Shore bound anglers know all about limitations.
The banks are my roots. I’d wager more than 60% of my angling is done from terra firma, or wading up to my nuts. You don’t need a boat to catch quality fish. You will need some motivation though, and some forethought.
Good bank fishing is like a good steak. Lots of meat out there, lots of river and lakes out there too. Not all of it is good.
What separates a good spot from a shitty one? A few things do. Firstly, the best spots are usually not community holes. Too much pressure, too many bucket boys keeping anything that comes to shore. Community holes can be good, if you hit them at the right time, or you show them something they’ve never seen. Doing so is becoming extremely difficult in the age of youtube and hundreds of forums spouting off everything that used to be secrets to guys who put the time in to FIND OUT what worked. Now, in the age of fingertip wisdom, lazy people want 5lb bass spoon fed to them. “What rock were you standing on?” “What baits did you use tonight?” “Where did you cast to?” “What colors are working today?” That last question is always telling. When I can tell someone’s just a meat hunter, I lie my pants off. You should too, if you value catching fish with consistency.
It’s unfortunate, I’ve seen some great spots turn to shit because someone ran their mouth, or someone watched me kill it there one night. Its the nature of the beast, most people are followers.
Keep your mouth shut. Practice extreme prejudice in regards to who you tell about your spots, and also be wary of those who are watching you fish. Private property does not protect your fish.
If you find a spot that produces quality or numbers, keep it close to your chest. Don’t post pics to facebook, people will identify your spot from one specific feature if its visible in the pic, had it happen to me before. Don’t make that mistake, keep your ego in check and smash the urge to e-brag, your fish will thank you for that. Data stored on your pictures can also betray you, get a handle on tracking data your phone collects before you start sending and posting photos.
Next post in this series will explore some fundmental tips you can put into action next time you go exploring. For now, take todays lesson and keep it in mind when you stumble upon a hot spot in your travels. Now get out there and find one of your own, it wont always be easy, but it will be worth it.