When reading most fishing articles, whether they’re written by fishing pro’s or outdoor writer’s, a good percentage of them relate fishing tips and techniques when fishing from a boat. But what about us boat less anglers?
Dr. Jason Halfen, of The Technological Angler, a company dedicated to teaching anglers to leverage modern technology to find and catch fish, has refreshingly good tips and techniques for those who fish from shore. After all, he claims, nearly everyone who gets their first start in fishing usually has cast a line from shore.
Halfen lists five tips when fishing from shore that will attempt to make the effort a bit easier.
1. Go Long: Since preferred structure fishing is limited to the distance covered by our longest casts, it makes sense to use a long rod. Halfen points to Euro-carp anglers using 13-foot rods are commonplace. He contends that long rods allow anglers to avoid entanglements with shoreline obstacles like weeds and brush when the rod’s length can elevate baits above those obstacles during the cast and retrieve. Secondly, long rods provide leverage to bring hooked fish quickly to shore and keeping them away from near-shore snags. Long rods also allow longer casts, something saltwater beach anglers benefit from when trying to reach deeper water. And when fishing for soft-mounted fish like shad, a whippy, sensitive rod balances the power to dominate larger fish.
2. Watch Your Line: Halfen says that shoreline hazards like rocks, thick brush, downed trees, underwater debris or docks, can play havoc with your fishing line. A frayed line could mean losing a trophy fish if it tears. To avoid this, the Dr. says to use a line tough enough for any shoreline application, like Seaguar AbrazX. The latter is a 100 percent fluorocarbon line fortified with advanced abrasive resistance. This line also retains softness for long casts and easier handling.
3. Check Your Jig: Halfen contends that one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to target fish from shore is with a jig. By selecting jigs of different weights, they can present a wide variety of both live and artificial baits through any portion in the water column. A light jig, he believes, can be dangled beneath a bobber or retrieved close to the surface. Or, choose a heavier jig to work the mid-range depths or bounce a bait along the bottom.
4. Keep Fish Nearby: While shore-bound anglers generally have limited mobility, Halfen says fish patrolling a stretch of shoreline or hopping among pieces of shore-line cover, might be within reach of an angler casting from shore for only a short period of time. As such and where legal, Halfen recommends BaitCloud, a unique product that will bring fish to your location and keep them there while you’re casting to them. BaitCloud, works by combining scent, sound and visual attractants into a single, easy-to-use, biodegradable fish attractant. And it’s available in a variety of formulations and recipes for bass, walleye or panfish, and is helpful in a lake or pond where there’s minimal current.
5. Travel Light: Halfen says that to enhance your mobility when fishing from shore, carry only what you need. “The less stuff you have to pack and move, the more often you will switch spots. Just like fishing from a boat or through the ice where mobility is the key to success,” he assures. Take the basics like jigs, bait, extra line even an old-school stringer. And pack everything in a soft sided tackle bag like a Plano Zipperless Z-Series with shoulder strap for easy of carrying.
Halfen believes shore fishing is a great way to reconnect with your angling roots and a good way to teach a youngster to fish.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.