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Hello and thank you in advance for the help, I always seem to get it here. I want to learn to fish from the bank more. I did have a jon boat and was getting off the bank,but that is no longer an option. So until I buy a kayak I am stranded on land. So I was wondering how I can fish deeper from the shore, I see people cast to the middle of the pond / lake, and I have never seen success in that. I have always seen bass a shallow water fish even though I know that is not the case. I have been fishing large ponds small lakes, whatever you might call it. I fish the banks for hours with every bait I have and there is little to no luck, So how should I go about fishing deeper and just chucking a lure into the middle. I think it will be hard to do that without having any clue what is on the bottom.

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Keep it simple. This technique is how I've caught most of my bass. Texas rig a plastic worm (or crawfish/creature bait if you prefer) with a 1/8 - 1/4 ounce tungsten weight. (tungsten is more expensive, but worth it) Look for vegetation/trees/rocks and aim for those spots. Just hop it along the bottom and wait for the "tick" when they bite. :) 

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Typically most of my luck bank fishing comes close to the shoreline.  If you can find a point, dropoff, ditch, isolated brush, etc. within casting distance from shore it can be productive but it takes a lot of time dragging lures to find structure/cover.  You can typically see where points will be using a satellite map, and I always stop to fish them when walking the bank. 

 

Casting at a 45 degree angle with the shoreline, you can cover a range of depths depending on the layout of where you're fishing, cover a decent amount of ground horizontally, and if you get snagged you can just walk past where your lure is stuck and pull it free typically.  You said you used to fish out of a jon boat so I'm assuming you know how to fish, you just have to adjust your mentality of where the fish should be.

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Describe the water . Is there grass , trees , rocks , a dam .... is it round , irregular , clear,  dirty...

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I typically use three combos (MH casting, M casting, and ML spinning). When I start my day (usually changed many times by the end), they're rigged up to cover different parts of the water column (bottom, variable, and topwater). Then I attempt to adjust my lures to the conditions I find throughout the day. 

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Move around until you find some fish. Look for clues as to what the natural forage may be (crawfish, sunfish, perch) and adjust accordingly. Work different parts of the water column (I like jigs, swimbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, topwaters - should cover most). Fish in the same body of water may be feeding differently depending on the day/conditions. 

 

Once it gets warmer, always give a topwater bait a few tosses (especially early morning/sunset) because you never want to miss out when there's a topwater bite.

 

And oh yeah, move around!

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If you see Riprap near or on the dam in a large body of water, go there. Will be your best friend and you will catch your share of Bass.

 

Plenty of advice, written and videos, from the staff on this site on How To.

 

Been there done that...  

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You've got to identify bass habitat -where bass can make a living in your waters. They are not everywhere, esp in larger waters. One thing that would help would be to fish smaller waters, esp in winter and summer.

 

This question is the same one as a boat angler might ask. Start reading all you can on bass seasonal habits and locations. The articles and video sections here should get you in the ballpark on your waters.

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Whether you are bank fishing or fishing from a boat the fish are in the same spot. But with bank fishing the question is always, "Can I even get to that spot?" We have a ton of lagoons in our area with dense vegetation and woods surrounding the basin and since alligators are prevalent here I stay away from any areas where my egress would be impeded.

 

Here's what I do:

 

  • Plan ahead using Google Earth or Google Maps and look for areas that might hold bass (points, vegetation, streams, rip rap, man made structures, etc).
  • I don't rush to the shoreline once I get there. I take the time to look around for potential hot spots.
  • Once I find a potential hot spot I look for an area away from that where I can still reach it with an accurate cast. Not too close, and definitely not too far away where cast accuracy diminishes.
  • Tread lightly. I do not want to spook fish in areas where I want to cast.

This last one is tricky for me since we have alligators everywhere. I take a lot of extra time scouting areas from a distance if there is any potential alligator cover. I also make sure to where polarized glasses and look beneath the surface of the water where I am standing along the shore. I don't want to become gator bait.

