How To Fish For Largemouth Bass From The Shore

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When it comes to fishing for largemouth bass, you do need to know what you are doing, and you definitely want to have the right equipment on hand if you plan on being successful. No, largemouth bass are not overly hard to catch, but you do need to be adequately prepared for it. Sure, fishing from a boat is always fun, but sometimes it just is not right for the occasion.

Some people just like to fish from the shore, which could be due to a lack of a boat, regulations against fishing from a boat, or really any other reason. The point here is that it is absolutely possible to catch largemouth bass from the shore, as long as you do it right. How to fish for largemouth bass from the shore is what we are here to talk about today.

Contents

Knowing The Time Of Year & Day – Fish Habits

If you need a bit of a checklist for bass fishing then this will help you.

One of the most important things to get down when fishing for largemouth bass from the shore is where the fish are, which can be based on the time of year and time of day. One very important thing to get down here has to do with the time of year.

If you are fishing during the pre-spawn season, most of the bass are going to be in 8 to 15 feet of water, when the fish are spawning, they will be in much shallower waters, and after they are done spawning, they will move back to deeper waters.

Late Spring / Early Summer

In terms of late spring and early summer, largemouth bass are often found under docks, around rocks, and in fairly dense vegetation too. So, you need to know where the fish are based on the time of year if you actually want to catch any.

As the temperature drops during early autumn and closer to the winter, bass will feed closer to the shore.

Just keep in mind that many bass, especially the larger ones, whether in deeper water or not, often like to be around docks, rocks, trees, and other vegetation.

Time Of The Day

Also keep in mind the time of day. During the early hours of the day, bass often like to be closer to the shore for feeding, but later in the day they often move to deeper waters.

If you are fishing from the shore during the late afternoon, doing so from a wall, dock, or tall rock is ideal, as in the afternoon largemouth bass will look for deeper waters to get some shade from the sun,

Picking The Right Lure & Bait

When it comes to fishing for largemouth bass, you need to be using the right baits and lures if you have any hopes of attracting them and getting them to bite.

Let’s talk about shoreline fishing for largemouth bass with a variety of lures right now;

Crankbaits

For largemouth bass, one good type of lure to use is a crankbait. This kind of lure works well in shallow flat water, for reeling past rocks and through grasses and bushes, and for light vegetation in general.

If you are fishing in shallow water, use a lipless crankbait that is fairly lightweight, and if you are fishing in deeper waters, you want to use a heavier crankbait, one with a lip.

If the water is shallow, also use a higher pound line in combination with the lipless crankbait, which will stop it from diving too much. If you are fishing for largemouth bass in waters that are filled with rocks and wood, go for crankbaits with square bills and sharp noses.

If you are looking to pull the bait through grass or bump it along the bottom, a lipless crankbait is best so it doesn’t deflect in various direction too much.

If the water is warmer and the largemouth bass are more aggressive, using a rounded crankbait with lots of wobble will attract a lot of attention. If the water is colder, use a crankbait that does not wobble as much.

Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits are another good type of lure to use for largemouth bass fishing from the shore. These are best for medium to deeper waters, as they tend to dive fast and can be retrieved fast too.

These baits work well in cloudy and windy conditions, as they usually get a good reaction from bass.

If the water is clear and the day is sunny, using a fast moving spinnerbait is best. With these, keep the first few casts close to shore and then slowly move outwards so you don’t scare away the fish.

If you are fishing in a lot of cover, a weedless spinnerbait is probably best. If you are fishing in waters that are clear or have a lot of grass, the leaf blade spinnerbait is best.

However, you want to use the Colorado blade spinnerbait in muddy and murky waters. The thing to remember here is that larger blades makes it easy to maneuver around debris, whereas narrow blades are better for clearer waters as they move faster.

Topwater Lures

If you are largemouth bass fishing from the shore, chances are that the water is fairly shallow. This means that topwater lures are great for bass fishing from the shore.

This kind of lure also works well when there is a lot of vegetation, both submerged and on the surface. If it is spring or early summer, go for a bright topwater lure, but in colder weather, darker and duller lures usually do better.

Now, there are many variations of topwater lures out there, each of which is best for a certain situation.

For instance, a walker is best for covering a lot of surface area, a popper is great for fishing around a lot of debris, wake baits are good for very clear waters, twitch baits are great for smaller areas where larger lures might scare away largemouth bass, and prop baits are great for grassy conditions and for the spawning season.

Jigs

If you are fishing close to the shore, you might want to consider using a jig bait. The skirting on jigs helps to attract bass for most of the year, which is of course convenient. Jigs are best used when fishing from cover, but be sure to not get it snagged on anything.

Use a something like a ¾ oz jig when fishing through grass or thick cover. Getting them to scoot or bounce along the bottom is best as they are meant to imitate prey animals for largemouth bass, such as crawfish and shrimp.

