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The Boatless Angler – Chapter 11.1 - Shoreline Bass Fishing with Artificial Lures

You don’t need a boat to have a fantastic day of bass fishing or to land yourself a huge trophy bass all you need is a few tips and tricks in your tackle box.

As you may or may not know, bass in a given day do not travel much distance like some other species will, they prefer to coast a small area of shoreline and have territorial tendencies. Due to this fact, the biggest mistake a shore fisherman makes when fishing for bass is staying in the same spot. When bass fishing from shore you need to be prepared to move around and cover some area and of course along the way look for some bass hotspots.

Some examples of textbook hotspots are, debris such as logs or rock piles, sharp drop offs, dams and docks and other human structures, weeds and reeds, deeper pools close to thick vegetation, and shaded areas. Some hotspots that are not necessarily textbook are current edges, back eddies, small waterfalls, deep holes and creek and stream mouths. Concentrate on these prime spots however don’t be afraid to work any section of shoreline as you may find some bonus monster bass!

There is an endless variety of bass baits and I mean endless! To narrow down the vast variety, this article will focus on a few bread and butter artificial lures that will guarantee some great catches. First on the list is the elusive crankbait. All you need are a couple crankbaits in your box, a shallow diving crankbait (dives 5 feet) and about 3 inches long and a deeper diving crankbait (dives 10 feet) and about 3-5 inches long.

The colours of these lures are not as important as the shape and body of the lure. Choose crankbaits with a more cylindrical body (image example below) as this shape is more natural and will produce strikes even if nothing else can. Also if you are stuck on colours, you should always go with a natural colour or pattern rather than the brighter colours and artificial patterns.


A second fantastic artificial bait for bass is the top water lure. Some top water baits are better than others, however the style that seems to produce the most strikes are the varieties with a propeller (image example below). The propeller is crucial in grasping bass attention and also will increase your chances for aggressive hits.

Smaller sized lures are better 2-4 inches in length; larger lures will also catch fish though some bass are leery of these bigger artificial baits. The colour choice for these top water baits also is not that important, however lures with some red on the belly is always a great bet.


The hard-body baits like the crankbait and the topwater are a must for a shore fisherman, however soft-bodied baits are equally important to have as they will allow you to fish a slower presentation with more finesse.

One of the most common and actually one of the best baits is the twister tail!

A key colour and size to consider is a basic white twister tail about 2-4 inches in length.

This can be accompanied by a couple sizes and colours of jig heads; ¼ oz and ½ oz jig heads are ideal and both chartreuse and black are your go-to colours.

This next soft-bodied bait is one that isn’t usually fished with for bass but more for panfish, however while fishing from shore, it is a bass magnet! This lure is a small micro tube (example image below), the ones common for crappie fishing.


The most productive colour for bass is the white body - chartreuse skirt variety.

Couple this bait with a 1/32 oz or 1/16 oz jig and get ready to catch plenty of bass, and huge one too!

In this article we have outlined the where’s and the what’s to fish with for bass, stayed tuned for the second half where we go over how to use these artificial baits to maximize catches and to make your day on the water an awesome one!


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