 

If I can, I try and find a spot where I can cast along a great length of the shoreline, say at a notch in the bank or the end of the lagoon. Unlike in a boat where you dot your casts down the shoreline, if you find the right spot along the shore you can cover all of that in just a few casts. Who knows, if you do hook up it may scare off other bass along the shoreline, but so far it has worked for me.

 

 

 

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Great ideas shared already.

 

Once you do get your kayak, remember that you can now use it to pedal or paddle over to remote banks not accessible to people on foot; and, you can actually beach your kayak (on an island, a sand bar, a long isolated bank), get out and fish the bank, stretch your legs.

 

This is an especially good trick on slightly windy days. Instead of fighting the wind for position, hop out.

 

I have always loved bank fishing, make it out often just this way, leave my kayaks at home.

 

Brad

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Thank you everyone for the awesome advice. I just struggle so much on these ponds, I start to question weather there are even bass in them. The ponds are man made and just perfect circles with no difference in structure that I can see. But I will just stick to shallow fishing and hope I can catch some.

 

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A couple ponds I fish most often have some decent size bass shallow and along the drop-off about 15-25ft out from shore.  Those are obviously easy to reach.  But the biggest ones (after the spawn anyway) live out deep and stay there where they're difficult to cast far enough to get a bait.

 

Two methods I use to reach them far out.

1) The obious one.  Use a heavy bait like a tungsten football jig or big swimbait or a Whopper Plopper.

 

2) If you have a good spinning reel with a relatively long rod, set it up with 18lb Gliss for your main fishing line.  It's super lightweight, but strong and casts smoother and further than braid.  Then tie a 3-4 ft. leader of 8 or 10# fluorocarbon onto it and rig up your preferred bait

 

I like to use a Senko, either wacky or texas rigged, depending on how weedy it is.  Or if the bass are finicky, I'll tie on a drop shot.  Works like a charm and I've never had the Gliss line fail me.  My barely adequate knot-tying abilities are a different matter.

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If you are questioning if there are even bass in these ponds you fish, then it's very likely they are overfished and/or hold a very small population of bass. Also, If they are shallower local neighborhood ponds, maybe they experience fish kill in the winter, this is pretty common in the North .

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One thing I do when looking for spots to bank fish is to spend time during the spawn scouting for beds.  It’s the easiest way to be sure you are fishing water that holds bass.  Once I have found a new spot, often via google earth, I will drive over to it and make a quick lap around the shore line looking for beds.  If I don’t see any I might still give it a shot, but I will give up and move on a lot quicker. 

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Just wondering what part of the country are you in?

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 5:50 PM, BrackishBassin said:

I typically use three combos (MH casting, M casting, and ML spinning). When I start my day (usually changed many times by the end), they're rigged up to cover different parts of the water column (bottom, variable, and topwater). Then I attempt to adjust my lures to the conditions I find throughout the day. 

Yup! I do the same thing except I use a MH/MF casting instead of what I assume is a M/F. At the end of the day they're not too dissimilar though and it's a versatile set of 3 rods.

 

Sometimes instead of rigging them to cover different parts of the water column, I will think different presentations. Like say I start fishing really early in the morning, I may have a crankbait or spinnerbait rigged up. Then I'll have a ned rig or drop shot and a senko or jig on the other two rods for when the morning activity starts dying down.

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16 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

Yup! I do the same thing except I use a MH/MF casting instead of what I assume is a M/F. At the end of the day they're not too dissimilar though and it's a versatile set of 3 rods.

 

Sometimes instead of rigging them to cover different parts of the water column, I will think different presentations. Like say I start fishing really early in the morning, I may have a crankbait or spinnerbait rigged up. Then I'll have a ned rig or drop shot and a senko or jig on the other two rods for when the morning activity starts dying down.

You’re correct. It’s a M/F. If I had known more at the time, I may have considered a M/ModF or Mod, but I didn’t. However, that combo is spooled with mono and works great for almost all of my moving baits. I don’t know if the mono’s stretch combined with a little less of a backbone in the M rod that allows me to fish trebled baits effectively, or I’ve just been lucky. Either way, it works great for what I need. 