Picking The Right Rod & Fishing Line

Of course, when it comes to fishing for anything, having the right rod in your arsenal makes a big difference too. With that being said, different lengths and types of rods work better in various situations with differing baits.

So, when fishing for largemouth bass from the shore, what kind of rod should you use?

Buzzbaits Or Spinnerbaits

So, if you are using buzzbaits or spinnerbaits, you are best off using a lightweight rod that is between 6.5 and 7 feet in length. You want it to have a medium soft tip and have medium action. Before bass strike, they will often bump the blades on the baits, therefore it is super important to have a sensitive rod.

Keep in mind that a short rod gives you more casting accuracy, plus it is ideal if you are fishing from lots of cover, but a slightly longer rod will increase casting distance and give you more power and leverage.

Lures Or Crankbaits

If you are using topwater lures or crankbaits, you also want the rod you are using to be quite sensitive, with a total length between 6 and 7 feet, featuring a light action or medium action tip, which depends on the weight of the lure being used.

If you are using these baits and casting towards dense vegetation and fallen trees, a shorter rod is best for accuracy, but when casting to deeper waters, if you need distance, a longer rod will work best.

You do need the rod to be sensitive when casting into dense rocks and vegetation, as this will help you identify what the bait is hitting as you reel it back.

Jibs Or Plastic Lures

If you are using jigs or plastic lures to fish for largemouth bass from the shore, using a 6.5 to 7.5 foot long rod that is extremely lightweight and sensitive is best. You want it to have medium action with a medium-light tip, plus it should be made of graphite.

If you are fishing in deeper waters, having a very lightweight rod is important so you don’t fatigue yourself through casting and holding the rod.

If you are dishing in deeper waters, using a 6.5 foot rod for these baits is best, whereas a 7.5 foot rod is best for these baits when fishing in shallower water.

The Right Fishing Line

When it comes to the specific fishing line you are using, you want to use something like a 10.5 pound fluorocarbon line for a deep diving or medium diving crankbait. Just use lines that match with the size of the fish, type of rod, and weight of the lure you are using for largemouth bass shoreline fishing.

The most important thing to remember here is to use a line that is not easily visible, as largemouth bass do spook easily. At the same time, make sure to get a durable line that does not snag easily, because as we mentioned before, largemouth bass often like to hangout in vegetation.

It’s also a good idea to get yourself a decent rain suit, we have reviewed some good options here.

Employing The Right Fishing Technique

Let’s quickly go over some tips for fishing for largemouth bass from the shore in terms of your technique. The technique you use will go a long way in determining your overall success here.

Casting

Some people prefer to cast parallel from the shore, which provides a greater casting distance and helps to cover a larger water area with fewer casts. This is good for the pre-spawn or post spawn season, and for later on in the day, as largemouth bass are often in slightly deeper waters at these times.

If you are fishing for largemouth bass from the shore during the spawning season or when they are feeding, they will most likely be in shallower waters with more cover. This means that you should not cast parallel from the shore, but on an angle.

You want to direct your cast to the areas where the deep meets the shallow, and where there is the most cover and vegetation.

Visibility

Try to fish from some pretty dense cover. While largemouth bass do not have the best sense of sight, they can see alright, so having your feet and some your legs hidden behind a rock is ideal. Being hidden by some bushes never hurts either.

It is not advised to fish from the shore with your feet in the water, as your own movements are likely to scare the fish away. You want to stay away from the edge of the water whenever possible.

At the same time, wearing dark clothes is best for stealth, because if you are wearing bright colors, you are likely to scare away the bass.

Try to stand next to a tall tree and try to stand so that your silhouette from the sun does not hit the water, as your shadow will also scare away the fish.

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A Note On Weather / Wind

Try to focus your casts to windy shores. If the wind is blowing towards a certain direction, focus your casts that way.

Water currents and winds will blow baitfish and other animals which largemouth bass eat in that direction.

Feeding Times

When it comes to feeding times and the right time of year, no matter what bait you are using, largemouth bass often go for baits that move erratically. Simply put, many smaller and erratic movements are likely to attract largemouth bass.

Different baits have different ways in which you need to reel them in to achieve these erratic movements, but no matter what, unless the water is very cold, erratic and quick movements are the way to go.

On a side note, if you need some help finding a good Bass fishing rain suit then checkout this article. 

Conclusion

So, as you can see, it is definitely possible to catch largemouth bass when fishing from the shore. You need to have the right rod, the right line, the right lures, know the time of year and day in relation to largemouth bass habits, and use the right technique. If you follow all of the tips we have laid out here today, you should have no problem in catching lots of these good looking and even better tasting fish.

Related: Is Shrimp A Good Bait For Bass?

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.