Pike fishing is a great thing to do. For those who own a boat or float tube and know that fishing on large bodies of water can be greatly rewarding. However, at times, we find ourselves on the shore, not able to go out due to high winds, or sometimes overall bad weather conditions. And even if the weather isn’t bad, there is always great fun to be achieved fishing for Pike from shore. Just a few quick hours to the water after work, or just a general quick session in between, or just fishing from the bank because you enjoy it, or anything in between. In this article, I want to show you how to do this successfully, and what tackle is best to use to have the most fun!
Fishing from the shore is a game of distance. Long walks searching and scouting different waters to find the fish. So in the first place, you would like to use a light setup and take as less gear as you possibly can. The lighter you travel the more fun you will have, and believe me, downsizing your bait collection from the bank is essential. It’s easy when fishing from a boat to take a wide arsenal of baits because you will quickly be able to determine what works and what does not.
Large bodies of water often hold more fish, but that being said also smaller bodies of water can hold a lot of fish. However, fishing from the bank you want to size down your bait collection and take only the necessities. Why? Because you would end up anyway using the same bait that worked last time, and there are only so many baits that work in smaller waters, so a small selection of some soft baits, jerk baits is usually more than enough!
Above you can see a really nice soft bait selection from the German brand LMAB. These soft baits come in different models and colors, and they are all rigged with Pikecraft Fishing The System. This means you can fish them at any depth possible, and also switch up stinger rigs from a single to a double treble hook. Besides soft baits, its always nice to use some hard baits, as mentioned before, but every now and then the fish want a soft snack. Now it is being said that when you fish from the bank you are often limited in water, and also limited to watercolors, which especially in the Fall or Winter can become a little bit of a problem. Often it is difficult to find clear water, and usually, the water has a coloring that resides either brown or grey due to heavy rain, snowfall, or anything else that messes up the water in the colder months. So as you can see from the box above brighter colors are in favorite. The LMAB Drunk Bait in particular, and to be more precise the Drunk Dancer is such a bait that really stands out in the water, it is bright, it pushes a lot of water, and the fish love it!
When it comes to the use of hard baits, gliders are often the favorite. Not only do they push a lot of water, but they also can be fished with a wide action, and it is especially this action that can and will make all the difference in smaller waters. The fact is that when you are fishing from the bank, the shore is often long, and it is not an easy task where to start because as we know it, the Pike is often close to one other in the colder months. This being said it doesn’t make a lot of sense to fish long stretches of water, but instead with a jerk bait such as the Berkley Zilla Glider for example, you can quickly search water because the large gliding action pulls in fish from far away. Again brighter colors are a personal favorite here, and you will find out easily where the fish are hiding because you will get hooked up!
When it comes to gear and what is best to use I currently use two different rods. Inserted above is the Abu Garcia MAX41 Reel & Berkley Zilla Pike Casting. The Zilla Pike Casting is a rod which a length of 2.54m and casting weight from 40-110gr. I really like this setup and it is what I currently use most in somewhat larger waters, or when I expect larger fish. The casting weight is great because it enables you to fish somewhat heavier jerk baits, or soft baits and still remain momentum when setting the hook. It is also a really lightweight setup which will make you feel very comfortable in the water. The reel has a super smooth drag and it features a clicker, something that you probably never use fishing from the bank but on larger bodies of water it can come in handy. The rod has enough body to set the hook but also has a very nice parabolic action and that is something you really want.
Also, the rods that I use are longer than most ”jerk bait-style rods”. I cannot stress enough how important it is to use a longer rod. First of all, you are much more flexible when it comes to fishing areas with overgrown cover on the bank, and you will ”reach” the water quicker with a longer rod, secondly, the longer blank will enable you to have a better hookset, and ultimately also hook more fish. The leverage is just different compared to a short rod. Longer rods enable you to fish any bait you want with ease, and especially when it comes to gliders you can really give them a unique swing, simply because you have a longer reach right to the water. This will also be the case fishing larger bodies of water for really Big Pike. Longer rods will always have my favorite because you can do so much more with them!
On the flip side I also really like to use the Abu Garcia BEAST X Rod & Reel combo which is shown next to the LMAB baits picture on top of this article. The BEAST X in 2.36m 50-90gr is absolutely perfect for those really small waters where you will often fish ‘Lil baits. Still, this rod has all the backbone to set the hook and throw medium-sized baits, but I love this rod to size down. On smaller fish, it is truly a joy to fight them once hooked, and this rod has great action as well. Being parabolic to the max, yet having enough backbone to set the hook when a Pike strikes close to shore, as that is often what they do in smaller waters. This rod and reel combo is greatly balanced and you will feel the easiness and flex of the blank that enables you to cast in a tight cover.
When it comes to a quality setup for the somewhat smaller waters where you will expect also smaller fish, this combo gives the ultimate bank fishing experience. Both reels and rods are spooled up with 52lb Berkley Sick Braid 0.23mm in green and together fit like a glove. The reason why I use a slightly heavier braid is that when you fish from shore you will often fish in cover, and having a thicker line has several benefits to this. First of all your line doesn’t tangle up in the reeds so quickly, because once you get hooked up there you can easily retrieve your bait, and secondly having a little bit heavier line also creates lift, and this means that you can fish any bait much easier in shallow water. And when a fish strikes right in front of your feet, you don’t ever have to worry about line failure, the direct hookset can often be brutal so you will want only the best.
All in all fishing for Pike from the bank can make a bad day on big water into a great day on smaller water. More than often I switch to an easier setup and it’s really nice fishing in between. Now you’ll know exactly what I use and how you can use it as well. All the materials used in this article are high quality and will surely give you a lot of fun, fishing for Pike from the bank as well!