 

I don’t know why, but I get really hung up on covering the water column. May cause me to miss some fish because I refuse to move until I’ve covered bottom, variable, and top water in a specific location/stretch of bank. Doesn’t help that my new PB I caught this year came on a top water in February on a bright, sunny day with little wind. Now I have to throw a top water before I move on, or I know that there was a new PB I missed. Weird, I know. 

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15 minutes ago, BrackishBassin said:

You’re correct. It’s a M/F. If I had known more at the time, I may have considered a M/ModF or Mod, but I didn’t. However, that combo is spooled with mono and works great for almost all of my moving baits. I don’t know if the mono’s stretch combined with a little less of a backbone in the M rod that allows me to fish trebled baits effectively, or I’ve just been lucky. Either way, it works great for what I need. 

 

I don’t know why, but I get really hung up on covering the water column. May cause me to miss some fish because I refuse to move until I’ve covered bottom, variable, and top water in a specific location/stretch of bank. Doesn’t help that my new PB I caught this year came on a top water in February on a bright, sunny day with little wind. Now I have to throw a top water before I move on, or I know that there was a new PB I missed. Weird, I know. 

I am going to argue that M/F was the better choice for a bank fisherman anyway especially with just three rods. That is the preferred square bill rod for many and for a bank fisherman, it's a better option because it's common the water we fish is shallower and we may be throwing around a lot of stumps or branches, and the faster action will rebound quicker after hitting a stump and can pull a fish through weeds better too. MH/MF isn't too dissimilar in that regard, the main advantage is it's a great spinnerbait or bladed jig rod but the M/F gives you a weightless soft plastic rod.

 

I usually try to pick an area of the water column to target and change it when that doesn't work for me. Given what I know about the lake I am fishing, the time of day and time of year, I can make a guess where I'm going to have success so I will start there until I can develop a pattern.

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1 hour ago, Boomstick said:

I am going to argue that M/F was the better choice for a bank fisherman anyway. You can still fish a squarebill on M/F and for a bank fisherman, it's a better option because it's common the water we fish is shallower and we may be throwing around a lot of stumps or branches, and the faster action will rebound quicker after hitting a stump and can pull a fish through weeds better too. MH/MF isn't too dissimilar in that regard, the main advantage is it's a great spinnerbait or bladed jig rod but the M/F gives you a weightless soft plastic rod.

Interesting. Never considered throwing my weightless plastics with the M set up. I almost always throw them with either the MH (heavier plastics like senkos) or the ML spinning (trick worms and lighter stuff with lots of appendages like lizards). I’ll have to give that a shot. 

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14 minutes ago, BrackishBassin said:

Interesting. Never considered throwing my weightless plastics with the M set up. I almost always throw them with either the MH (heavier plastics like senkos) or the ML spinning (trick worms and lighter stuff with lots of appendages like lizards). I’ll have to give that a shot. 

Yeah a typical M/F rod is perfect for weightless soft plastics. I almost wish I got a M/F rod because of that, but it just so happens I really like my MH/MF Tatula glass rod so I guess it worked out.

 

 

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I wrote this a while back, but still pretty much spot on in my mind. YMMV. A little lengthy, but...

 

Long before I ever got a boat, I bank fished. I loved to fish, and this was my only option. I chased after anything and everything, whatever would bite. But the bass fishing bug quickly bit me, and it wasn’t long after that that I contracted ‘bass tournament fever’. While I could count on being paired with a boater in my club, and could occasionally hook a ride on the off weekend, most of my trips were spent at the local ponds and reservoirs walking the shoreline trying to learn to catch bass. Some of the easiest to fish and most accessible banks were riprap covered, and I coined the name “rock hopper” to refer to myself and this style of fishing. Even now I refer to bank fishermen as ‘rock hoppers’ after those early days. I literally put in hundreds of bank trips to those waters, and still to this day I spend lots of time fishing from the bank.  Due to time constraints and convenience, I probably logged 75-100 bank days each of the past couple years and more when I didn’t have a boat. I have probably caught thousands of bass from the bank and would like to pass on some of the observations and conclusions I have made during these endeavors.

