Bank Fishing

Fish Topwaters More Effectively from Shore

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Smaller ponds are some of the best places to find an incredible topwater bite. The bass aren’t heavily pressured, so they’ll often showcase an impressive display of aerial acrobatics when a well-placed topwater plug crosses their path. In addition, pond bass often relate to the shallow banks of these smaller fisheries, making them easy to reach from shore. 

But if you’ve tried to fish topwaters lures from the bank, you’re well aware of the common frustrations it causes. 

The problem

Most pond banks are fairly flat, which means you’re standing at the same level as the water line. Poppers, walking lures and hollow-bodied topwater frogs require sharp, downward twitches of your rod tip which leads to an irritating conundrum: Your rod tip constantly slaps the surface of the water. 

Because smaller ponds are so unmolested, this additional noise spooks nearby bass and can make them nearly impossible to catch. Not to mention, your fishing line will get wrapped around random sprigs of grass and weeds which significantly hinders the action of your lure. 

Both of these occurrences will hurt your chances of catching quality bass. 

The solution

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner, but I’ve recently started bringing a cooler to the pond with me. Standing on top of the cooler gives me added height, which allows me to work my 7-foot rod properly without any risk of spooking the bass. 

You can also use a 5-gallon bucket, but it can be a little more risky. It’s easier to transport than a big cooler, but it’s not near as sturdy. When it’s time to set the hook, there’s a good chance you can fall off the bucket: Trust me, I’ve done it plenty of times. 

I prefer a cooler for two reasons: It gives me more room to stand and I can fill it with ice or even an extra tackle bag to make it heavier, which makes it much more stable when you’re fighting bass or executing a big hookset. 

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Yes— I know it’s a simple tip, but it has made a noticeable difference in my topwater fishing success. Not to mention, the added elevation will allow you to see more cruising fish in the shallows so you can make pinpoint casts to them before they see you.