Newly Posted - Originally posted by: davesett2000 on 4/7/2005 3:30:04 PM
Resources for Bank Fisherman
I grew up fishing smaller rivers in Minnesota, and for a good portion of that time, didn't have a boat, so I fished from shore or waded. I also spent time on lakeshores. The biggest challenge for shore fishermen is having access. I was lucky to have known several people on several rivers, so they weren't much of a problem for me...but lakes were a different story, as many lake home owners don't care to have strangers on their property (regardless of their reasoning).
Here are some links to various products that will help you find places that have public access.
The Delorme Co. has map books for every state in the US, and will help you find your way to various waters in each state. Each book lists fishable waterways within the state. THey also show state / county parks...and Federal property as well...of which almost ALL are accessable.
THe Sportman's Connection All Outdoor Atlases show even MORE public lands....but they aren't available for many states yet.
The other 4 links are to companies with maps / map books that will generally show public access to various lakes. I own several, and would NOT give them up for anything...
Another option you can do is to contact your local DNR / Fisheries / etc...office. Many of these know whether a specific body of water has public access or not.
And when it gets right down to it, it wouldn't hurt to ask a property owner for access. You could offer to split your catch with her/him. And make darn sure that if you do get access, that you don't leave a mess. No property owner likes having to clean up after some one else.
And last but not least, folks in Minnesota are lucky to have this...
I don't know how many states have something similar, but a little searching on the web could help you out tremendously. You can start by checking out the "State by State / Canadian DNR" list near the top of THIS thread...
Good luck, and I hope something here helps you to new waters and great days!
Something that I like to use when I go bank fishing...
especially when I'm doing alot of moving around...Plano 3350 and 3355 Waist Pack Belts
L.M. Ray Posted December 10, 2004
I bought a cheap backpack that I loaded up with fishing gear so when I'm done working for the day & pass by a lake, I just grab the backpack & walk in to fish. It has places for water bottles and even straps on the bottom with clips so I can attach a canvas folding chair. I find a place along the shore, stick my rod holder in the ground and can either sit back & still fish or walk the shoreline.
jnewby Posted December 10, 2004
I use a fly vest when I am bank fishing. Great for holding several bags of plastic worms, use small flip top boxes for hooks & sinkers. I have one with bigger zip open pockets lots of room for pliers, ruler, camera & still has the smaller pockets that I keep my flies in when I fly fish.
sscasteel Posted December 10, 2004
I find one place a lot of folks don't mention about BANK FISHING is fishing below Reservoir Dams. Esp. when water is being let out.
I have fished below these Reservoir dams with much success in Kansas = Council Grove, Hillsdale, Melvern, Milford, Perry, and Pomona. And Harry S.Truman and Stockton Resevoir's in MO. By Far, [my opinion] Council Grove, Perry, Pomona, and Truman Dams are GREAT to fish below when letting out water. And below Truman Dam [OSAGE RIVER} isn't bad either even when water isn't moving. Crappie, Catfish, [all types] LMB, Walleye, Perch, Blue Gill, Spoonbill, White or Sand Bass, Carp, Buffalo, Drum, and an occasional Gar. You just never know what may strike artificial or live baits below these dams, and catching several different species in one day is very possible. Esp. below Perry and Truman Dam.
I carry / use a small tie on 3-4 pocket nail pouch apron with me for bank fishing. lead heads, a few bobbers, tube jigs, feathered jigs, crank baits in plastic boxes. needle nose pliers, line clippers, pony spool of line, and a stringer or two. I prefer a floating fish sack [if possible] to take along instead of stringers though.
More links for Map type products
Hi again all...here's a few more links to various items that may be of use to you...enjoy!