 

NOT CASTING TO OR ALONG THE BANK – This is far and away the biggest mistake I see most bank bound bassers make. The old observation about noticing ‘bank fishermen cast out towards the boats’ and why ‘boat fishermen cast in toward the shore’ is really true. Bass, by nature, are largely shallow water fish. They are also very cover oriented. When you combine these two concepts you have the basis for the start of an approach.

 

In most of the lakes I fish, the best cover is along the bank. And the best way to fish that cover is to cast parallel, or nearly so, down a bank. Sometimes, just short pitches are all it takes. Why waste your time throwing out into the middle of the lake when so many fish are at your feet? The only time I throw out into deeper water (say >45 degrees off bank) is if I’m fishing a point or a known piece of structure, or in the dead of winter. Other than that, all casts are within 10’ of the shoreline. The clearer the water or the more open the shoreline, the longer and more parallel the casts. In heavy cover or small openings, small pitches and flips will suffice. Any piece of cover, no matter how insignificant gets a cast. Rocks, drains, washed in logs, weeds, lay downs, docks, you name it. Just be quiet and still and you’ll be surprised how many fish you’ll catch within 10’ of yourself. 

 

COVER WATER – Mistake number two is standing in one spot for half an hour or more and making cast after cast. Have you ever noticed how most bass boaters are always on the trolling motor covering water? If you accept the fact that most fish you’re chasing are shallow water object oriented, then probability says that the more water and spots you can cover the greater your odds of running into an aggressive (read biting) fish. This is especially important when first learning a body of water. The more water you cover the more spots (holding areas) you’ll discover. I will typically make 3-5 casts from a given area on the bank and then move 20-40’ down the bank for the next 3-5 casts. On and on it goes. You can easily cover a couple miles of bank in just a few hours. Remember, you're trying to find as many spots and as many bass as you can. Don’t wait for them to come to you, go to them. 

 

USE ONLY ONE ROD AND LURE – How many times have you seen this "mistake" made? Someone bass fishing from shore with a big tackle box or two, dragging 3 outfits through the woods, then casting a lure for 20-30 minutes at a spot, then digging into his box and changing to another lure, only to repeat the process. At this rate you might only fish 2 or 3 spots in a day. This usually doesn’t work well. The largest tackle box I ever carry with me is a tiny, flat drop-down that goes around your waist and attaches to your belt. Often times it is only an old lure box with a couple extra baits or a Ziploc bag stuffed into a pocket.

 

There are several advantages to this. One, it lets you cover water by not wasting time changing baits, thinking they’ll hit something else better. Another is that it makes you more mobile. Mobility rules from the bank. Anymore, I’ll frequently fish an entire trip without a lure change. As long as you pay attention to retying when appropriate, you’ll rarely lose too many baits. Remember, you’re fishing shallow cover close to the bank. Most times, even if you do hang, you can reach out and unsnag lures that get stuck.

 

As a side note here for those of you fishing small ponds regularly, use a different lure each trip. I had the good fortune of having 5 ponds located within a subdivision I lived in. The theory of fish becoming conditioned is definitely true, especially in these smaller bodies of water. I can’t count the number of times I’ve proven this to myself. Day one I’ll go out and catch 30 bass. If I go back out the next day with the same lure, my results will be cut in half. By the time I try this a third or fourth day, I might only catch a few. These fish get used to seeing the same bait day after day, so change up! Try a crankbait one trip, a topwater the next. Jigs on the third trip and maybe worms after that. After a week or two of not seeing the same bait twice you can usually go back in with the original bait and they’ll bite it well. 

FISH THE CONDITIONS – At first, this might not make much sense. Or maybe it’s too obvious. I’m referring to choosing the bait you throw based on the weather and water conditions you are faced with. It is usually best to not randomly select baits. Base your lure choice on weather conditions first, water (lake) conditions second and always keeping seasonal patterns in mind. For example, if you are getting ready to head out and you’re dealing with a sunny, frontal day, choose baits like jigs, worms, tubes, or single spins. On the other hand, if you have cloudy and windy conditions, maybe pack spinnerbaits, swimming grubs, shallow crankbaits, buzz baits, etc. Once you get to the lake, or if you already know what conditions to expect (water and cover), then use those to fine-tune your selections. Things like brighter colors, larger baits, or noisemakers in stained water and thinner, natural colored baits in clearer water. Likewise, if you are fishing open water conditions use grubs, crankbaits, top waters and such versus baits like jigs, worms, Senkos, single spins and so forth for heavy cover situations.

