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What's y'all's take on fishing from bank or boat? For me, a 6 hour fishing trip on the bank will bring me dozens of perch and if I'm "lucky" 1 or 2 smallmouth! I do not have a boat but those who do would you say almost a better chance of catching those largemouths!? But being a 17 year old I don't really have the capability of purchasing a boat so it will stay bank for me! Where would a bass worthy spot be located?? As far as vegetation, weather, condition of water and what not. Haha And don't hesitate to leave some tips and tricks on how you bag those lunkers! Thanks guys, tight lines.

-Steven

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A boat will get you to more places where fish could be but wont necessarily mean you will catch more. Ive been on boat with 3 people and been lucky to get one bass total at times.

Once with my buddies I didnt care for ones technique of drifting a dam side over and over and over. After about 3hrs of nothing I asked to drop me at the bank and within 4 casts had a bass.

 

Tip: if you have weedmat like in my pic I drag senko or Palm Tree over them hit little open pockets it drops and bam fish on or they hit through it, good shore tactic. A hollow frog could work too but my hook-up % is awful and those wont fall in the pockets.

 

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I know a LOT of guys who catch a lot of fish who don't own a power boat and seldom bank fish. We are lucky enough to live near several rivers that are shallow enough to wade and contain smallmouth. They also use canoes and kayaks which can be bought without a lot of money. Any rivers near where you live?

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I don't have a boat, and probably won't for a while. I have a lot of little ponds around me, but I have grabbed an occasional 3-4lbs largemouth by fishing a texas rig in and around timber, back in little corners (coves). There are a lot of dinkers to be had as well, you just have to figure out where they are going to be at your body of water and what they're hitting on. My advice is to go out with several colors of soft plastics and maybe some JJ's Magic to try some color combinations on a texas rig. Throw in and around trees. Throw along the grass. You can even find them in the shade of a tree when the sun is out and it's hot. Where I am at, I can try throwing everything in every combination, but if I want to consistently catch largemouth, I have to through a texas rigged soft plastic, usually watermelon or green pumpkin with blue JJ's Magic on the end of a worm or crawdad or black/sapphire Yum baby brush hogs or their wooly bug (same color). That's just what they hit on here. You'll have to figure out what they want where you're at. If I dip those same baits with the Red JJ's Magic, I get the bass to run away and the bluegill tear apart my bait in one retrieve. I don't know if this was helpful or rambling at this point. Good luck. 

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"The grass is always greener", so I would opt for a boat 9 times out of 10 since I don't have one and am stuck on land. However, I have frequently thought that it is easier to be able to just pull up to a spot and start fishing and you can't really do that with a boat. I'd still rather fish from a boat most times though since you can get to A LOT more spots than you can from shore and your techniques aren't so limited.

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Man you're about the perfect age to buy a small boat. I did odd jobs and saved every penny I could get my hands on and bought my first 2 man when I was 13. When I turned 16 I got a real job and bought a nicer 2 man and then a used 17' Ranger when I was 17. You can buy a new 14' Jon boat or 2 man, trolling motor, and battery for less than $1,000. Even with a minimum wage job you shouldn't have much to pay for at your age so you could get a small boat pretty easy, just a thought. Obviously I much prefer to fish from a boat :)

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I'm stuck on the bank as well with no boat in the foreseeable future.  Like others have said, a boat will open up more water/spots for you to fish but it is what it is.  You just gotta make the best of what you got (or buy a boat, kayak, float tube, etc.).  Pretty much all of the lakes that I fish are only 6-8 feet at their deepest point and even on my longest casts, I'd be surprised if I were hitting the deep water.  The majority of my fishing is done shallow.  Probably no more than 4-5 feet.  Fish every piece of cover you can see.  Run weightless soft plastics across the tops of weed mats and lily pads, toss jigs and t-rigs to stumps, logs, and brush piles,  run a squarebill crank or spook along the edge of weed lines, or fan-cast a spinnerbait or lipless crank.  If you wear sunglasses with polarized lenses it will take some of the glare off the water and you can see what's on the bottom a little better.  If you can make out an area that looks a little deeper, like maybe it drops off, cast past it.  Sometimes the fish will be right there by the drop-off.  Same thing with points.  Fish any points you see.  Fish both sides of it.  I went out with a guy I work with this morning and watched him pull 2 fish off this point about 5 minutes apart and the water wasn't more than 2 feet deep.  Also when I fish from the shore, I always fish the bait all the way back to me (as opposed to just reeling in real quick when your almost to the shore).  There's been quite a few times when I've had a fish grab my bait right at the shore line.  One fish followed my spinnerbait all the way in and hit in 6 inches of water just before I lifted it out.  Another thing is that if you can see the fish, the fish can see you.  Try not to wear brightly colored clothing and blend into the environment as best you can and walk as quietly as you can so you don't spook any fish that are right there near the bank.  Hope this helps.