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/fhp/lakes/lakemap/ (Wisconsin DNR lakemaps)
http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/maps.html US Geological Survey
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10367_24463---,00.html (Michigan DNR lakemaps)
http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/bookstore.asp (Minnesota Bookstore)
johncail Posted December 15, 2004
for toting my gear, food etc. i use an Alpine back pack and for stripers i use an Alpine duffel bag. this is from Alpine beer, they were giving them away in there 24's so i stocked up a couple of years worth of packs and packed away a few at the same time!!!
often the most valuable item in the pack is a roll of t paper. this has saved my buddies socks numerous times (and is why i carry a whole roll!!lol)
i add in a can of kipper snacks or sardines and all the fishin'gear i feel like hauling along the bank. i don't take a chair but i do take an old hot seat or 2, very useful on cold or rainy days.
if a fire is legal at the time i also take a light duty cooking rack with as long a handle as i can find. if a fire isn't legal i take a light flexable filleting "board". and if it's a fish that i have to keep whole lenght i of course take some plastic bags. these bags come in handy when it's time to collect your junk and everbody elses too and leave the stream clean!!
oh, and i take a small tarp in the striper duffel. since it's almost all night fishing i have used it as a shelter several times on cold windy nights.
Something else EYE like to carry (where permitted) is a machette...that way IF I can create a better spot to cast / fish from or create a clearer path / trail I can do so...
Of course, I'm NOT trying to clear-cut any places ...or leave a mess...
fishnfilet Posted January 25, 2005
speaking for tips for bank fishermen.I bring along my saw horses to prop my poles up with! I get alot of stares when I set up, but after they see the way it's set up they all say "cool, I always wanted to do that!" Dave... fishing in and around the Finger Lakes of New York
ouachitabassangler Posted January 29, 2005
An idea that works really well here is something I advise shore fishermen to offer. Approach a property owner with a dock and make an offer they likely won't refuse. If you are unknown to them try to get someone well known to give you a letter of recommendation. Offer to do these things for permanent fishing rights shared by the owner.
1. Offer to supply labor to replace parts on the dock supplied by the owner.
2. Offer to keep the dock clean, and clean their shoreline. You keep all baits you find there.
3. Offer to install and maintain brush piles if allowed on the lake.
4. Agree to always leave the dock cleaner than when you got there.
5. Offer to share fish caught.
6. Respect parking requirements of the owner and never bring a buddy without permission. Make it known up front who you might bring with you.
7. Last ditch offer is to agree to an annual fee you can live with. As access tightens fees are inevitable, just as with hunting rights and the necessity of leasing hunting rights.
In most cases, if you present yourself well, first meeting dressed nicely, not rolling up in a junker spewing smoke, loud music, etc., the owner will require only one of the above if any at all. Mess the place up once and you are toast on the lake. People are generous as a rule and will give an angler a chance unless already burned.
papa_d Posted January 29, 2005
HI JIM; I'VE INCOUNTERED A SITUATION SIMILAR TO THE ONE YOU MENTIONED. AFTER I DID MOST EVERYTHING YOU MENTIONED, THE LAND OWNER STILL REFUSED SAYING THAT THE AREA NEIGHBORS HAD AN AGREEMENT "NOT" TO ALLOW ANY NON RESIDENTS TO USE THEIR PROPERTY FOR ACCESS. THE REASON BEING THAT THEY DIDN'T WANT THE LAKE OVER RUN BY STRANGERS AND ALSO TAKING FISH THAT THEY THEMSELVES COULD HAVE. I TOOK THE HINT AND NEVER WENT BACK TO THAT LAKE. LATER ON THE SAME YEAR I DISCOVERED THAT ON THE ROPAD TO THE LIL COMUNITY THERE WAS A SPOT ON THE MAIN ROAD THAT HAD A POND ON EACH SIDE OF THE ROAD. I FISHED THE PONDS AND CAUGHT SEVERAL BASS AND A SMALL NORTHERN PIKE. ONE TIME I TOOK MY CANOE ON THE POND AND FOUND A SECLUDED PASS TO THE LAKE THEY WOULDN'T LET ME USE. I NOW HAVE A ROUTE TO THE LAKE FROM PUBLIC HIGHWAY LAND"UNPOSTED"
Ouachitabassangler Posted January 29, 2005
What a jerk to do you like that! Well, I don't propose doing all that stuff or any of it for that matter before fishing the guy's dock. Get an agreement then start using it in good faith by taking a bag of trash home that first trip. Before getting too deep in the deal you ought to have an idea whether it will work or not.
