Jump to content
Koz

Banks vs Boats: It's Really 2 Different Sports

Recommended Posts

I was watching a repeat of MLF on Discovery Channel this morning and it suddenly dawned on me how completely different fishing from a boat is than bank fishing. I mean really different. Take lure presentation and working the bait, for example. There are a lot more things you can do standing on the boat above the water than you can on the bank. Granted, if I was 6'4" instead of 5'8" that would be a help as well.

 

Then there are things like covering water. Obviously you can cover a lot more water by boat than walking along the bank. But lets take any given 150 foot stretch of shoreline. I cast 150 feet down the shore and hook up with a fish almost immediately. While reeling that fish in chances are I scare away every fish that was between me and my cast. On a boat, you work your way down that shoreline and have the opportunity to pick off those other 3, 4, or 5 or more fish along that same stretch of bank. I can tell you this - for now on when fishing parallel to the shoreline I'm going to work out instead of making multiple long casts.

 

Then there's that 150 foot cast. By the time I make that cast and work it back, the guy on the boat can make 4 or 5 casts. On a boat there are also better angles to fish rocks, stumps, or fallen trees. Fishing from the bank also means minimizing movement so vibrations from walking don't scare off the bass or the baitfish.

 

And of course, fishing from the bank there's almost no chance to cover deeper water when the bass are out of the shallows. We also can't see a lot of what's going on under the water be it vegetation, schooling fish or bait, or most structure - even with polarized glasses. And don't get me started about the advantages of electronics.

 

On this board I see guys saying they catch 50+ bass in a day and unless I'm fishing a dink pond there's no way I'll come close to that. Of course, I only fish for 2 or 3 hours at a time and if I come out with 8-10 fish that's a pretty good day for me.

 

Don't get me wrong - I do OK fishing the banks and I catch enough 5-6 pounders to keep me happy. But frankly, with the limitations of bank fishing it's almost a miracle to stumble upon fish that big when fishing from the bank. I'm beginning to realize that the chances of catching anything bigger than that are really, really slim at best. That won't deter me from trying. But those of use beating the banks day after day are at a real disadvantage.

 

By the way, I'm not saying boat fishing is easier. There are challenges there as well. Heck, it's an art form to control the boat and fish at the same time. It's also a heck of a lot more expensive. Boat fishing just offers so much more in the way of opportunity.

 

So, all you boat guys - take pity on us bank beaters. We're doing the best we can under the circumstances 😀

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Koz, other than for the Osborne Landing, Follow the Dead Fish to Hopewell, and Ancarrows ramps on the Historic James River in the greater Richmond, Virginia geographical area, we do not encounter bank fishermen very often.

 

There are a few docks where people will be fishing and sometimes we find individuals fishing near other boat ramps,  like Morris Creek on the Chick River, but for 99% of the time we don't see any bank guys or gals.

 

When we do, we give them a wide berth so they can also enjoy fishing from the bank.

 

And yes, fishing from a boat gives you much more latitude in your presentations and techniques than fishing from the bank. This is why we have an explosion of kayaks as they are the most economical way to fish from a boat without breaking the bank.

 

You made a great post. It is a reminder to all in a boat to give way to "bankers."

 

Merry Christmas!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No! Same thing. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No poison ivy in a boat. I always seem to find it when I walk the banks.

  • Like 4
  • Haha 2
  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boat also makes it easier to recover a snagged lure.

 

Most bank beaters do better than I do in a boat. Hoping that will change in 2019.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  I've been a "banker" too, since '63. Koz put it perfectly. In rivers, boaters just go anywhere. Well, almost. Me? I have to beat the brush and weeds, search for rocks in the mud, ask landowners' permission, avoid breaking my rod on the overhanging branches and lose lots of lures that I snag and can't get free. And yes, as Dirtyeggroll said, I gotta watch out for the poison ivy. The only place I'm on a nearly equal footing with boaters is right below the dams. In fact, I can fish some tailwaters much easier than a boatman can, especially around the rocks. That's why I have so many spoons; they survive the rocks much better than crankbaits. 

   As far as lakes go, I can access productive water somewhat easier, but boaters still have an advantage. (I'm learning to like lake fishing; I had been 90% river-oriented until the last year or so.) The one advantage I have in lakes is flooded timber. If the wind is against the boaters, I can throw a weightless Senko or jig under a slip bobber and pull stuff out that the boaters can't reach. That doesn't happen very often, though.

   The last advantage boaters have is acquiring the fish. A bank fisherman has to deal with rocks and shallow water the last 8-10 feet before he can get a hand or net on the fish. I've lost a good few in that 8-10 feet. Boaters just lean over and scoop'em up.

