The Best Baits For Finding Fish, Proven to be Effective

Hank Parker's Fishing Tips

Learn what baits for finding bass from 2-time Classic champion Hank Parker! He reveals his systematic approach for finding fish and what search baits he uses.

Visit Hank Parker's site:

or on Facebook:


Glenn: Hey folks. Glenn May here at And welcome to another edition of Hank Parker's fishing tips, where he answers your questions. And this one this week, Hank, it comes from Tracy from Rhode Island. And she says, "I would like to ask Hank how he goes about finding fish. I'd like to know about his process of working the fish that he finds. And do you have a bait order that you'll work through based on the time of the year? Or do you just go with what your gut?

Hank: Well Tracy, I like that. That is a great question. And how I go about finding fish, I have learned fish in like 44 states in three foreign countries. And a bass is a bass regardless of where you go. They're always looking for food and cover, and always in that order. With the exception being the spawning season, where they're looking for shallow flats with sandy or rocky bottom.

So let's say, any other time than the spawn I'm looking for a bait, and I'm looking for cover. How do you find that bait? Well the birds. The birds will show you where that bait is at, almost all the time. If the birds are not showing it, you look for it on your electronics, and you can find the bait. Then determine what structure is right here where this bait is at. Whether it be gobies or whether it be threadfin shad or whether it be bluegill. Whatever type bait fish that those birds are feeding on, you find the food and the cover.

And then I ask myself, has nothing to do with season or time of year. I ask myself the simple question, "What lure do I have that would most thoroughly fish this structure that surround this bait area?"

So I start with a process of elimination. A lot of times fish will suspend up, so I need a little different bait than when they're on the bottom. Or sometimes they're on the surface. So I need a different bait when they're on the surface versus the bottom or suspended halfway. So I choose a bait that I think will work and then I pay attention. If I have follow ups, if I see fish swirl or move when I'm casting with my line, then I'll shallow up.

So it's all of process of evaluating your water, find your bait, find your cover. And then go down the alphabet of all your lure choices based on what lure you feel that would most thoroughly fish the structure that you're faced with.

Glenn: Tracy, that's a great question. I hope that answers it. For more tips and tricks go visit I said, "tank," it's, "hank."

Hank: Yeah, Hank Parker...


Hank:...Is it May or June? I'm always getting ahead of myself. It's May.

Glenn: Go check it out, all kinds of tips and tricks, videos, all kinds of information. And if you wanna be notified the next time we post any videos, then just check out our YouTube channel, and subscribe to it. Thanks a lot and have a great day.