Appears you really hit on a good solution anyway. No public launch ramp on the lake?
papa_d Posted January 30, 2005
HEY JIM; NO PUBLIC ACCESS AT ALL. THE LAKE IS INTIRELY LANDLOCKED BY HOME/LAND OWNERS. SINCE THEN THEY HAVE EVEN POSTED THE ROAD ITSELF AS A PRIVATE /NO ACCESS ROAD. TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSICUTED...
ouachitabassangler Posted January 30, 2005
Any lots for sale there? Maybe a fishing club could go together to buy a vacant lot. Wouldn't that frost them?
papa_d Posted January 31, 2005 02:27 AM
I DON'T KNOW IF THERE ANY AVAILABLE; BUT COULD BE WORTH CHECKING INTO. I'D LOVE TO LIVE ON A LAKE OR POND, OR JUST HAVE TO CAMP ON WEEKENDS TOO. ANOTHER OF MY FAIRY TALE DREAMS!...PAPA_D
Something that I have found useful when exploring new areas is a pair of binoculars and / or a monocular (small telescope)...
From a high bank (or if you can climb a decent size tree), you can get a good vantage point of the water, and possibly even see fish, or at the very least, rocks and other structure / cover. A great time to explore is during low water periods.
Take along a small paper tablet and make notes of what you see...that way, when the water level goes back up, you'll have the "skinny" on possible "hiding places".
Celliach Posted June 16, 2005 10:09 AM
Wear polarized sunglasses. These can let you see into the water better than the naked eye. Seeing the fish before you spook them by blindly walking up to the shore has caught me many a nice bass both in rivers and ponds
ouachitabassangler Posted July 17, 2005 04:10 PM
While using those polarized glasses, be sure to wait until that bass is looking away from you before casting its direction and be sure to over shoot it enough the lure landing in the water doesn't spook it. If the bass turns before getting the lure to it, wait for it to turn again looking in the lure's direction.
I bankfish a lot more than many boaters do, getting out for exercise, or just getting out of the boat for a change, picking up great lures, finding secret hiding places for fish not visible from a boat. I found a little cavern in a rock bluff that way that always holds lots of fish, a place I never see people casting to. I can count on one really nice bass from it any one day a week. It constantly replenishes with bass that like it because they can sit in the shade in the heat of the day and watch baitfish swim by over a saddle between islands. It pays to get out and walk around.
davesett2000 Posted July 28, 2005 11:20 AM
Another OVERLOOKED aspect of bank fishing is that you can get to places that sometimes can't be reached with a boat
Many times this ends up being rarely-fished waters
davesett2000 Posted August 01, 2005 07:14 AM
But this ALSO goes to show that an angler who takes the time to look over ALL areas with a keen eye can sometimes be rewarded by finding a "jewel" of a spot that may be overlooked by other anglers
I still remember times on the rivers back in Minn when I was growing up when I wasn't having any luck with the fish...but also took the time to explore new areas and make notes about what I saw...a good many times these places that I took those notes about rewarded me with a fish or two when various conditions (water level, clarity, time of year etc...) were different
Thanks for the reminder Jim "to be observant"
dawsonb Posted August 15, 2005 10:49 AM
Great tips Dave and gang. I would like to add a few more things. Along with the glasses a hat with a dark undersided bill helps with reflecting light and helps you see into the water. The polarized sunglasses a must for every situation except night fishing. Be aware of your clothing too. Don't wear bright colored clothes.
Try to match the surroundings. It is just like hunting. The main problem with shore fishing is finding a place to do it. Sure there are all kinds of parks and they might have good fishing but usually it is so crowded and overfished in those areas. Try to find access under bridges,dams, local ponds, boat ramps, as well as parks. Always know local limits and laws.
Other BASIC tips
1. Look before you cast Before you walk to the bank and thoughtlessly spook fish, take a few minutes to watch the pond. You may see baitfish activity or perhaps even feeding bass. Study the shoreline for likely bass cover and decide ahead of time how you'll approach it. Stay concealed: Walk or stand in tree-shaded areas, if possible, instead of being out in the sun. This makes you less visible to fish, which also tend to lurk along shaded shorelines.
2. Find the channel There may be a small creek entering one end of the pond, with a meandering channel that will likely extend into the pond itself. Dead, standing trees may mark the channel edges. Try casting a buzzbait beyond each tree trunk and sputtering it back within inches of the timber. Then work the deeper channel slowly with a weighted, Texas-rigged plastic worm.