   Old habits die hard, though. I'll be a shorecaster 'til I die.      jj

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish by bank most of the time by choice ... a nice bass boat is like a wife you care about -- needs some money and attention. 

 

At 65 yrs. plus old I find fishing from the bank at this point in my time here better suits me...I do have access to some nice private waters from time to time where a pond hopper and jon boat are used...and will use a nice inflable on public waters in the spring of the yr. a little... each to his own...

 

merry christmas

 

A man's got to know his limitations. Dirty Harry Callahan

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dirtyeggroll said:

No poison ivy in a boat. I always seem to find it when I walk the banks.

And ticks.

I can handle snakes, lizards, and spiders.

When I find a tick, I panic like a little girl. They are little blood sucking demons.

Permethrin and Deet is my friend.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 A lot of places its near  impossible to fish from the bank . 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a solution to you issues; buy a boat. There is a reason kayaks are very popular, low cost and easy to transport.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, scaleface said:

 A lot of places its near  impossible to fish from the bank . 

Or impossible to get to the places where you CAN fish from the bank. Lots of the towns around Lake Minnetonka have instituted No Parking anywhere near where the DNR designates Bank Fishing. Public land on the shore - usually alongside roads. But for a mile or more in any direction - No Parking Anytime signs have gone up. So even where there's decent places to bank-fish, you have to trudge alongside the road for a long distance to get to them.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, WRB said:

There is a solution to you issues; buy a boat. There is a reason kayaks are very popular, low cost and easy to transport.

Tom

 

I'm not complaining. Plus, I get a ton of exercise bank fishing. MY point is that it really struck me how bank fishing versus boat fishing is so different it makes it almost like two different sports sort of like baseball and cricket.

 

If I was younger and not a full time single parent I'd probably buy a kayak. But at my age I'm honestly too scared to be that low in the water with the abundance of alligators we have down here.

9 minutes ago, MN Fisher said:

Or impossible to get to the places where you CAN fish from the bank. Lots of the towns around Lake Minnetonka have instituted No Parking anywhere near where the DNR designates Bank Fishing. Public land on the shore - usually alongside roads. But for a mile or more in any direction - No Parking Anytime signs have gone up. So even where there's decent places to bank-fish, you have to trudge alongside the road for a long distance to get to them.

 

We have a few places like that here. That's when we load up our bikes and ride those the rest of the way. The only issue with that is I have yet to get a cart or trailer for my bike. Carrying the tackle bag and one rod combo is no big deal, but I'd like to be able to bring more than two bottles of water in with me especially on those hot days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say most landlocked fishermen could leave the bank behind if they really wanted to. People who can afford an arsenal of rods and tackle can afford a 500 dollar kayak or a cheap Jon boat. Nobody needs 60,000 dollar plus bass boats to fish, they're a luxury item. I think a lot of people get so caught up on not being able to afford a bass boat that they forget about other legitimate options. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

18 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

I'd say most landlocked fishermen could leave the bank behind if they really wanted to. People who can afford an arsenal of rods and tackle can afford a 500 dollar kayak or a cheap Jon boat. Nobody needs 60,000 dollar plus bass boats to fish, they're a luxury item. I think a lot of people get so caught up on not being able to afford a bass boat that they forget about other legitimate options. 

I have a 22 foot Lowe and dont use it that much . I fish from a 14 foot jon boat the most. Also have a canoe and a plastic Bass baby with built in wheels . I can fish anybody of water my truck can pull up to . One of my best spots is an irrigation ditch that I have never seen another boat fishing . Heres one caught from the ditch .

aa.jpg

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, MN Fisher said:

Or impossible to get to the places where you CAN fish from the bank. Lots of the towns around Lake Minnetonka have instituted No Parking anywhere near where the DNR designates Bank Fishing. Public land on the shore - usually alongside roads. But for a mile or more in any direction - No Parking Anytime signs have gone up. So even where there's decent places to bank-fish, you have to trudge alongside the road for a long distance to get to them.

Wow, that was well thought out.  Can you Uber to a good fishing spot?  Hey!  There's a money-maker!  Bassin'Uber!  Or FishLyfts.  

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a wide body 17ft canoe that we fish from often. It's made by Osagian, here in Missouri. Easy to launch and tow. We use a Hummingbird portable depth finder, and can fish most anywhere. I can stand and walk in this canoe. 4ft wide in the center, so very stable. Works great for fishing smaller waters.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bass fishing is bass fishing from a boat or from the shoreline. The difference is you are limited to where you can fish when walking along the shoreline. I have made that statement on this site dozens of times and always ask anglers if they fishing from a boat or from shore when answering questions regarding bass fishing so I can determine how to answer the question. Most obvious are questions regarding off shore techniques and sonar.

