Bank Fishing Tips

Learn the lures, tackle, and gear to use for bank fishing from an experienced pro!
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Hi guys. This is Gene Jensen with A guy on the forums by the name of Cody0707 on BassResource forums, asked a question today that sparked an idea for a video. And so, I'm sitting here in my chair. It's a quick and easy video, but I think it'll help out a lot of people, especially a lot of my subscribers on YouTube and a lot of the guys on BassResource.

    This question is about pond fishing, about bank fishing, things like that. I'm going to go ahead and read the question, and I've got to give you some background. If you were shore fishing and had to carry only a small tackle box on a lake you've never fished, what would you bring? Let's assume you were going to be fishing a lake that is an average of three feet deep, with some spots that are seven feet deep. So, it's a real shallow lake. The water is dark in most places, but it clears up in some spots. The water is in the 70s. And it is post spawn. So, I'm assuming it's a stained-water lake and he's talking about fishing this time of year, June. "You have only three clear Plano boxes to fill up. What are you going to bring?" Well, let me tell you my history behind bank fishing.

    I started fishing; seriously, I started bass fishing, when I was about 16 years old when I was old enough to drive and I could do it myself. My dad was a trout fisherman and he didn't like to bass fish. About 16 years old, there was a public fishing area right down the street from my house. It had 22 ponds. A great lake, filled with good bass, and I spent the majority of my teenage years walking the banks of those 22 lakes. Learned them intimately, and ultimately, started writing fishing reports for this public fishing area. So, I have quite a bit of experience into packing my stuff in to fish. Several of these lakes were a quarter of a mile off the road. You had to walk in; there was no vehicle access. They were some of my favorite lakes because you didn't have to worry about cars pulling up and things like that.

   So, I'm going to go through what I would pack in these three Plano boxes. First of all, three Plano boxes, for me, is a little excessive for a bank fishing trip. Just because I like to simplize things and make them to where I can carry them light. Let's start off with rods. I would carry two or three rods. I would carry, first of all, a spinning rod. This is a Dobyns. But I would carry a medium-action spinning rod, something I could throw a shaky head or a light jig on or a light worm on or even a weightless trick worm. And then, I would carry a medium action, extra-fast, rod. This is a seven foot, medium, extra-fast. This is a Duckett. I'm not even going to talk about the model number, because it's too long. Anyway, this is a medium action, seven foot rod. It's their casting rod. And then, maybe another one would be, if I felt like there were big fish in the lake, or if I knew there was a lot of thick cover, I would carry a medium heavy rod. All of them would have either, 8, 12 or 15-pound test line, and that would be my general setup for the rods.

   For the baits, well, like I said, you've got to assume this is a lake I've never been to. It's stained water, sometimes clear. So, I'm going to carry the colors of lures that I would fish in that color water. But more importantly, and most importantly, I'm going to carry the lures that I have the most confidence in, and I'm going to downsize everything. Because I want to go out and catch fish and see what's in the lake. I don't want to haul all my stuff in there and spend the time to go back in there and not catch any fish. So, I'm going to carry something that's going to catch even the smallest bass.

   Let's start off with worms. The worms I would haul with me are some finesse worms, some trick worms. I didn't grab a trick worm bag for some reason. One of my favorites, if you need a little bit of action, a little bit of vibration, is a Rage Tail thumper worm. This is the seven inch. And then, some type of a creature bait, a Brush Hog, a Space Monkey, things like that. All of them are small. No big worms. No big swim baits or anything like that. They're just excessive weight.

   Now, when you've been bank fishing for a while, and all of a sudden you realize you're carrying a 45- pound backpack full of lures, and you want to lighten them up, get rid of some soft plastics. This is the heaviest thing in your box. If you downsize your soft plastics, your box will become quite a bit lighter.

   Now, the colors of the soft plastics I would go with for that color of water would be a green pumpkin, which is a great all around color for just about any color water. A June bug, just in case it's a little too muddy and a red bug, just because I love a red bug during June, July, and August. Those are the only three colors that I would carry. Then on my second trip, when I've kind of figured out the lake, I may add a few things. Then, I would carry an assortment of terminal tackle to go with those worms.

   Let's start out with the hooks. I'm going to bring five or six, three-ought worm hooks, be they wide gap, or regular offset worm hooks. I'm going to bring them in three-ought and two-ought. I'm not going to go up higher, because I'm not fishing big plastics. I may bring a few trailer hooks along because I'm going to have a couple of spinnerbaits moving. Other than that, that's all I'm going to do with hooks, just something I can rig, a Texas rig, something like that.

   Other terminal tackle I'm going to bring is going to be a quarter ounce bullet weight, a jig head of some sort, shaky head, standup head, spot remover. I have my favorites; everybody else has got their favorites. Now, for other lures, I might throw in a low-profile spinnerbait or two. I'd throw in one that's for clearer water. I've got a chrome blade. Something for a little bit muddier water, like a chartreuse or a chartreuse and white. A little bit larger blade, gold. And then, of course, a buzz bait. All of these would have trailer hooks on them. And that about covers what I would carry in a box for the first trip on this lake.

   It's not hard to come up against a small lake and run the whole bank, all the way around and try to find sticks and trees and stumps and trunks and trunks of trees laying in the water. It's a lot of fun. Boy, I enjoy going to a new lake. I enjoy going in and being successful at a new place, a place I've never seen before. But it's all about breaking down a lake. What's the water color? What's the water temperature? What are the bass doing and what kind of a mood they're in. The reason I have worms and the reason I have spinnerbaits, is because sometimes bass are in a chasing mood, and sometimes they're not. And when they're not, I want to be bouncing stuff off the bottom. I want to be dragging things. I want to be throwing stuff into timber and stuff like that and see what happens. And that's it in a nutshell. That's my answer for that question.

   I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Like I always say, visit for the answer to all your questions about bass fishing. You'll enjoy our forums. We have a bunch of great guys on there that answer some great questions, and it's really fun to be involved with a forum that's family-friendly. We don't bash anybody or things like that. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I'm going to keep putting these videos out, so have fun.

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