 

TIME YOUR FISHING – This is another one that may slip by most people. The best time to go fishing is whenever you can, no doubt about that. But whenever possible, choose the days and times you get to fish based on conditions. This little tip will truly maximize the number of bites you’ll get in a day. For example, everyone knows that bass generally seem to bite best first thing in the morning or right before dark, typical low light conditions. But they also bite extremely well on a good cloudy day with an approaching storm. Days with a dropping barometer come to mind, as do windy days. Try and avoid those nice, sunny, post frontal days if you can. This tactic also increases the odds of having more room for you to fish, as most bank fishermen don’t like to put up with inclement weather.

 

Another example of this tactic relates to time of year. Those extremely tough clear water lakes and ponds will give up some surprisingly good fish in the cold-water period or at night through the summer. Vice-versa, inherently murky water lakes usually aren’t all that great real early and late in the year, but can be great with the warmer weather and water conditions. If you have your choice of a couple different types of water to fish, choose according to which fits the given conditions and seasonal patterns best.

 

Finally, those odd times that create short windows of opportunity. The perfect example of this is a couple of the small ponds I fish. Almost without fail, one of the most consistent patterns is fishing the incoming flats or drains after a good rain. While you can always seem to count on one or two from these areas, these areas become incredible spots when you are able to coincide your trip with fresh, incoming water. Spots that only give up a fish or two now may give up 5 or 10 fish without moving, sometimes more. The bass realize this is a temporary feeding opportunity and act accordingly. You should too.

 

FISH SPOTS (the exception) – Earlier I said covering water is the preferred tactic. This is true, especially when fishing a new body of water that is not familiar to you. However, with enough time on a given lake or pond, certain spots will seem to consistently give up a fish or two most every trip. These areas or spots are worth taking a little extra time on before moving on. As I mentioned, small drains on my ponds always seem to hold bass consistently and I will frequently spend up to 20 minutes or more fishing these areas. The general rule of thumb is if you catch a bass on a spot, it is worth taking a few extra minutes to thoroughly scout the area. Sometimes the reason is obvious such as the drain example. Many times though you won’t be able to identify what it is about the particular location or bank. Some just seem to hold fish better than others. Your job is to be aware of these areas as they unfold to you and fish them appropriately. Then feel free to keep scooting along the bank between these hotspots.

 

These tips have proven themselves to be pretty consistent over many of the waters I bank fished through the years. Try utilizing some of these suggestions the next time you head out from the bank and see if they don’t increase the number of fish that you catch.

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nm

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Hey Kursten and welcome to the Forum.

 

Please do two things for us so we can give you better input:

1. Add your location to your Avatar as conditions around the country change.

2. Go to Introductions and introduce yourself to us if you have not already done that.

 

Now, bank fishing. Lots of fun and the price is right! But there are some unwritten rules about bank fishing that the guys have penned above and since we don't have any rules in stone in bass fishing you will have to make your own list and own rules to follow.

 

Here are some suggestions:

1.  Walk to the bank very, very, very, very, very, very and very quietly. Tip toe. Walk about 50 feet from the bank when changing locations.

2.  No shadows on the water. Keep the sun in your eyes. No shadows.

3.  Be very quiet. Stand still. Keep eyes open all the time for seeing the fish near your position, which will probably not happen or chasing prey.

4.  Give your bait selection a lot of thought. You can carry only so much when you bank fish and you really need to know what would work and what would not work. This expands to "read, read and read." Books, magazines, this forum. Read. Study your enemy. Knowledge, or in Nebraska, Nowledge. Reading is the key to successful fishing.

5.  Know the water temperature. Get a swimming pool thermometer and put it on a string so you can check out the water temperature. Remember, water temperature is one of the crucial elements to successful fishing, from the boat or from the bank. You may be striking out as the bass may be on their beds and are not eating. If we knew where you were we would have a better idea of what the water temperatures are and how the bass will react to your presentations.