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I " beat the banks " is what I call it all the time since I don't own a boat either, everything above posted is right. When you're on the banks looknfor those trees hanging over the water, that grass coming out of the water and find areas where there are drop offs some may be out of casting distance some not one place I hit about 50ft out it goes from a shallow 10' to a ledge that drops down to 30'. Watch everything around you and yourself pay attention to what you did to get that fish hooked and where you were. Sometimes its blind luck but most the time its location and presentation. Good luck man.

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You don´t need a boat to catch more or bigger, for the better part of my life I´ve fished from the bank and caught a huge bunch of bice fish from the bank; even though I now own a jonboat you are not going to believe it but I don´t fish from it that much. Nobody can say that there aren´t advantages about fishing from a boat, but it´s not strictly necessary, there are also disadvantages to owning a boat, besides the boat you need something to carry it, I´m short and skinny and even though it is only a 12 fter well, it´s not that heavy but it´s heavy, long and wide enough for me to make it really hard trying to cartop ot on my own.


 


If you still want to take off from the shore there are several solutions other than a "boat", unless you live where gators are then personal watercrafts like belly boats are a relatively cheap way to leave the banks to those poor earth bound pedestrian anglers.


 


There´s a nice lake about 2 hour drive from my neck of the woods, it has produced regularily fish over 10 pounds, the use of gas engines is forbidden, only electric motors and guess what ? it´s belly & kayak boaters catching the beeg feesh.( and when we guys down here say "beeg feesh" we don´t mean 4-5 lbs "dinks"  )


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Fishing from shore is my main thing.  The difference between fishing from shore and a boat is its only backwards.  Think about it we cast out from shore and cast to the shore from a boat.  Both directions does work. I would suggest getting more into the bass sized lures it will keep the smaller pesky fish away. But when using lets say a #3 mepps inline and the bass bite slows down try a mepps #4 or #5.   I do find the larger fish get noisy and will cruise into see what the smaller fish are hitting on.  But they wont strike the smaller lures. You can pick out the larger fish just go slow.

 

We do rent boats at times.

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Steve, listen to what Bluebasser86 posted. It's spot on. If you have the ability to make $$ here and there, look at small boats and good little trolling motors and your in business. When I was your age moons ago, a friend of mine lived on a 5 acre lake and he had an old aluminum 8ft boat. I bought a paddle,some rope, and cinder block for an anchor. I would fish in that little boat for hours. Didn't know much about how to really bass fish, but I had a blast. I have a bass boat now and I do not get to go out as often as I like, so the majority of my fishing is from the bank. Yes, bank fishing will produce you fish and sometimes trophy's but a boat provides with more opportunities and accessibility that you can not get from the bank.

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Man I am stuck on the bank and everyday wish I could be in a boat.

 

ALL BANK FISHERMEN have been like d@mn I wish I had a boat to get to these spots! For me its an every day thought, one day I will have one!

 

Anybody close to Jacksonville, FL want to take me out on a boat? lol PM me

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I'll hit the bank for some pond hopping if i don't have time for a proper run to the lake. Both have their advantages, but given time I'll take the boat or my float tube.

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Man you're about the perfect age to buy a small boat. I did odd jobs and saved every penny I could get my hands on and bought my first 2 man when I was 13. When I turned 16 I got a real job and bought a nicer 2 man and then a used 17' Ranger when I was 17. You can buy a new 14' Jon boat or 2 man, trolling motor, and battery for less than $1,000. Even with a minimum wage job you shouldn't have much to pay for at your age so you could get a small boat pretty easy, just a thought. Obviously I much prefer to fish from a boat :)

i agree with bluebsasser, up until last year i was mostly a bank fisherman, until i was fourtunate enough to get a boat, but as far as spots if you can in any way get to some points there is usually always fish hanging around points. if you do get some cash saved for a good jon boat you can have as much sucess and fun as you would in a bigger boat.

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lol i have 2 boats and i hardly use them ....its too much work and you can do just as good from land you just have to figure what works thats all

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I was a bank fisherman until I decided to get a 2 man pond hopper best thing I ever did not only could I hit the places I hit on shore now I can hit the whole lake which doubles my capacity to catch fish. I got a 2 man for 100$ and a 55lb thrust trolling motor 100$ all on craigslist. my battery cost 100$ but I bought it new which I would do since you will want a good power source. its easy to load and unload cause I have a truck I agree with bluesbasser once you get one your shore days are over. of course your limited to smaller lakes but have more opportunities to get the big ones when they move from the shallows to deeper water just my opinion cause ive done it . if you go to the bass raider plastic boat blog on here they will show you how to deck one out but its costly to do what they do to them.