How lures are presented matters, angles the lure approaches bass matter, depth the bass are actively feeding at matter, everything matters and anyone fishing from shore is limited to casting from shore or a dock attached to the shoreline.

Shore fishing has some advantages like access to remote locations, private ponds and small lakes restricted to shore fishing only. Shore anglers can be stealthy and some presentations are very effective like soft plastics, especially plastic worms. IMO shore fisherman are generally at a disadvantage for reasons mentioned.

I would be far more concerned walking the shore with alligators and poisionus snakes  then sitting in a kayak or other type of portable boat with the exception of a belly boat with your legs in the water.

Remember you don't necessarily need to own a boat to fish from it. Large lakes usually have rental boats, local fishing clubs have team fishing partners. Some folks prefer fishing from shore. Chief who is a local bass pro that fishes team and pro am events doesn't own a boat and prefers shore fishing. Chief gas dozens of rods and reels along lots of tackle he keep in his truck, selecting what he plans to use that day.

Tom

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience makes me agree with the OP.  On my home lake, there are a dozen or so association areas where people can fish from the bank.  Nearly each home (about 300) on the lake has a dock as well, albeit that most homes don't have a large waterfront presence.  Before I had my boat, catching over 15 bass in a day was something I only did once or twice.  With a boat, my average is nearly double that with dozens of days over 40 fish.  It is just a matter of access.

 

In regards to smaller bodies of water, I have a sister in Georgia with a pair of ponds on her property and another sister in Texas who lives by a section of the Blanco river.  I love fishing both of those, but am limited to bank fishing.  The Georgia ponds have a lot of brush on the shoreline & a few gators, so bank fishing is less productive than it would be out of a boat.  The Blanco river section is small enough that I can cast from one side to the other, so in this case, a boat wouldn't be that much of an advantage.

 

The OP is correct in general, although it does depend on the body of water.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m also 90% bank fisherman and I do have jon boat and kayak. @Kozhas a good point in differential between bank fishing and boat fishing. Also @WRBwe applicate your comment regarding bank fishing or boat fishing, some boater just comment as they used to on boat but not suitable for all Bank fisherman. 

I just adjust accordingly if I Bank fish. I work around shoreline first if no take I would cast out further and further. I choose lures or plastic that suitable for bank fishing not by hype. I always  prepare to get skunked. I down size my lure to be able to fish weedy and shallow area. I learn all my spot deep and shallow and learn when fish would be there. The last I don’t mind catching DINKS when bank fish (you can’t just pick and choose) unlike those boater that only target the big one.

I do see some benefits of Bank fish, I don’t have to prep, I can just go out a couple hours come home and be happy. I can work the are throughly where boater just cast and go. I also learn that most of shallow fish, they don’t stay put but roaming around. I enjoy fishing from bank as much if not more compare to boat.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OCdockskipper said:

The Georgia ponds have a lot of brush on the shoreline & a few gators...

 

That's the thing about the areas I fish - there are plenty of areas along the bank that have heavy grassy vegetation or woody vegetation that are technically fishable but I choose not to fish them because of the danger they present. I don't want to get ambushed by an alligator either hiding in the grassy vegetation or using that cover to stalk prey. Likewise, I stay away from heavy woody vegetation (i.e. dense saplings and occasional bigger trees) because if I wedge myself in there I might not be able to escape quick enough.

 

That's too bad, because I'm sure some of these areas would be productive. Also, many of these lagoons are in residential communities that do not allow kayaks or other watercraft so I can't access them from the water either.

 

Again, for those following this thread my original post wasn't a complaint or lamenting that one was harder or easier than other. It just struck me that the ways anglers fish boat and banks is completely different.

 

But my my personal takeaway from this is instead of bombing casts either along the shore or in open water to cover a lot of water may not be productive. Instead I plan to start with shorter fan casting and work my way out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Dirtyeggroll said:

No poison ivy in a boat. I always seem to find it when I walk the banks.

And no ticks either! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all good. When hiking, I carry a fly rod, or spinning rod. Can usually find a river, stream, or small pond out in the middle of nowhere. I also carry a rod in both of my trucks, in case I come across a pond or reservoir.

I also have kayaks, canoe, rowboat, and pontoon boat. Can't say one is better than the other.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, greentrout said:

 

I just watched this a while back. It seems the trick to catching giant bass from the bank is to go to a private pond in FL where the bass are enormous and have never seen a lure. AWWW SON! Who'd've thunk it?

  • Like 2
  • Haha 5
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

I just watched this a while back. It seems the trick to catching giant bass from the bank is to go to a private pond in FL where the bass are enormous and have never seen a lure. AWWW SON! Who'd've thunk it?

THAT'S NOT A BASS!!!! Bill Dance fell in the water again, Roland's just trying to fish him out 🤣

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing forum

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×