6.  Take three or four rods and reels. That is the maximum you can safely handle. But....take one each of a spooled baitcaster reel and spinning reel just in case you manage to get a bad backlash or you have a bad case of the line twist.

7.  Use a "fan pattern" from each spot you fish. Throw left to right and then right to left. Throw a number of baits doing this. Throw about five feet apart for each cast.

8.  To reach deep water you will need a baitcaster setup with some weight to it. As the guy above suggests, use a tungsten weight.

And throw a Carolina rig as far as you can with the heavy weight. Or a drop shot rig. Or just the weight by itself. Just make sure there are no trees or bushes that can snag your bait or line as you cast. Always look around you before you cast, especially right above you for tree branches. Hurl that weight as far as you can. Don't lose your balance and fall in the water. Just hum that sucker with all you have as far as you can.

9.  Dam. Yes, dam. The dam is the deepest part of the bank. Fish the dam areas but be watchful of snakes.

10. Experiment. Throw everything you brought in different techniques. You have to find the "pattern of the day" or "hour" and we all have to experiment. Even the pros experiment. That's how we find the fish.

11. Be patience. Take your time. Concentrate on the line between your fingers coming off the reel for any bites. Watch your line to see if it moves. Take your time. No hurry. Just remember, one of the most thrilling parts of bass fishing is to see your line move to the right or left. This is heart attack time. The bass has your bait and is running with it. Now it is up to you to set the hook and nail that baby.

11. Keep a log of every day you fish. Check out the fishing logs on the top of this page under the "Tools" link.

12. Make a map of the pond or where you fish on the lake. Show good places and bad places.

13. One day I want you to visit each place you fish and bring only one baitcaster setup of at least Medium. Medium Heavy would work best but  you can cast a Medium farther. Tie a tungsten weight to the end of your line and start casting it in a tight circle from left to right. Reel in slowly with your eyes closed and try to picture what you are feeling on the bottom for structure, drop offs, humps or grass. Make a note and put it on your map. No fishing! Just you, the baitcaster setup, a half to one-ounce tungsten weight (better feel and transmission back to you) and paper and pen. It will drive you nuts but you have to map the water to know what is where.

14. Watch for snakes, alligators, beavers, otters, elephants and Chewbacca at all times. Look before you put a foot down. Wear long sleeve shirts to protect you from the sun. Spray long pants and your shoes with bug spray. Don't forget your needle nose pliers, your sunglasses and use sunscreen.

15. One last suggestion for simply fishing ponds: look at the water. Clear? Stained? Murky? Dirty? Wind blowing to you or away from you?  Bass fishing is a sport where  you throw something that resembles nothing the bass eats into a dark area with the hope of catching a really big one.

 

Now you tell me, who is crazier? Us or the bass??????

 

Remember, read, read and read. Watch the YouTube videos. "Like" Bass Resource on Facebook and view all of their articles. Knowledge is  your friend when bass fishing and you can drive your self crazy by not doing or doing one small thing wrong.

 

Good luck and let us know how you do.

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1 Ponds/lakes have a feeder stream, either above ground or underground.  the feeder stream brings fresh water/oxygen/food.  the influx of water during heavy rain and flooding flushes out a pit where they like to hold.  there will always be fish hanging there, especially in summer b/c its like air conditioning.  you can usually see the feeder creek above ground. if the pond is underground/spring fed the surface area looks 'swampy' ie you won't trek thru that area without waders; you can smell the moisture in the air; there is beaver activity; tall cattails etc. 
 
2 the water must exit the pond as well.  this area also holds fish i.e the deepest water
 
3 streams meander thru a large lake like a snake.  they don't have quite the opportunity to zig zag from bank to bank in a small pond. at the very least the underwater stream favorites one side of the pond. this will be the deeper side and it holds better fish.  the opposite side is usually shallow, more stagnant water w/ slimy algae on the surface and on the bottom, and tapers very slowly out to the middle. it has stumps and logs jammed in the muck etc. this would be the pond flat or cove side.  i always try this area but it produces best during spawn, spring, fall. bass don't worry about predators from above as much in low light conditions so they will be more bold about sitting in this shallow water at dusk/dawn/night fishing or with wind chop on the surface or rain.  i hate this area in the summer b/c its the hottest area of the pond w/ no current or wind. but i love fishing it during the cold season b/c the water warms up the fastest so bass sunbath in these coves or corners.  
 
