In recent years technology has really spoiled a lot of bass fisherman. There are 21-foot bass boats with 250 horsepower motors that are nearly whisper quiet at an idle, new electronics with ten inch displays that literally show you a scrolling picture of what the bottom looks like from one side of your boat all the way to the other. Guess what? You can also mark that fence line you just found on the picture with a G.P.S. point so you can come right back to it and make an exact parallel cast to it on your first attempt. All of these luxuries have made the learning curve of bass fishing much shorter.
That said, not everyone is blessed to have all of these tools working in their favor, especially young anglers. Some of the young anglers don’t even want these items and would rather stay with the basics. For them and for a growing percentage of bass fisherman, bank fishing is the only option. Just because you don’t have any of the new toys doesn’t mean that you can’t take bank fishing to the next level.
When planning a trip to target giant bass from the bank, you’re going to have to take a few things into account. Some lakes are going to have limited shore access whether it be reeds, lily pads, grass mats or unsafe slopes. Then you have the problem of a lake having too many spots to choose from and you can find yourself trying to hit as many spots as you can, not spending the time to slow down and fish a spot effectively.
Choose a lake where you know you can reach prime structure targets. Points, flats with deep water access close by and creek channels all play a part in a giant bass’ life. If you have access to a topographical map of the lake you are planning to fish, you already have half of your work done for you.
Look for points that intersect with creek channels and/or have deep water access immediately to the side. Points that are adjacent to flats are also prime feeding grounds. If the flat breaks into deep water quickly near the point, you have yourself a trophy bass magnet.
More than everywhere else, launch ramps probably have the largest concentration of giant bass. Locally our lakes are stocked with hatchery raised rainbow trout. The trout trucks back into the water using the launch ramp and guess what is there waiting for thousands of pounds of easy to catch, completely disoriented meals? You’ve got it, it’s the true giant you’ve been hunting and you knew right where she’d be and when she’d be there. In the rest of the country ramps still represent an area where tournament-grade, snack-sized bass are released regularly. Look for all of these things and focus on those areas. Remember, you can not cover the whole lake effectively while bank fishing, so slow down and pick a few prime areas apart. Get out there, do some research and go stick a giant.
Submitted by Adam Hinkle