Let’s face the facts: nearly everyone gets their start in fishing by casting a line from shore. These outings find us anxious to tangle with “whatever bites” and happy to steal a few moments near the water to wash away life’s trials and tribulations. The simplicity of angling from the shore is counterbalanced by the inherent limitations that accompany such trips: fishing locations are restricted to those places where we can legally access the shoreline, and our ability to probe the nooks and crannies of subsurface structure is limited by the distance covered by our longest casts. Even in the face of these obstacles, shore fishing continues to enjoy a special part in the repertoire of many sportsmen, ranging from the relative novice to the most seasoned and experienced angler. Here are five proven tips that will help bring more success to your shoreline fishing experiences.
One of the most important tools for the shore-bound angler is a long rod. Certainly no secret to veterans of the Euro-carp scene, where rods up to 13 feet in length are commonplace, long rods provide significant advantages to multispecies anglers patrolling the shoreline. First, such rods allow anglers to avoid entanglements with imposing shoreline reeds and willows, where the rod’s length can elevate baits above those obstacles during the cast, and can also keep the angler’s line above that same cover during the retrieve. Second, long rods provide anglers with the leverage they need to bring hooked fish quickly to shore, keeping them away from near-shore snags that could lead to loss of the “fish of the day”. When chasing walleyes, bass and panfish, my favorite shorefishing rod is the 7-foot, 6-inch St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye Series LTWS76MLXF
. This rod provides me with the length I need to avoid shoreline cover and to make long casts, the sensitivity I need to detect subtle bites from wary walleyes, and the right balance of power to dominate a larger fish, while still allowing me to enjoy scrappy battles with crappies and perch. When whiskered fish, like catfish or sturgeon, are on the menu, I select a beefy St. Croix Mojo Cat MCS80MF2
. This 8-foot rod features a unique, powerful blend of SC-II graphite and linear S-glass that can easily muscle the orneriest cat to shore.