June 5, 2014 Share

5 Tips For Improving Success From the Shore

Did you know the current world record for catching the most fish in a 24-hour span is held by a bank/pier fisherman? Just last year, Jeff Kolodzinski, now living in the Atlanta area, stood on a dock on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota and landed (and released) a record 2,649 fish (mostly bluegills). In the process, he broke his own world record of 2,160 set in 2010.

If you do the math, that’s 110 fish an hour or 1.8 fish per minute!

For many anglers, fishing without a boat is either a economic necessity or their preferred method of angling. When done right bank/pier fishing can be incredibly good. So, what are some tactics for improving success from the shore?

Annually, the number one question we received from fans revolves around fishing from shore. The typical questions focused on the three Ws: Where, What and When. The one question we were never asked, however, was “WHY?.”

It’s an important question, especially if you consider bank fishing a handicap to success.

Why do I fish from the bank? Because it is often the BEST way to fish a particular area! When pursuing his world records, Jeff Kolodzinski chose to fish without a boat. A couple nights back my buddy Mitch fished an outlet on a lake I was fishing the same night from a boat. He and and two young sons landed 8 largemouths, one pushing 5 pounds (see picture), casting plastic worms from shore. That was better success than I enjoyed!

When you expect to catch fish (as opposed to hoping for success), you approach the game a bit differently. You are typically more aggressive, and more open to try different things to achieve success.

Here are five tips for making bankfishing more productive:

1. Fish Prime Time–Seasonally and daily, there are times that are simply the best time to fish certain spots. On busy metro waters, early morning is often more productive than dusk because than evening because pressure is lighter. There are also seasonal considerations. If you are targeting migratory fish, for example, be there as often as you can during the peak run.

2. Focus Your Efforts In Core Areas–Work to identify the BEST spot(s) in your area and concentrate your efforts there. On lakes, looks for areas with current (inlets and outlets), areas where deep water comes close to shore, and shoreline-based cover like fallen trees, docks and rip-rap. Fish concentrate in these areas. On rivers, tailrace waters below dams are always good, as are outside bends (deep water close to shore), current seams, and cover like trees.

3. Build a Network of Trusted Friends–Staying on top of your local fishing scene is easier when you build a networks of friends who are willing to share information on hot bites, new areas, etc. The best groups are relatively small and whose members give as much information as they take, and who respect others.

4. Prepare Properly–If you are not outfitted right, shore fishing can be a lesson in frustration. For example, if you need to make really long casts to reach the fish, go with a longer rod, braided line and a spinning reel–all which will help you achieve greater casting distance. And go stout. Heavier line is better than light when you hook that fish of a lifetime and your feet are planted on shore or pier.

5. Expect Success…If you are not catching fish, consider the reasons why and work methodically to eliminate the issues. —Steve