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billmac

What's the deal with bank fishing?

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I've done a lot of bank fishing, and I always stand as close to the water as I can.  It seems like all the bank fishing videos I'm watching have people standing way back from the bank.  What's the deal?  Are they afraid of snakes or gator or something?  Maybe I'm just watching the wrong videos.

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I always started back from the edge of water when I first started fishing to limit spooking the fish close to shore!  But would gradually move closer after I thought I had caught all the fish in the vicinity close to shore!

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I fish from the waters edge. I may miss a couple here and there by not making the "spook" cast from 10ft away, but Im usually in thick cover myself and cant cast from ten feet away.

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1 hour ago, FishinBuck07 said:

I always started back from the edge of water when I first started fishing to limit spooking the fish close to shore!  But would gradually move closer after I thought I had caught all the fish in the vicinity close to shore!

  Yup. That's me. I try to follow the old flycaster adage, "Catch the fish at your feet first."  I can't count how many times I've walked right up to the water and see a good-sized one go jetting off. It has always helped to overcast, too.    jj

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If you wear polarized glasses and stand back you can see bass with their faces literally on the banks. They get that close. Standing back allows you to catch bank bass, hence bank fishing. 

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The largest bass I ever caught was from the bank. I was walking towards a dock, and I decided to cast alongside it from land. From then on, I have always casted a few times at a distance, before standing close to water.

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Some of what you're seeing may be due to the almost universally present wide angle lenses on commonly used video cameras, which exaggerate distance. Most anglers will go right up to the bank after the first few casts.

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There are also vibrations from you walking that can put fish on alert as well.  When I bank fish I usually stand back but i also try and fan cast starting almost parallel to the bank and go from there.  

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I stand back at the first couple of casts while bank fishing. Can't count the times I use to run up to the water when I was younger and I could see the fish swim off. Now I make a couple casts further back and move up if I don't get any bites. 

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The only time I stand away from the water is when I have to climb down rip-rap or an embankment  I can’t take tumbles the way I use to. 

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I stand fairly close to the bank if I can, and make most of my cast parallel with the banks. I like to keep moving a few feet after 2 or 3 cast too. If I know there's some good cover or structure out away from the bank I hit those spots with several cast also

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A few years ago at a Very high pressured park pond, I caught 2 3 lb bass literally beneath my feet, which surprised the heck out of me. Normally I do stand back 4 to 6 feet from the edge if possible.  

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Once I pick a spot where I want to fish I'll stand well up the bank and fan cast that area. Once I'm certain I won't spook any fish I'll move down towards the shoreline and make a set of casts covering 180 degrees, then repeatedly cast parallel to the bank on either side of me.

 

When it's time to move on I usually turn around, head back up the bank, then repeat the steps above. Sometimes I might get lazy and traverse the bank, but for the most part I don't take any chances in spooking fish along the banks.

 

Alligators are also a concern if there is heavy cover along the shoreline. I won't get close until I'm positive there's nothing hiding on the other side of or underneath the vegetation. Usually a few casts from higher up the bank will flush them out, especially if it's a topwater.

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I don't have a problem with standing back per se, but my bank fishing is usually in cover heavy enough to make it impractical.  But I don't like the idea of flopping the fish up onto the bank when landing it, and I seem to see that a lot.

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Totally depends on the amount of access to the bank, some ponds have well manicured shorelines, some places have tree along the shoreline, & some shorelines are over grown.

 

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My first cast (pitch/flip actually) is always a few feet back from the waters edge. Caught a few fish that way on heavy pressured lakes. If I get no takers after that first pitch/ flip I'll walk right up to the edge and start fan casting.

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Yeah, if the water is real clear..a stealthly approach can get you a few more fish.

 

I was at a public pond the other night and apparently I'm the only one dumb enough to go to the other end where you have to go through a little jungle and fight the ticks and chiggers.

 

But I snuck up and threw a white Senko and  watched it get hammered but felt nothing, so I had to start swinging when I lost sight of the bait. Caught several doing that...felt nothing but saw it move or disappear.  Makes me wonder how many bites I get in stained water..lol

 

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There are at least 2 types of bass. One group is unphased by anything and might even feed in the wakes of boats. The other group is highly secretive, easily spooked nervous bass that can be observed feeding inches from the shore—they disappear instantly upon seeing people. You can’t catch these fish if they even think you are there.

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I learned this a long time ago, that one on the best investments you can make as a bank fisherman is a decent pair of hip waders.

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Stay back for the first few casts, then approach that spot and fish further out from it. I like to fish parallel to the bank after I've approached the spot. If you do spook some, not to worry. Bass have about a 20 minute memory if there was no negative stimulus to go along with the "spooking". I have spooked a big bass off a log at the bank and came back later in the kayak and caught it. Reasonably sure it's the same fish because this is a little pond. There can't be a ton of 5 pounders in it.

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Think about it...

 

you’re fishing the bank. Which means the bass you’re targeting are close to... the bank. They’re skittish creatures, 99% of the time they’re not gonna watch you throw something and then eat it. 

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:30 PM, jimmyjoe said:

  Yup. That's me. I try to follow the old flycaster adage, "Catch the fish at your feet first."  I can't count how many times I've walked right up to the water and see a good-sized one go jetting off. It has always helped to overcast, too.    jj

Yup!!

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An extra couple feet on the cast isn't likely to catch any more fish. There's no need to stand with your toes to the waterline.

 

X2 to the wader comment above. I often went wet wading and fly fishing with lightweight, long, camouflage hunting cargo pants. Tuck the pants into long socks and you won't get any of those baby leeches on your legs, you know the little 1/2" gray ones you see in bass' mouths sometimes. Much more comfortable than wearing waders in the summer. Most of those waders were designed for trout anglers fishing in 50-degree streams. Even the lightest ones feel hot and clammy because the water pushes them tight to your skin. 

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