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. if you go to the bass raider plastic boat blog on here they will show you how to deck one out but its costly to do what they do to them.

 

Can you provide a link to what your referencing here?

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Boat hands down, if for no other fact more total area of the body of water can be covered.  I'm a member of a boat club, great concept but I'm limited with it.  

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I like fishing from a boat but fishing from the bank i can get to some better spots. I'm primarily a bank fishermen but I get out on a bass boat through my church's bass club. The way I see it largemouth are always in the shallows. While some go deep, there will always be some in the shallows because that's where the food is. I caught my personal best which is only 4.5 in a spot where you can't get to by boat. Just because it was only 2 foot of water, lots of stumps, and TONS of hydrilla. But, in the boat you can get to more spots faster. It also depends on what rigs you like to fish. In the spots that I fish, you won't ever see me fishing a carolina rig or something like that from the bank. I mainly limit myself to Texas rigs, shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, topwaters, and dropshots. Maybe some wacky rigging  depending on what structure is around. I may prefer to fish from a boat, but I would still target shallows 80% of the time. I would check out one of those bass raiders, because there are some really big fish in ponds. Man, I've been saving my money to get one and I'm only 13. Probably easier for a 17 year old to get money than a 13 year old.

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Alright, I was a bank beater for many years, and caught a lot of fish that way. WAY better than sitting at home because you don't have a boat :)

 

One thing I have not seen reading over all of these posts > Is the often GREAT advantage a shore fisherman has at getting a big fish to eat in the first place ! People don't seem to realize how acutely aware a big bass is of its surroundings and any "intruders" which have come into there territory.

 

MANY times I have used the boat, only to get me to an area of the lake that I could not get to by land, only to beach the boat, and get out and shore fish {how often would you see a glitter rocket beached up on the gravel, while the angler fished from shore ?}

 

Here's a couple good ones I caught from the shore...

 

Saw this 14.4 from my boat, but could not get it to come into the boat. I'm sure it felt trapped between my boat and the shoreline. So I went down about 75 feet, beached the boat, came back and stuck it on the first cast ;)

9E9FEF81716D431AAACB7B80CE5ECAF4.jpg

 

This 15.8 was hanging out right about where "most" fishermen would have pulled up and parked their boats :) Which was good for me :)

 

E8C5C083D7364695AA11DBA38DDB8F1A.jpg

 

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of course a boat is a huge investement but im only talking a bout a little pond small lake hopper I can get almost everywhere I want to go with it and yes I have got out to hit spots on land before but usually I cant access those spots from land by walking (which means there not pressured a lot). I think it also depend if your a fairweather fisherman and you like to drive up to your spot and fish or your willing to beat the bushes to get those hard to reach spots. also here in Kansas most lakes are surrounded by a good portion of heavy woods which makes it impossible to get to except by boat. now when can I get invited to Cali to catch some of those monsters FISH CHRIS boat or no boat. wish we had that size out here.

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Yea'...... That place {San Pablo Dam Res} used to be awesome. But the Spotted Bass have just flat taken over, and outcompeted the baby Florida's to the point, they are all but gone :(

 

Then at Rancho Seco, where I got my 18.4 lb PB, and still the lake record, first, it had some kind of huge big bass die off (I personally believe it was something 'like' the LMB virus that some places in the Southern US have experienced)

Next, they started getting rain run off, instead of well water, and the entire dynamics of the lake changed. It got murky, all the tons of water plants died. Now it has a small population of dinks, some Sunfish, and trout whenever they dump them in for a derby or something.

After I caught the Lk. record, I had said, I wouldn't care if somebody broke it later.... and that records were made to be broken. But at this point it doesn't even look possible. You rarely here of a 10 lb'er now, let alone an 18.4+....

Then I heard, that when the lease on the land runs out in a few more years, the park would likely be closed, and the land sold to the highest bidder

 

 

We still have some HUGE 20,000+ acre lakes, like Don Pedro, or my home lake Berryessa, which have a top end up 17-18 lbs.... but the big ones are VERY hard to find, and I believe, hang suspended, way offshore, most of the time. So it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

 

Fish

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of course a boat is a huge investement but im only talking a bout a little pond small lake hopper I can get almost everywhere I want to go with it and yes I have got out to hit spots on land before but usually I cant access those spots from land by walking (which means there not pressured a lot). I think it also depend if your a fairweather fisherman and you like to drive up to your spot and fish or your willing to beat the bushes to get those hard to reach spots. also here in Kansas most lakes are surrounded by a good portion of heavy woods which makes it impossible to get to except by boat. now when can I get invited to Cali to catch some of those monsters FISH CHRIS boat or no boat. wish we had that size out here.

No joke, both of those fish are bigger than our state record by a good margin. 

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