Bank Fishing and Catching Fish Tips 

bank fishing

Bank fishing is fun and worthwhile for catching fish. I’ve listed a few fish tips to help you get started catching fish, whether they are bass or panfish. It is not hard to catch from the shore, but it’s not easy either. Here are 4 things not to do when bank fishing and 4 things to do when bank fishing.

4 Things Not to Do When Bank Fishing

Don't Announce Your Arrival

If you keep your eyes open and are observant, you just might see the successful bank fishing angler wearing dark or camouflage clothes. Might as well blend in with the trees and brush. It is amazing what the fish can see up on the bank. While you are blending with the forestry, don’t make a lot of noise or extreme movement to scare away the fish. By the way, if your kids are with you and running all around the bank, don’t plan on catching fish. However, it is always good to bring your kids fishing with you and teach them how to fish.

Don't Just Cast Willy Nilly When Bank Fishing

When I walk up toward the bank I stay about five or more feet away from the bank, depending on trees and brush in my way. I then cast out from there for four or more casts covering as much water as possible from that position. Once that section of water is covered, I walk up to the edge and begin to fan out my casts as the image shows. I tend to start right along the edge of the water first and then slowly work my casts back toward the middle. I then start on the other edge and work my casts back to the middle. Make sure you remember where you are at when a fish hits, that way you can be prepared when you hit that distance out from the bank next time. You will be surprised how often you can pick up two or three bass from the same section. A lot of bank anglers just walk up to the bank and start throwing their baits out willy nilly never giving it a thought. Don’t do that.

If you are panfishing and don’t get a bite after a few minutes move your bait around to the left and right. Don’t forget to fish different depths until you locate the fish.

fish tips

Don't Pack the Kitchen Sink

You really do not need every bait you have when bank fishing. When I am bank fishing for bass, I carry my medium heavy spinning rod with my Codaicen Fishing Remi-3000 spinning reel loaded with 10lb test monofilament line. That way I can cast any crank bait, jerk bait, topwater, and if I want to switch to finesse fishing I can easily do so. If I am bottom fishing for catfish, I bring with me two heavier rods and a little heavier reels with 15-20lb line. Likewise with panfishing I bring two rods, but they are usually ultra-lights.

I carry a backpack with one plastic case for all my bass baits stuck inside and then any other fishing gear I may need depending on what kind of fishing I’m doing. I also pack my water and snacks in the pack. Basically, if it does not fit in the backpack it does not come with me. Other than a bucket with a lid for the panfish and to sit on when still fishing.

Don't Forget to Keep Your Mind Into Catching Fish

I would like to say that catching fish is easy as pie. But you know, as well as I do, it is not. Sure you might catch one or two but if you want to keep catching fish, you need to pay attention to how and where you caught them.

Focus on the conditions where you catch each fish. Was it up in the weeds or along the outer edge of them? Were they caught up by the shore edge or where the bottom drops offs? Maybe it was in a brush pile? If so, look for some more so you can continue catching fish while you are bank fishing.

4 Things to Do When Bank Fishing

Not only are there things not to do when fishing from the shore. There are things you should do while bank fishing.

Learn the Best Places to Catch Fish

I find myself in a dilemma every morning throughout weekdays. I seldom fish on the weekends because there are to many pleasure boaters on Saturday and I attend church every Sunday. However, throughout the week (I am retired) I have to decide do I play golf or go fishing? Some mornings I do both! I carry a nice little collapsible spinning rod and reel in my golf bag, when I have no one behind me or have to wait for someone in front of me, I pull it out and fish the ponds on hole 10 and hole 12. If you fish golf courses, make sure you get permission. 

No golf courses for you to fish on? Then keep your eyes open as you drive around, check out where others are fishing. Check out some of the parks in your area or even boat launches. I have seen buckets of fish at launches when I’m pulling my boat out. 

bank fishing

My wife and I spent a week in Hilton Head a couple years ago and I wanted to find a place to do some bank fishing. Jarvis Creek Park was recommended to me, so I went three times early mornngs before my lovely wife woke up. Can’t say I nailed a lot of bass, but besides not catching fish, I did see a few of these guys in the pics. I don’t see them up North in Michigan. I kept my distance.

Learn the Whole Body of Water While Bank Fishing

I see a lot of people fishing one of our local bodies of water that has a bayou on one side of the road and the river on the other side. 90 percent of them are fishing off the bike path bridge because it is easier to fish. I know without a doubt they would be catching fish on the other side, if they were willing to fight the brush and fish off a little hill. It always help to fish where the fish are. Walk around that pond and check out the water terrain and weed beds and brush piles or downed trees. Bottom line, know the body of water and where the fish might be hanging out.

Learn to Use A Variety of Lures and Baits

If you are bank fishing for bass, you will want to have a minimum of, at least one, of every lure in your backpack. I try to have half a dozen of soft stick worms. Especially since the can tear in half after one bass. 

Don’t forget that panfish sometimes bite on red worms, wax worms and crickets. I like to have the first two with me at all times. I prefer night crawlers for my catfish. Just remember to take your favorite and enough of the bait you choose for catching fish.

Learn to Pick Up Before you Leave Your Bank Fishing Area

There is nothing I detest more than getting to my favorite bank fishing spot and seeing trash all over the place. If you brought it with you, take it home with you. Don’t litter and don’t leave a bunch of dead fish laying in the brush or along the shore. was founded in August 2022. Yes, we are new and upcoming. However, we have been fishing for over 60 years and have caught both freshwater and saltwater fish. In freshwater we have caught everything from panfish to Muskellunge. In saltwater we have caught ocean perch to sharks. is reader supported, some products displayed may earn us an affiliate commission if you purchase through our links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.