The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. Thanks for helping us do what we love.

Catch More Spring Panfish with These Bank Fishing Tips

Bank anglers rejoice! Across the country, spring signals the movement of panfish such as bluegills and crappies into shallow water where they’re hungry and accessible to willing bank fisherman. Wired2fish’s McKeon Roberts jumps on this annual opportunity and shares several pointers for finding and catching quality fish with a simple assortment of tackle and gear.


The presence of food and warmer water are the driving forces for this mass migration into the shallows, so it’s ideal to time your outings after a string of warm spring days. Panfish are usually spooky after this initial push shallow, so stealth and some “approach strategy” can be essential. Small pockets or bays often have channels connecting them to the main lake. Panfish use these neck downs as exit points when threatened, so McKeon fishes his way deeper into the bay or pocket to keep fish corralled. Polarized fishing sunglasses help see surface disturbances or fish congregated around heat-holding cover like logs and newly emerging vegetation. Any of these objects can be literal hot spots for concentrating fish and worth extra attention.


The presentation is simple – a small bobber with a downsized jig and plastic produces excellently. Roberts shares a few tips to minimize rigging downtime between casting and catching and how to give artificial lures a subtle “live” action. Similar to camping or hiking, it’s best to travel light but organized. Roberts uses a backpack and waist pack combo to store and comfortably transport key tackle and supplies. The waist pack keeps tackle and tools easily accessible. At the same time, the backpack harbors rain gear and supplies like water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Lastly, no rod setup is complete without a protective rod sleeve for preventing rod guides and lines from tangling in the brush.