3. Work all structure Start looking for shoreline structure. The key is to spot something that looks different. A big rock, a solitary stump, a small point, and a stock fence extending into the water all potentially harbor bass. Work such spots first with a floating minnow plug fished in short twitches and long pauses.
Follow up at each position with a slowly retrieved plastic worm.
4. Dredge the dam If the pond has a dam, the area in front of it offers both a steeply sloping underwater edge and the pond's deepest water. Texas-rigged plastic worms, lipless crankbaits, and floating minnow plugs are all good options for working parallel to the edge. Also try dredging the deepest water by sliding your worm-weight sinker about 2 feet above your rigged worm and pegging the weight in place with a toothpick. This makes a Carolina rig that you can cast out from the dam and twitch back with the worm floating just off the bottom.
5. Fish through snags Fallen trees extending into the water attract lots of cover-seeking bass. Make repetitive casts to work your lightly weighted plastic worm slowly through all the branches and around both sides of the trunk. Gently lift your rod tip to ease the worm over snags so you don't get hung up.
6. Survey the center Some bass will suspend at mid-depths over the deep center of a pond. Lipless crankbaits like Rat-L-Traps can be cast long distances and work best for reaching the middle. Experiment with retrieve speeds and also allow the plug to sink deeper at times.
7. Look for stock Many farm ponds have a section of bank that's been trampled by watering cattle. Schools of minnows are attracted when cattle stir the bottom. Bass often patrol these disturbed edges, so work the area carefully with your minnow plug.
8. Parallel the shoreline Don't neglect shorelines that seem featureless, such as long stretches of grassy or gravel banks. These are common to dug ponds without dams and can hold plenty of foraging fish. Cast parallel to shore and work your minnow plug or plastic worm slowly within a few feet of the bank.
9. Scout weedbeds Beds of lily pads or other aquatic weeds are obvious targets. The trick is to work a lure without hooking gobs of vegetation. Use a floating, weedless frog, which will slide over the dense mats and can be paused and twitched in small pockets of open water.
Muskie Mark Posted July 17, 2005 02:31 PM
Good tips David . Sometimes I go bank fishing if the weather is going to get bad that day or if I don't want to mess around with my boat. It is nice just fishing from the bank .
Frogman2 Posted January 10, 2006 05:42 AM
Something I have found also is not to over look the "obvious" fishing spots.
Sometimes, because they ARE easy to get to, or are "right there", most would think that they are fished all of the time.
Well if most people think that and don't fish it, it might just turn out to be a great spot...especially small streams and rivers. But keep in mind that it works for smaller lakes too.
Dewayne Posted January 10, 2006 08:03 AM
Dont forget to cast parallel with the bank as you go .Each time you take a couple of steps cast along side it before you spook em.Then work your way out and down.
Frogman2 Posted January 11, 2006 11:49 AM
Bridges are pretty good spots to go also, not just to get out of the rain, or sun, but fish seem to congregate just to the downstream side.
So I generally float something from the middle of the bridge and let it drift by, or toss a lure past them and bring it back.
Bridges work pretty good for that too!
davesett2000 Posted January 11, 2006 10:22 PM
That's what were were saying Frogman2
Rain can knock bugs out of the air into the water...since there are no raindrops hitting the surface under a bridge, these bugs are easier to see
In the heat of the sun, the shade of the bridge provides a bit of a respite for the fish.
ANd last but not least, the bridge's pylons give the fish structure to relate to, and a place for algae etc...to grow, providing food for baitfish, thereby attracting bigger fish.
getdanet1 Posted January 18, 2006 11:00 PM
Those newer castable depth finders could be a real boon to Bank fishers.
They can help you find unseen drop offs and cast across a smaller creek can find holes right across from where you are. That can help you set up for a later trip to the other side.
davesett2000 Posted January 19, 2006 08:16 AM
Good point John
ANd you don't have to wait for the season to open...
Just head out with it and explore...just make DANG sure you don't have ANY lures / hooks with ya (not even in the car)...
Game Warden might stop...but when you show him what you are doing, and the fact you have NO fish-catching hooks or lures with ya, it will be "see ya later...have a nice day"
Take a notepad / mini-cassette with ya to make notes etc...
You can hit a LOT of potential new spots in just one day.
Life Member David BB Linkmeister US Army '78-'85