Tips and Tactics For Bank Fishing

Check the Cal. Fishing Rules - Laws Page Here

 Surprise -- You don't need a boat to catch fish! With the
 right equipment and some inside information, you can
 find and catch all kinds of bass, bluegill, catfish, carp and
 other fish from shore. And you can do it at a lake, pond
 or stream close to home. Follow these 10 tips for better
 bank fishing:

 #1: Plan ahead. If possible, scout the place you intend to
 fish a day or so in advance. How clear is the water? Are
 there weeds on or below the surface? Are there plenty of
 good bank-fishing areas or only a few? This will help you
 know what equipment to bring with you.

 #2: Protect yourself. To help make your bank-fishing
 day fun instead of miserable, it pays to take some
 precautions. In warm weather, apply sun screen to
 exposed skin and wear a hat. Chiggers, ticks, mosquitoes,
 and other biting insects can be thick along the banks of
 many fishing holes, so use insect repellent as well. The
 shoreline can also attract snakes -- stay clear of them.
 Make sure you bring plenty of fluids to drink in hot
 weather.

 #3: Use the right tackle & equipment. You don't need
 a lot of equipment to fish from shore, but the right kind
 of gear can be a tremendous help. A long, flexible
 spinning or spin cast rod or a pole that breaks down into
 at least two pieces is easy to carry and lets you make
 much longer casts than a short, stiff rod. A small utility
 tackle box will hold hooks, sinkers and lures. Also bring a
 small spool of line and a pair of needle nose pliers to
 remove hooks. Use a backpack or fanny pack to carry
 your gear.

 #4: Fish smart. Know the habits of the fish you're after.
 Bass like shallow water with weeds, sunken logs and
 other cover and prefer food that's moving, not sitting still
 on the bottom. Bluegill and crappie feed on small
 minnows, worms and insects and often hang out around
 brush piles and lily pads. Carp and catfish feed mainly by
 scent and may be most active on cloudy days.

 #5: Pre-bait your fishing hole. This works especially
 well with wary carp, catfish and bluegill in clear lakes.
 Visit your fishing spot several times during the course of
 a week and put some food in the water in the same spot
 each time (corn for carp, canned lunch meat cut into
 small cubes for catfish, worms and insects for bluegill and
 bass). Fish will get used to feeding in this spot. Then use
 these same foods for bait when you go fishing.

 #6: Conceal yourself. In clear ponds and streams, if you
 can see fish, they can see you. You'll get a lot more bites
 if you blend into your surroundings. Avoid wearing bright
 shirts and hats (white, yellow or red are highly visible)
 and choose green, blue, brown or camouflage (camo)
 instead.

 #7: Use the right lures. Lures with single hooks, like
 plastic worms, grubs and spinnerbaits, are ideal for bank
 fishing because they don't hang up easily. Weedless frogs
 and rats work great when ponds are covered with surface
 weeds. Small Beetle Spins slide through cover easily and
 will catch a ton of bluegill.

 #8: Be observant. Pay attention to what's going on
 around you. Watch for bass chasing minnows on the
 surface, bluegill popping insects, and the silt trails left by
 feeding carp. Wear polarized sunglasses so you can see
 into the water.

 #9: Handle your catch carefully. You will probably
 want to release most of the fish you catch, so avoid
 handling them too much or dropping them on the ground.
 Bring a camera with you to photograph your catch for
 your scrapbook.

 #10: Fish responsibly. Never litter the bank -- in fact,
 bring a plastic trash bag with you to haul out any litter
 left by careless fishermen. Always ask permission before
 fishing farm ponds and other private waters and close
 gates behind you.
 

Fishing:   Getting Started   Anglers code

Family Fishing Adventures

Today, there is much fishing emphasis on big boats, big
technology, big water and big fish. Nothing wrong with
that. I like all these things too. But for a change of pace,
go low-tech and take the kids "just fishing."

This doesn't have to be an ordeal. In fact, that's exactly the
point. Make it painless for all involved by leaving
high-tech, high-success goal orientations out of it.
Downscale, downsize, download and just catch some fish.

You often don't have to go far from home. A small farm
pond or creek is ideal. The fish are smaller, but so are the
expectations--and these small waters often produce more
fish and more fast action than the big "famous" reservoirs.
To pick up the catch rate, use live bait. (If you take small
kids, you'll often find that they get more into catching bait
than catching fish.) This isn't about trophy fish or even
heavy stringers, this is about having fun with your family.
 
 
 

 Fish Trivia

Want to know even more about fish? Here's more cool
facts.

We have eyelids to keep our eyes moist and protected from
dirt. Since fish eyes are underwater, they are
constantly washed with water so they don't need eyelids.
 Also, fish eyes have spherical lenses that permit
 wide-angle vision. Many fish predators have eyes located
 forward on the head to see fleeing prey, while many fish
 of prey have eyes set farther back on the head to see
 predators approaching form behind.

 Fish don't have a tongue like we do. Their taste buds are
 located on the pharynx, lips, gills and head. Some catfish
 have taste buds all over their bodies. A few can taste with
 their tails. Some fish, like carp, minnows and suckers,
 have teeth in their throats. Other fish have teeth on their
 tongues and on the roof of their mouth. And a few fish,
 like the plankton feeders, have no teeth at all. The sea
 lamprey, an eel-like fish, has a toothy tongue that it uses
 to drill a hole in the body of a live fish; then it sucks out
 the fish's blood and body fluids.

 Sharks, rays and skates have no bones. Their skeletons
 are made out of cartilage--the same substance that forms
 your ears and the end of your nose. And fish that live in
 the Antarctic have a special "antifreeze" chemical in their
 system that keeps the water in their bodies from
 freezing.

 Most fish have a swim bladder to control buoyancy, but
 tunas and sharks don't. If they stop swimming, they sink.
 The sand tiger shark gulps air to regulate its depth, and
 it belches it back out when it's caught.

 Goldfish can live for 10 to 25 years. Lake sturgeon can
 live for up to 80 years. So how do you tell a fish's age?
 Well you can count the number of rings on its ear bone
 since each ring equals one year, or you can look at its
 scales. When a fish is born, it has all of its scales. As the
 fish grows, so do its scales. Each individual fishscale has a
 set of growth rings, and each ring equals one year. Count
 the rings and find out how old your fish is.

 All fish have scales, but some scales, like those of the
 tuna, are so small they are almost invisible, and the
 scales of the gar are so tough that Native Americans used
 them as arrowheads. Pioneer farmers covered their
 wooden plows with gar hides.

 Know how hard it is to hold onto that fish you just
 caught? Fish are slimy for a reason. A slippery coating
 protects the fish against parasites and fungus. It keeps
 body fluids in and fresh water and salt water out. It
 reduces friction for better swimming, and makes a fish
 slick and harder for predators to catch.

 It's hard for fish to catch each other too. Most fish are
 dark colored on top and light underneath. Looking up, a
 hungry predator sees bright sunlight, so a fish with a
 light colored belly will blend in with the sunlight. Looking
 down the predator sees darkness, so a fish with a dark
 back is camouflaged against the murky depths.