ohihunter2014

bank fishing-what to look for?

39 posts in this topic

Get as much info before you leave home for any body of water.  Google earth will supply you a host of valuable info.  Study the shape of the lake and the bank itself.  Often you can see down in the water depending on the clarity of the water.  Once at the lake, study the shore line.  Often a steep slope above the water line will continue under the water.  A gradual slop may indicate a flat under the water.  

 

Then check your vegetation.  If you have vegetation in the shallows, and it suddenly stops, this often represents a sudden depth change.  This is often a honey hole area, especially if there is a long line of vegetation at the top of a drop off line.  Hit the drop off hard, bass often hang just off the drop-off at various depths, especially in summer.   Then look for more then one type of vegetation in close proximity to each other.  Several different types together, are always better then just one type of vegetation.  Then look for isolated clumps of vegetation in a big flat, this is usually better then a large expanse of weeds or pads.  The reason being, the isolated clump will draw bass to one location for cover, shade, and ambush point.  A mass of vegetation on a flat, they will be scatter throughout and harder to catch.  Then look for culvert pipes, water intake flows, and exit flows, these will provide current at times, and position bigger bass for easy ambush points.  These are a few observation I always do before ever casting a lure in a new body of water.

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Number one rule is to fish any visible structure you can find:rocks, logs, overhangs, and vegetation. Probably the best tactic would be to fish any area where there is a transition, for example where a sandy area transitions into a rocky or vegetated area. These are especially key because they tend to be hotspots for bass plus you will avoid hang-ups since you are not casting directly into dense vegetation or in between too many rocks. If you can't find fish in these spots I would change it up to a moving bait just to cover a lot water and see if you can find a bass that way.

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On 4/12/2017 at 6:46 PM, RoLo said:

As always, the very first step is to get your hands on the best hydrographic chart available.

For the bank-fisherman, the most convenient contour map is on the micro-SD card in your handheld GPS unit.

 

Did you say the waterbody is uncharted?  So much the better!

Go to Google Earth and scrutinize the lay of the land, the surface vegetation, tributary streams,

associated swamps, ad infinitum. No need to wet a line before your homework is done. 

 

In the field, study the entire shoreline closely, the grade of the slope entering the lake (declivity).

the soil composition of the bank (sand, clay, marl, rock ~), and note the emergent plants growing

along the shoreline perimeter. Due diligence always pays dividends   :wink7:

 

Roger

 

 

 

 

Good advice.

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I like the find smaller body of water. lots of great tips posted. don't be afraid to try new things

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Another good tip for bank fishing is to try fishing at night in places you would usually fish during the day.A lot of times bass are more active at night,especially in bodies of water that are hit hard by fishermen,pleasure boaters,etc.

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Everyone pretty much summed it up.  My 2 cents would be to look for where moving water is getting pushed into the system you are fishing.  As others have said, this can come in many forms from channels, creeks, rivermouths, pond fountain systems, etc.  Usually that's where the baitfish stack up as well.

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If you can see bait fish or any type of structure thats a good sign also any trees next to the bank or submerged are my personal favorite.

 

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The lakes around here  shad are thick everywhere . Find the baitfish and bass are close by ? Then I should be catching  bass anywhere .

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I'm 60 plus yrs. and have done my share of bank fishing on large bodies of water. Check out where the boats are docked, marinas, if you can fish them and get good at pitching. Forget trying to find a cove to fish other than the spawn. GO, especially in the early morning,  to the dam. Make sure it's safe but I can assure the LMB is at the proximity of the dam. The T-Rigged worm works very well. 

 

No silver bullet that will erase bad days but being persistent will put a smile on your face.

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On 4/12/2017 at 9:47 PM, geo g said:

Get as much info before you leave home for any body of water.  Google earth will supply you a host of valuable info.  Study the shape of the lake and the bank itself.  Often you can see down in the water depending on the clarity of the water.  Once at the lake, study the shore line.  Often a steep slope above the water line will continue under the water.  A gradual slop may indicate a flat under the water.  

 

Then check your vegetation.  If you have vegetation in the shallows, and it suddenly stops, this often represents a sudden depth change.  This is often a honey hole area, especially if there is a long line of vegetation at the top of a drop off line.  Hit the drop off hard, bass often hang just off the drop-off at various depths, especially in summer.   Then look for more then one type of vegetation in close proximity to each other.  Several different types together, are always better then just one type of vegetation.  Then look for isolated clumps of vegetation in a big flat, this is usually better then a large expanse of weeds or pads.  The reason being, the isolated clump will draw bass to one location for cover, shade, and ambush point.  A mass of vegetation on a flat, they will be scatter throughout and harder to catch.  Then look for culvert pipes, water intake flows, and exit flows, these will provide current at times, and position bigger bass for easy ambush points.  These are a few observation I always do before ever casting a lure in a new body of water.

 

+1  Forgot about Google Earth.  Especially when fishing somewhere for the first time, it's a great idea to try and locate areas to hit that look good.  The Navionics Boating App for $10 is also a great start in the right direction.  You can mark waypoints on your smartphone and the satellite connected to the app will always show where you are and in what direction you are going with or without service.  Downloading your local lake maps/regions you will be fishing is free after purchase.

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I would also suggest to budget as much as possible and try and save up for a boat, of any kind.

 

i got a sweet deal on an older boat for $1,800 2 years ago and I've caught more fish and been more excited about fishing than ever.

 

$1,800 is no small amount and if you keep an eye out you'll be able to find something cheaper that will still get you out on the water.  When I was adding up how much I spent on lures and gear each year, I made the choice to hold off on that and save up for a boat.  I've bank fished a lot and you can catch fish doing that, but a watercraft of any kind will lead into many more possibilities.

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All depends on what time of year and water temps to be very general...the more you know about their habits pertains to those two things the better you'll know where to look

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I would suggest bank fishing from smaller ponds and getting away from the larger bodies of water.

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The first thing I look for when bank fishing.....is the bank :P My initial casts are always parallel down the bank. Some lakes and trips I might never make a cast more than 10' off the shoreline. Any pieces of cover along the bank are bonus.

 

Next thing is deeper water. Always good to know if and where the deepest water in the area comes closest to the shoreline.

 

Finally, look for roads, bridges, boat ramps, jettys and causeways. Almost always some bass holding around the riprap and other hard bottom areas these are built on or protected by.

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