By following a few guidelines, one can have a great day in the outdoors fishing from the bank.
Tip 1 No matter what the gear or the bait for that matter, the key to catching fish from shore is to find structure and vegetation in the water. Fish follow pathways along and around structure. They will follow one type of structure to another.
Tip 2 Seldom will fish cross large expanses of open water. It makes them vulnerable to predators. If an angler eliminates the large expanse of open water, he reduces the search area.
Tip 3 One good choice is an area where two or more kinds of structure meet. This could be where weeds meet each other, a fallen tree or rocky area. Areas around rocky points, dam faces, or jetties can also have vegetation near by that will attract fish. Other good locations can be where feeder streams or canals bring in warmer water, oxygenated water, and wash in insects from flooded areas upstream. Creek channels provide pathways between structures. Fish often use old creek channels when they move from weeds to brush or shallow water to deep water.
Tip 4 Deep water drop offs are popular with fish. It allows them the security of deep water and yet the opportunity to move up into the warmer water of the flats to feed.
Tip 5 More good locations along the shore are partially submerged trees or those that have fallen into the water. Stump fields, logs and broken tree branches that have fallen into the water will attract fish. Vegetation such as willows, cattails, weeds, and lily pads provide food, shelter and a place of safety to fish.
Tip 6 Bait can be a major factor in shore fishing. For smaller species, such as bluegill and crappie, live bait is best. The bait can be small minnows, and pieces of night crawler. The amino acids in live bait are an attractant to fish coming out of a long winter of minimal activity. They also will be feeding on zooplankton and insects found in or near vegetation.
Tip 7 For the larger predator fish, such as bass, an artificial lures are popular. When working a lure through and area it is important to work it through. Fan cast a dozen or so times. Retrieve the lure at different speeds and work it in different depths.
Tip 8 Be flexible and portable. If a given location is not producing in 15 minutes, it is time to try another one. Go where the fish go.
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