Lack of a boat shouldn’t be an excuse for not catching fish; there is great angling to be had from shore — especially if you follow these tips.
Don’t hunker down in the first spot you come across. Many shore anglers pick a place out of convenience and invest too much time in unproductive areas. Keep moving and checking new areas until you find one worth exploring.
In some urban settings staying mobile may mean driving, or riding your bike, from one location to another. Other places, such as canals or river corridors lend themselves nicely to long hikes along the bank.
Typically good spots offer a unique feature, such as inflowing water, a rock pile or protected back pocket. Anything that is distinctly different from the surrounding area could be a high percentage spot.
When searching for fish, keep your eyes peeled and carefully scrutinize every tap or bump on your lure or bait. This is important for determining where fish are. If you are getting taps and seeing fish without hooking up, then that is a signal to start varying your presentation.
Keep an open mind
Many of the most accessible fishing spots, especially in densely populated areas, can get a lot of fishing pressure. Keep an open mind and target species that go unnoticed by other anglers. Carp and catfish, for example, are great sportfish that are not easily caught by those casting artificial lures.
If you’re willing to switch up tactics you could end up having certain species all to yourself, even though you may be fishing alongside other anglers on the bank.
Time it right
Many prime fishing spots are only prime at certain times of day. Dusk and dawn are natural periods when fish are more active and likely to be closer to shore.
Night fishing can also offer superb fishing for species such as walleye and catfish, which often hang out in deeper water during the day and move to shallower water in the evening and at night to feed.
This often occurs long after most anglers have packed up their tackle and gone home.
Once you have found a good spot that is holding fish, or if you have a limited number of fishing spots to choose from, thoroughly explore them and learn their every nuance.
When you get to a new spot, try fishing the margins of the shore first. Use short casts and gradually expand your radius. This prevents you from hooking a fish on a long cast and spooking others that are close by.
When you cast, count your lure to bottom to help develop a mental image of the underwater landscape. Dragging lures on bottom will also help you learn its structure and the location of fish-holding cover, such as stumps, gravelly areas or large boulders. This information is good to know if you plan to fish the location often.
Fishing from shore makes angling accessible to anybody – all you need is a rod, reel and some bait. It can be just as productive as fishing from a boat if you approach it with the right mindset.