Bass Bank Fishing Lures You Must Have
March 2, 2019 by FISH THIS PA Staff
Not every bass is caught from a boat. In fact, many bass fishing anglers do not have access to or even want to catch bass from a boat. The alternative is bank fishing. Let’s be clear, giants can and are caught each year from the many shorelines across Pennsylvania and around the country. How is it done? These six bank fishing lures consistently catch bass from the shore throughout the year in most bodies of water and in almost any conditions.
Just because you are on the bank fishing for bass, does not mean your tackle selection or detail around it has to be sacrificed. There are many serious bass anglers fishing entirely from shore. What makes some more successful than others is what is in their bank fishing tackle box.
Top Bank Fishing Lures for Bass
Being efficient with your bank fishing tackle box setup is absolutely necessary. Typically you have limited space available to carry all the bass fishing lures you own and honestly you do not need to have all of them anyways to catch bass.
Bank fishing lures can be narrowed down to these six when targeting bass from shore. Focusing on these lures has several advantages. First, they reduce the amount of tackle you need to carry. A small tackle box and a few bags of soft plastics make you more mobile and adaptable in almost any situation when bank fishing. Furthermore, these bass fishing lures allow you to fish all situations. From topwater to the bottom, you can cover all levels of the water column and catch bass no matter what the conditions or time of year.
Stick Worms Are the Definition of Versatile
This finesse bait has probably caught more bass anywhere than any other bass fishing lure. The most famous of this category is the Senko, but many other brands make similar stick style soft plastics worms.
Stick worms can be fished weightless, wacky rigged, Ned rigged, Texas style, or Carolina rigged. As you can see, it is an extremely versatile bait. Fish it near cover, in grass, or along rip-rap. Carry basic colors like black and blue and green pumpkin and several different hooks styles so you can fish multiple ways with this bank fishing killer.
Creature Style Soft Plastics
The next bank fishing lure to carry is a creature style soft plastic bait. Although not as versatile as the stick worm, a creature bait can mimic crayfish or other bottom dwelling forage typically found near the shore.
Fish creature baits on heavy terminal tackle like flipping hooks or large jig heads. A Texas rigged creature bait with a tungsten weight is probably your best setup. It can be fish weedless through grass or around docks or other thick cover that may be holding large shore bass. Have both a dark and light color variations with you to fish different water conditions.
Swimbaits Crush Bass From the Bank
Another soft plastic bait to carry when fishing from the bank is the swimbait. These bass fishing rigs are ideal for imitating baitfish that may be schooling or foraging near shore. A white variation is all you need with this lure. A common reason many do not get bites on swimbaits is they are using one that is too big. Stick to sizes around 3- to 4-inches for getting the most bites. Fish them on a jig head and simply cast and reel it parallel to the shore. These also double in your bank fishing tackle box as trailers for blade baits and buzzbaits.
The ChatterBait bladed jig launched back in 2006 by Z-Man and shortly after these bass fishing lures became a mainstay in every anglers tackle box. A bladed jig is now made by a number of fishing lure companies, and it can be fished much like a swimbait but with more versatility. It can mimic baitfish or be fished more like a traditional jig slowly working it off the bottom much like a crayfish imitation. Depending on the situation and water clarity, you want to carry both dark and white color variations and even a silver and gold blade style. A swimbait can also be added as a trailer for more action depending on how bass are reacting.
Topwater's Place in Your Bank Fishing Tackle Box
There is nothing like having a bass blow up on a topwater lure like a frog or a buzzbait. These are some of the best fishing lures for bass in the summer. Like a swimbait, topwater lures are a great search bait, which can allow you to cover lots of water from the bank.
Stick to the basics with topwater lures when building your bank fishing tackle box. A hollow body frog, a popping style lure, and a buzzbait are all you need. Dark colors like black and natural colors like frog or silver work the best. Topwater baits are your go-to bank fishing lures around daylight and dusk when bass are more focused on surface feeding.
Lipless Crankbaits for Spring and Fall
Bank fishing anglers often make the mistake of fishing lipped crankbaits from shore. The challenge with how to fish with lures like these is that they are constantly getting snagged. They dive to a defined depth and get caught as you reel them back into shore. Even square bill crankbaits get stuck more than they get bit. A lipless crankbait on the other hand gives you the ability to control depth more easily and more importantly catch fish.
Lipless crankbaits excel in colder water. When bass fishing the pre-spawn in the spring or during colder fall months, these baits thrive. They can be fished from shore in various ways. Reel it faster with your rod tip up and it says near the surface making it mimic schooling baitfish. Rod tip down and a slower retrieve lets you fish it deeper or anywhere in between. More popular colors include the crayfish red and sexy shad to cover both your upper and lower water column fishing techniques.
Color Selection Tips for Bank Fishing Lures
As mentioned with these lures to carry in your bank fishing tackle box, color selection should stay basic. Space is limited and the last thing you want is 12 different colors of lipless crankbaits or 10 packs of creature baits in your tackle bag taking up space. You really only need a few color selections.
Go into any tackle shop or browse any number of online tackle retailers and you will be overwhelmed with color selections. Anything from “corndog” to “donkey punch” and “juicy”, to name a few more unique ones, can be found. One of the best bass fishing tips, is no matter if you are fishing from shore or not, is that there are three colors that produce and produce just about anywhere.
You want to have a black and blue, a green pumpkin, and a white/shad color. Do not go crazy with all the color choices but rather stick with the basics. In the course of a fishing season, 95% of the time these three colors are all you need to be successful when bank fishing for bass.
Of course everyone has their own go-to bank fishing lures that have probably not made it into the top six discussed above. That's fine. You definitely want to have baits you have confidence in your bank fishing tackle box. However, you can't bring them all with you to the bank. Use these six as a way to reduce the amount of tackle you carry or to simplify your choices when fishing from the bank.