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Felix77

Bank Fishing - Search Bait

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All,

I like to explore new lakes all the time. Even those I have no clue about. I generally fish slow from shore which is effective when I find fish but not good for covering water. Any thoughts on a search bait from the bank which works for you?

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It all depends on the spot of course, but I like a spinnerbait if the season is correct. To be honest though I usually start out with a T rigged worm when I'm not on the boat. If there is cover or structure that I have access to fish, I will flip it to death with a jig and them with a soft plastic like a pit boss. After that I will toss that worm around and work the bottom near the structure slowly.

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Most of the time I use a spinner bait to search from shore. If you prefer slow and with soft plastics I would suggest a split shot rig with a baby rage craw, or smaller curly tail worm. You can fish it faster than a Texas rigged worm, but it is slower than a spinnerbait. A slow, but constant, retrieve with few pauses or pops here and there is how i usually fish it.

 

If you go the route of a spinnerbait, just fan cast everywhere, with a constant retrieve. Make sure to give it some action, don't just reel it straight in. Jerk, pop, pause it. Speed it up and slow it down. Size 3/8oz and white is what I recommend.

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I will second Scorcher. A split shot rig on light tackle is a great start. I don't have a lot of confidence in spinnerbaits, so I toss soft plastic paddle tails and squarebills when I want to cover water a bit faster.

Show up at daylight in the warm months and throw a ribbit or popper. If fish are there, you will know shortly.

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It might depend upon how your lakes set up and the time of year. Are you fishing primarily open water, rocks, scattered brush, light to heavy weeds? It would really depend I guess but the few local lakes I fish from the shore my go to is a weightless bait. Typically a fluke or caffeine shad. For 75% of the year the lakes are pretty weed choked. At times I can litterally take a pack of 4/0 hooks, some pliers, and a few plastic baits and one outfit and be set.

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Crank baits and spinnerbaits. Cover water then slow it down and fish t rigs and stuff like that.

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I will second Scorcher. A split shot rig on light tackle is a great start. I don't have a lot of confidence in spinnerbaits, so I toss soft plastic paddle tails and squarebills when I want to cover water a bit faster.

Show up at daylight in the warm months and throw a ribbit or popper. If fish are there, you will know shortly.

X's 2 and its one of the most exciting ways to fish.

 

I don't own a boat so I have no choice but to fish from the bank.  For covering water I throw crankbaits.  Mostly squarebills since my lakes are really shallow.  Im certain a spinnerbait would work just as well but for some reason Ive never gotten a bite on a spinnerbait.  This is gonna be the year though.

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A topwater like a spook or a popper if conditions seem remotely favorable.

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Here is something to consider and this represents a bit of a reversal regarding your mindset when initially fishing a spot.

 

 I have changed my approach a bit when it comes to initially fishing a promising spot. Traditionally I would use "search" type baits to find biters and then slow down with a jig to find a bigger bite. But recently I have reversed the order and fished the jig first. Instead of initially beating the water to a froth by machine gunning a spinner bait through it for 30 minutes I spend some time sneaking a jig around the best spots. It's been a good deal for me and sometimes I end up never putting the jig rod down all day.

 

A swimjig, worked a little slower, could be the ticket for you as well.

 

 

 

A-Jay

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For me spring and fall is the time I try and locate them on a spinnerbait and then I'll disect the area with something slower like a jig, tube or t-rig.

 

In the Summer, I like to cast a spook type lure as far as I can and walk it fairly quickly until I get a strike. Once I get a bite, I make a mental note as to where the strike happened and I'll follow up with a slower bait to just beyond the area the strike happened. This follow up gives me an idea of a few tings: Water depth they are relating to, cover/structure and if the area is shaded or in sun light. It make not sound like a ton of information, but it's a start to the puzzle for me.

 

A-Jay, I may have to steal a page out of your playbook this year. With your permission of course...LOL

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I am an exclusive shore fisherman and find that I like certain baits for covering water as well. a spinnerbait is my first choice, but you should also check out chatterbaits. they have a great action and throw out a ton of vibrations and flash. I don't usually use the big ones, however. if you can find them, I believe that the "mini chatterbaits" work better and are slightly more bite sized. I often have that as a search bait, and it really brings fish out from cover to hit it. many times, they will follow it but not hit it, and that's when I follow it up with a more subtle presentation, like a Texas rigged ribbontail or a creature bait like a baby brush hog. this system allows me to find bass quickly and if needed, slow down and tempt them into biting. if they hit the chatterbait or spinnerbait, which they often do, then that's a bonus!

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Fishing from shore certainly does present it's challenges, that's for sure! Biggest problem is finding a search bait that won't hang up easily. Especially since you do not have a retrieval method (if you hang bottom) in most cases. So that kinda limits you, depending on the type of area you are fishing. (You can't search with a rattle trap type lure if the bottom has a lot of timber for instance.)

 

Good search baits would include the spinnerbait and most any top water - again, depending on time of year and structure you are fishing. The thing of it is, unless you have an un-incumbered shoreline to walk, you can cover the area you are fishing in about a 1/2 doz. casts to "find" active fish. And if you spook 'em doing that, you're less likely to get bit with a follow-up finesse presentation. I'd rather approach shoreline fishing as more of a "pick-apart" opportunity vs. searching per say. I pick away at the structure I have access to, with jigs, worms, drop shot and like finesse techniques. If you are boat fishing, that's a horse of another color entirely of course. :)

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For me spring and fall is the time I try and locate them on a spinnerbait and then I'll disect the area with something slower like a jig, tube or t-rig.

 

In the Summer, I like to cast a spook type lure as far as I can and walk it fairly quickly until I get a strike. Once I get a bite, I make a mental note as to where the strike happened and I'll follow up with a slower bait to just beyond the area the strike happened. This follow up gives me an idea of a few tings: Water depth they are relating to, cover/structure and if the area is shaded or in sun light. It make not sound like a ton of information, but it's a start to the puzzle for me.

 

A-Jay, I may have to steal a page out of your playbook this year. With your permission of course...LOL

 Ok well, thanks for the props but this is far from something that I would ever claim as being mine.

 

But I'd encourage you to try it.  You've got nothing to lose.  You won't disturb the water, you can still go back over the area with any number of "Search baits"

 

By choosing a jig as your choice to "Search", you could see the biggest Bite First.

 

btw - this rig is quite effective especially from shore.

 

A-Jay

 

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I always start with top water, either a Sammy or hornytoad. If no bites I go to jerkbaits, then lipless cranks, then senkos, then shakeyhead/drop shot.

This method usually works well for me.

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I always start off with a rattle trap. 

Yep!! Especially in cold weather.

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It depends on the cover.  If there are a lot of weeds I will start with a fluke or a spinnerbait.  If there is a lot of open water I will throw a rat-l-trap.

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