey fish are very well-equipped to see from the bottom, so they can hunt down prey below. This means they can see above the water surface for unlucky insects or unwary fish.

You can spook the fish if you get too close to it.

This has happened to me many times with trout and bass. A fisherman believes that casting is best in the dead of the water. As they move forward, there’s a quick swirling of watermarks that indicate where the fish was searching in the shallows.

It is gone, and it won’t return for hours if any.

This fly angler is not letting his guard down for good.

So, no matter if I’m fishing in a small pond in Louisiana or Montana, I always wear dark colors and camouflage. To avoid standing out against the sky, I keep my profile low and keep the vegetation behind me.

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This may seem like a lot of trouble, but stealth is worth it!

Stay Mobile

I will have more to say on casting in a second, but for now, let me get this out.

When I choose a spot to fish, the first thing that comes to my mind is to find fish. I will usually cast one of the most effective lures and make several careful runs in shallow water before hitting any cover or structure.

I work methodically and have a plan. If nothing happens within the first few minutes, I move on.

Your legs will be your best friend in finding fish since you are landlocked. You must continue moving to other possible spots and remain stealthy.

Do not be a slave to an area that isn’t productive. Stay mobile and give the water a chance.

It’s possible to go back to the previous spot later if you need it.

Be Light

This tip is a great way to stay mobile.

The ideal is a small and lightweight pack.

You can bring your tackle boxes and bags to a big bass boat. If you need a hand cart, you are welcome to use it!

However, if you are on dry ground, you will need to carry a small backpack. This means that you should only bring the essentials.

This is what it usually means for me:

  • A good fishing knife
  • Fishing pliers
  • Line
  • Split shot/weights
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • 5-6 crankbaits/spinners
  • 5-6 topwater lures
  • jig heads
  • A few options for soft plastic
  • Bobbers

This list can be updated to reflect the species I am after. For crappie, I would drop topwater and crankbaits and add slip flotation, stops, and beads. A bait bucket with minnows might be something I bring.

I also vary my lure selection by species and try to fit it all in one hard plastic box.

I think you get the idea.

It is important to keep your bag light and easy to carry.

Take a good look around

You’ve reached a good spot and have stayed away from the water. Now you are ready to go.

Now what?

Take a deep breath, slow down and stop to take in the world around you.

How does the shoreline look? What is the speed at which the water gets deep?

Is there any cover to protect prey from predators and avoid being eaten? Is there any structure that could be holding fish?

You don’t know where to start?

Assess, assess, then assess.

It’s now time to create a game plan.

Cast with a Plan

On the first cast, you can clearly tell the difference between a veteran and a novice.

It is not their ability to catch the lure but where matters.

An angler novice just sees water. What does see?

After taking a look at the shoreline, experienced anglers will approach it. They will usually start by casting a few long parallel casts to either side of the shoreline, searching for shallow fish.

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They’ll then begin to remove any cover or structure that they can see and break the water into sections for each fish.

They’ll also work on any points, drops, or holes that they find.

They’ll then move on to the next place, starting over.

Fishfinders are essential!

Consider investing in a castable fishfinder such as the ones offered by Deeper.

This technology is now very popular and can be paired with your smartphone to make it even more impressive. A good fish finder will help you locate submerged structures and cover that hold fish. It can also locate schools of prey and pinpoint big predators who may be there to feed on them.

Anglers who fish a lot from the bank will find this invaluable.

Last Thoughts

Bank fishing is not something I mind at all. I have learned some tricks to increase my chances of success.

I hope you feel the same, and I would love to hear if you have any new fishing tips.

We’d love to hear your feedback as always. Please leave a comment and remember to check out our other fishing tips!

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.