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Bank & Surf Fishing


Bank Fishing Basics
Fishing by Species (Freshwater)
Surf Fishing Basics
Fishing by Species (Saltwater)
Fishing Tips
Contact Us


For our purposes here we will cover three basic types commonly used by beginners: Line and Pole, Spinning and Spincasting.

Line and Pole : Is just that a line attched to the tip of a pole. This is simplicity in itself. Usually the poles are made of Bamboo or sometype of metal or graphite.

Spincasting : Spincasting reels sit on top of the rod handle, and the line is controled by a thumb button. This type is sometimes refered to as a "closed face" because the spool is covered, and line is released through a hole in the cover.

Spinning : Spinning on the otherhand has the reel sitting below the rod handle and the spool does not revolve. The line is picked up and spun by a metal bar called a bail. The rods also have oversized guides to compensate for the way the line comes off the spool in large loops.


Fishing line is graded in terms of "pound test". This is in reference to the breaking strength of the line. There are a few different types of line in use today they are: monofilament, briaded and fluorocarbon.

Monofilament : Mono (this is what it is commonlly called) is a single strand line ususally made from nylon and tends to stretch and may only last a season or two. This is still the most commonly used type of fishing line because it is inexpensive and comes in a large variety of tests and colors.

Braided Line : Braided is made up of many small strands of nylon or Dacron line braided together. This type of line is somtimes called "super line" or "power line". It is more expensive than mono but it does not stretch anc will last many seasons. It is also more sensitive and will aid in detecting bites especially in deep water.

Fluorocarbon : This is the newest type of line on the market and is designed to be virtually invisible in the water. It is best used in leaders as it does not cast well and tends to fray.


Knot tying is one of the most important skills to master early. You can loose fish and tackle just because you didn't tie the knot well. The two that I will discuss here are the Improved Clinch Knot and the Palomar Knot. These two knots will cover most applications and should be mastered before trying other knots. Be sure to moisten the line, pull it tight and clip the tag end with nail clippers. Also remember to test your knot before you cast your line.

Improved Clinch Knot : Is great for securing line to swivels and hooks.

1. Run the line through the eye of the hook. Wrap the line around the standing line five times.
2. Thread the line through the loop you made in the first step and then lead it through the big loop.
3. Moisten the line and pull the wraps tight down to the eye of the hoop. Clip the tag end and test the knot.

Palomar Knot : Is a quick and easy strong knot
1. Run ten inches of line through the eye of the hook. Then run it back through to makea loop.
2. Bring the loop behind the standing line and up through the center of the hole.
3. Pass the hook through the loop.
4. Moisten the line and pull the wraps tight down to the eye of the hoop. Clip the tag end and test the knot.


Hooks : Hooks are available in too many different sizes and shapes to mention here. Each hook is designed with a specific use in mind. Some are designed to hold live bait like a worm or salmon egg. Others are designed to hold a plastic worm, minnow or other large soft bait. The smaller the hook the bigger the number i.e. a No 1 hook is larger than a No 2 hook. This does not hold true for hooks larger than a No 1 they are numbered 1/0 and contine up with the larger numbers being larger hooks.

Bobbers : Bobbers also called corks hold the bait off of the bottom at pre determined depth. They are attached to the line and can be adjusted up and down to change the depth of the bait. When a fish bites the bobber will be pulled down or moved sideways. Bobbers come in a wide variety of colors like red and white, chartreuse and black and other bright colors, that make them easy to see in the water. You should always be sure to use the SMALLEST bobber you can for the type of fish you are after so they can pull it down easily.

Leaders : Many times your fishing rig will use a "leader" between the main line and the hook. A leader is a short length of line of a different weight than the main line. They can be long or short, weak or strong. You can also purchase hooks that already have leaders attached to them to attach to your main line these are called "snells".

Sinkers : Sinkers serve two functions, one is to add distance to your cast they also help to hold your bait on or near the bottom. Sinkers are available in many different sizes, shapes and weights. There are split shot, tear drop, pyramid, bannana, sliding egg, worm and many others. Sinkers are typically made from lead or tungston.

Swivels : Swivels are used to connect leaders to the main line, they also help prevent line twisting. There are barrel (two loops at each end and a barrel in the middle), snap swivel (quick snap at one end and a loop on the other) and a thre way swivel(three loops).


There are two main types of bait Natural and Artificial.

Natural Bait : Live bait is the easiest and usually most inexpensive (not to mention fun) bait you can use to catch fish. There are however some bodies of water that restrict the use of live or natural bait, be sure to check local regulations for each body of water before you fish it. Natural baits include worms, nightcrawlers, minnows, crayfish, salamanders, grubs, frogs, crickets, grasshoppers salmon eggs and doughballs. Crayfish salamanders and frogs are good for bass (large or small mouth). Grubs, crickets and grasshoppers are great for all types of panfish. Doughballs and stinkbait are used for bottom feeders such as carp and catfish. Worms are great for too many to mention. Just try them all. I still have the best luck for panfish with a simple pole, line, hook and worm.

Artificial Lures : Many artificial lures appear natutal, others don't resemble anything in nature. The latter type of lure is designed instead to mimic the movement and sound and sometimes scent of a natural bait fish. The easiest type to use for begginers are plugs, spoons and spinners. Jigs and most soft plastics are very effective but hard to master.

Plugs: Plugs are fish shaped lures usually made from balsa or plastic. They typically will have one or more trebble hook. Some are known as topwater "poppers" while others dive by using a built in plastic lip that gets them down to a variety of depths. The diving depth is determined by the type and angle of the lip and also how fast you retrieve it , the faster the retrieve the deeper it will go. These are also refered to as "Crankbaits".

Spoons: Spoons are a very versitile lure that is a metal blade that wobbles back and forth in the water. AS they are retrieved they vibrate and reflect light which in turn attracts fish. When using a spoon be sure to attach a swivel to the line to prevent line twist. Spoons are available in weights ranging from a fraction of an ounce to 3 oz in weight.

Spinners: Spinners have a blade that spins at the front and any number of types of lures behind the blade. These can include flies, spoons, lures and even a hook with live bait. Spinners produce a good amount of flash and attract alot of attention and can be very effective.

Jigs: A jig has a weighted head or body and is designed to work on or close to the bottom, either by itself or with a bobber to aid in depth control. JIGS WILL HANG UP, so be prepared to lose some. This can be very frustrating for the beginner, but once you learn to use them they are one of the most effective lures in your tackle box

Tackle Box Tools : Tackle boxes are designed with one purpose in hold your stuff ie. hooks, bobbers, lures, flies and other fishing gear. There are a few items most people don't think about including when settin up thier boxes. They are

-Needlenose pliers
-Small Screwdriver(for repairs)
-Cloth"Fish Rag"(trust me your need it)
-Scale and Measuring Tape(flexible ones for fabric are great)
-Nail Clippers
-Bait Container








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