How To Fish Small Shallow Lakes (Proven Tactics That Work!)

Hank Parker's Fishing Tips

Hank Parker reveals his techniques for fishing clear, small, shallow lakes. Learn how he won tournaments using these techniques.



Glenn: Hey, folks, Glenn May here with, and welcome to another edition of Hank Parker's Fishing Tips. This week's question, Hank, it comes from Mike Barnett from North Florida, and he says, "I live in a small shallow lake about seven to eight feet deep. In Florida, the lake has a lot of eelgrass and is fairly clear. If you fish this lake for the first time without any knowledge about it, what would be several baits you would try first?"

Hank: Well, I like that, and I probably fished that lake before. Nah. I fished a lot of them in North Florida, and I love a mainly small lake. Eelgrass can be very productive, but fish are not always in eelgrass. Sometimes they're there, and sometimes they're not there, but I'm going to check it out first.

And eelgrass, you can fish a Johnson spoon, works really, really good. A spinnerbait sometimes works good. Buzzbait if the water's clear. He mentioned clear water. I like to fish over the top of that eelgrass with a buzzbait. So I'm going to start with the eelgrass, for sure, and then I'm going to start with a series of baits that's kind of based on water color.

That water color's really, really clear, and that eelglass...eelgrass, got it, is close to the surface, probably going to start out with a buzzbait or something, especially early in the morning. If the eelgrass is under the water somewhat, then I'll probably use a spinnerbait.

I won a tournament on the St. John's River in Florida fishing eelgrass, a Super Bass tournament, and I won it in a place called Cooley Bay on the St. John's River. And I could fish the eelgrass when the wind was blowing. When the wind was blowing and the water was moving, it would allow me to get my spinnerbait through the eelgrass without hanging up on it, and I caught big bags on the days the wind blew. When the wind didn't blow, I couldn't do it. My spinnerbait would hang up in the eelgrass. I couldn't get the fish to hit it, so I had to go to a worm, and I'd catch smaller bags of fish. So if the wind's blowing really good, you can probably fish that spinnerbait through that eelgrass. If not, you may have to stick with the surface with the buzzbait and a plastic worm. But, it can be good. If it doesn't work, get away from the eelgrass, and fish the break line.

Glenn: Mike, thanks for submitting that question. I hope that helps. For more tips and tricks, visit, and check out all the tips and tricks and articles on there, and there's a whole lot more too. And if you want to be notified the next time we post one of these videos, just subscribe to our YouTube channel. Until then, have a great day.