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Fishing Crankbaits From The Shore: A Complete Mini Guide

Fishing Crankbaits From The Shore: A Complete Mini Guide

Are you wondering if fishing a crankbait from the bank is any different from doing it from a boat or any other location? Fishing from the shore is different than fishing from any watercraft. When it comes to crankbaits, there are a few aspects you have to consider. Hopefully, by the the time you finish reading this article, all your questions will be solved.


The best way to fish a crankbait from the shore is by making the crankbait bang to the rocks or structure of the bank and other structures. Moving the bait with a sweeping motion is highly recommended. Avoid setting the hook aggressively in order to protect your fishing gear.


Fishing a crankbait is a topic of its own and doing it from the shore may have some nuances. On the other hand, the type of crankbait you should use may vary depending on different factors. With this being said, let’s get into this!



How to fish a crankbait from the shore

First of all, let’s go back to the basic foundation. What you are trying to imitate with a crankbait is a baitfish that is looking to feed. This baitfish we are trying to imitate has to look wounded or disoriented. That will drive the bass nuts! It triggers their instincts strongly. Bass are wired to automatically feed on wounded or disoriented baitfish.


Like we previously mentioned, what you have to do is bounce the crankbait against the structure. If the structure is made out of rocks, then bounce it against the rocks repeatedly. If there are other structures like wood, docks or any other, work those areas as well.


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Avoid setting the hook aggressively

Instead, do this with a sweeping motion. This is to avoid setting the hook on a rock and breaking your rod. At the very least you will have to get a new crankbait, and those aren’t cheap.  When setting the hook with a smoother motion, you will be able to feel is you actually have a bass and not something else.


What to do if you get stuck on a rock?

If you get stuck on a rock, make sure that you let your crankbait rest for a few seconds. Often times, your crankbait will float. Then you can slowly continue to reel it or pull it back with a sweeping motion.


The worse thing you can do is being aggressive with pulling the bait. You will only make the situation worse.



Recommended Crankbait Type

When it comes to bouncing of your crankbait from structures, the bait to use is a squarebill crankbait. The squarebill will dive relatively shallow, about 5 ft of water.


Make your casts as parallel to the bank as you can

If you are just casting straight, you are wasting time. Instead, cast parallel to the bank. You will maintain your bait within your striking zones for longer periods of time, and you want to remain close to the structure.


Avoid Heavy Weeds

When you’re on a boat or kayak, you have better angles to rip off the lure. But when you are fishing from the shore, you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to this aspect. Just avoid heavy weeds and save yourself a headache.


I good suggestion to tackle this problem is to use a longer rod. Longer rods give you the ability to raise higher the tip of your rod. Try something that is at least 7’6” or longer.


How to fish a lipless crankbait from the shore

Before getting into this, let’s clarify a common myth about lipless crankbaits. Since this type of crankbait does not have a bill or lip coming out of the bait, some anglers might think that this bait will dive the shallowest. And this is completely false. How deep this crankbait dives depends on how fast you retrieve it. If you decide to not retrieve it, it will dive deeper and deeper. Once the crankbait is at the depth where you want it to be, you can start retrieving it and fishing it at that height. This makes it very versatile because you can fish it on the top, on the bottom or in the middle in terms of water depth.


This makes the lipless crankbait a great option for bank fishing because it gives you that versatility. You can fish it as shallow or deep as you need. On the other hand, a deep diver would get stuck when


So, what you are going to do is throw it and let it sink. It sinks about 1 foot per second. Let it sink until it reaches the depth you want. After that, start working it around the structure.


If it’s spring time, let your crankbait dive into the weeds.  Make your crankbait go through the weeds and rip it out. This will cause a reaction bite.


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The best areas to use your crankbait from the shore

The best word to say is “transitions”. From rock to wood, form sunny to shady, grass to mudbottom, etc. You will find lots of bass there. Also look for structures like curves and bends. Also, look for structures where there are rocks. Those are the best locations.


Square bill fishing from pond on the bank

Make sure you are reeling your bait slowly, especially when you are fishing on grass. If you hit any type of wood like branches, make sure you lift the crankbait over the branch and continue reeling. It’s kind of the same motion you are doing when banging the bait into the rocks.


Create an erratic action when reeling your bait

Imagine a Bluegill going through the water. It doesn’t go swimming through the water with a consistent movement or with patterns. It’s the opposite. They go fast, slow, they go to the side to check something out, etc. They create erratic movements.


So, when reeling it back, do it in a way where you stop at times for a second. Reel, stop, reel, reel more, stop. You get the idea. Bass will go crazy with this.


Erratic action. A baitfish would never move consistently, it goes, stops, goes to the side, etc. Jerk jerk-pause

When there is wood, do worming. Basically you move a worm through the wood when you hit a branch or something. If it’s on rocks, you really want to bang the squarebill into those rocks.



Recommended rod, reel and line for crankbait fishing from the shore


This depends on the type of cover you are fishing around. If you are around a lot of vegetation, thick trees or thick grass, go for a 15-20 lb fluorocarbon. If there is less grass where you are fishing at, a 12 lb fluorocarbon will perform perfectly.


A Medium Action Rod is what you want to get. Make sure it’s a little bit longer when fishing it from the bank. Get something that is between 7’6” and 7’11”. In my opinion, a 7’6 is the sweet spot.  If you are looking for a specific suggestion, I’ve researched a lot and the Kodiak Macro by Big Bear Rods is the best rod for this. You can get it from us by clicking here.


A 6.X:1 gear ratio is a good fit for this setup. If you are on a budget, go for the Piscifun Spark Pro (you can buy it from us by clicking here). If you want to invest in a better reel, definitely get the Apex Grand by Ardent (you can buy it from us by clicking here).  


A few final tips

I came across this video and I think it’s a good idea to share it with you. It’s not specifically about bank fishing but it gives you some good insights about crankbait fishing. Besides, who doesn’t want to watch a video of Kevin VanDam?  



And with this, we reached the end of this article. I really hope it helped you out. As always, our goal at Reel Fishermen is to help you become a better angler. If you have any questions, make sure to drop them in the comment section below.


“Reel Fishermen Can Tackle Anything”

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