4 if there is a dock never walk out onto it b/c you'll spook the fish.  first stealth cast both sides and then the front from both direction. then tip toe out to access deeper water.  never walk directly up to the waters edge.  i make my first cast from 10-15ft back. i've seen other guys laugh at me bc i look like elmer fudd but there's nothing better than silently flipping a lure into the first 1-2ft of water and having a giant bass smash it. vise versa there's nothing worse than walking right up to the waters edge only to spook a nice bass out to the deep. most guys see the swirling bass take off and say 'oh there's good activity today!' but why not catch that bass?
 
5 fan casting is the way to go.  i'll fan cast an area and move on. i don't fish, i hunt fish. ur first cast to an area has the best chance of catching the biggest bass and/or the most aggressive bass so why not relocate often and maximize ur chances? some guys sit in the same spot all day long probably bc that's how they were taught to fish. i've literally caught 2 fish approaching a lawn chair guy...walked around him...and caught 2 more bass as i hiked away.  he finally came over to ask me what my magic lure was.  i know it took alot for him to approach me to i explained the lure changes each day but my hunting/hiking fish style will always be the same. hopefully it was the last time he used a lawn chair to bass fish.
 
6 if ur not catching fish change lures often.  if i fan cast 3 different locations with a spinnerbait and don't catch a bass, it's time to change lures. ponds are small so it's easy to locate and/or draw fish in. i'm quick to change lures and go from reaction lure w/ vibration... to reaction w/ no vibration (swim jig/senko/swimbait etc)... to bottom dragging a t-rig,drop shot... to flipping wacky senkos... to dead sticking senkos, drop shot or bottom crawling jigs.
if i'm not catching bass in small ponds i'm quick to change lures, and i'm quick to slow down my retrieves and be patient.
if i'm not catching bass on big water/lakes, i'm quick to change location.
 
7 analyze what comes back on ur hook.  the two best things are green vibrant weeds and/or clean leaves. these areas hold bass so if ur hook comes back with either you are in the right place. the worst thing to bring back is green slime algae so keep hiking up shore. fountains or aerators are also fish magnets b/c of the oxygen/food and cover. i fished a pond for years that had no weeds but i had an aerator which created an underwater current system and fresh mulched leaves would gather in a nearby pocket.  this is where i always caught the biggest bass. it took a 80 ft cast to get out there. if i couldn't draw them back with a reaction bait i would just bomb a worm/jig out and slowly work it till they crushed it.
 
8 i hate live frogs. no matter how stealth i am, they are better. a frog jumping into the water is like an alarm to bass that gives away my position. if i spook a frog into the water at a good location i'll wait a few minutes before casting. i just check my text messages, tie my shoe, put on new lure etc. and let the spot settle until the bass drops his guard again.
 
9- do not ignore or downplay a bite. remember the location and always think of that spot as a fish holding location. it's easy to get down b/c u missed a fish but a bite is very important clue that reveals ur in a good location. it's not as magical on ponds but very important when bank fishing large lakes/reservoirs. if you get skunked but got 4 bites that day go back to those 4 locations tomorrow and start there. make them ur priority spots.
 
 

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My best advice as a bank fisherman is to fish the structure, read local fishing reports, and be persistent. Structure is not always shallow, and a good way to find deep structure is to drag a heavy weedless bait along the bottom to find the deeper stuff. Once you've located that you can have some idea where to huck baits to. If I know the body of water I am fishing is heavily pressured I try to make subtle differences in my presentation, sometimes those slight differences will get you that bite you are looking for. A lot of days I'm just happy to be outside, If you keep that mentality and stay persistent, you WILL catch fish. I don't know how many ponds I've found myself saying, "the bass population must be struggling here", and then met folks who would prove me wrong. Just a few things I've picked up along the way! Best of luck Kursten!

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