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The Boatless Angler – Chapter 11.2 - Shoreline Bass Fishing with Artificial Lures

In Chapter 11.1, a series of key hard-bodied and soft-bodied artificial baits for bass were discussed, in this and the upcoming articles we will talk about both the application and technique of these lures.

First up and likely the most common worldwide bait used for bass fishing is the crankbait, both versatile and effective there’s no wonder it’s a fan favourite. Though most used, not all fishermen know the subtle tips and tricks of the crankbait to land more fish while fishing from shore.

Firstly, don’t be afraid to cast near logs, under trees, along rocky shorelines and through thick reeds and weeds. These of course are the areas you are most likely to lose your crankbait, but on the other hand they are also the areas where you will get more fish. With a bit of practice and casting technique you’ll have the confidence to throw your crankbait even in the most rubbish filled locations.


When fishing with crankbaits, cast a few times in the same area; often on the first cast you will get the attention of a bass and on the second or third cast you will get the strike. Casting in the same spot over and over again however is not the way to go; after 3-5 casts without any activity means it’s time to cast in a different location. If you are certain there are bass in a location but you just don’t seem to see any activity, cast in the same location from various angles.

Sometimes a lure coming from the right-hand side is not as favourable to a bass then if were coming from the left, so make sure to cast your hotspots from various angles. It can also be effective to revisit an area you have fished earlier especially if there were signs of bass. If you find that you have missed a couple fish in a spot, leave the area for awhile (at least an hour) and then work that location again. You will find that the fish you missed are now at the end of your line!

When retrieving a crankbait you may think it is as easy as just simply reeling it in, and you know what, this method will catch fish. However, to maximize bites, reel in your crankbait at different speeds; this will change the depths of the lure and will catch both aggressive and non-aggressive fish. Also when retrieving you may want to flick your rod tip time and again to create an erratic presentation. This burst of energy you’ve given to your bait will entice bass in the same manor. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to reel then pause as well, a short pause (1 second long) will make even the most tentative fish want to strike!


A couple extra tricks of the trade you may want to try when fishing from shore with crankbaits are, once you cast and your lure hits the water, wait 3-5 seconds before beginning to reel. Sometimes just the falling and splash of your lure when it hits the water triggers a bass to strike. Another tip is one that I have come across by accident, one I’m sure all crankbait users can relate with; the transformation of a diving crankbait to a tangled topwater. Sometimes when you cast a crankbait your line becomes tangled on the first set of treble hooks, this prevents your lure from diving and makes it spin on the top.

You can use this to your advantage when you see a bass near the surface, or when you have a bass follow but won’t strike. Instead of cutting and retying to change to a topwater bait, just put the line around the first treble hook of your crankbait and presto! You have yourself a quick topwater bait that may add that little flare to trigger a bite. This of course does not replace a lure designed to fish topwater, but in certain instances where you can’t change up fast enough, it’s a handy trick to have under your belt!

In the next article on fishing for shoreline bass using artificial baits, we will discuss the tips and tricks of the topwater bait to land you more bass!


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