Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time fishing from the shore, where conditions dictate varying tactics and approaches to fishing. More often than not, bank fishing means fishing in shallow waters, where you’ll want to use bass baits that excel in a few feet of water.

Shallow depths hold bass all year because they almost always contain the three things necessary for a bass to live: food, cover and oxygen. To target these super shallow bass, I know I can rely on a trio of go-to baits, and I want to share them with you.

Buzzbaits are the Business

Shallow water bass are almost always there for a reason and that reason is usually to eat. There aren’t many presentations that produce strikes from feeding shallow water bass better than an old-fashioned buzzbait. They are brilliant in shallow water because they can be pulled right over the top of cover like weeds or pads, can be worked through all sorts of snags and create a lot of noise on the surface, which allows for plenty of time for strikes. Some of my favorite buzzbaits include Strike King’s Bleeding Bait Elite and Hart Tackle’s Hart Breaker Quad

Wacky is a Good Thing

Another bait I lean on in shallow water situations is a wacky rigged worm—a Senko style worm hooked through the belly. Skipping a weightless wacky rig around cover is one of my favorite ways to target shallow-water bass, as its subtle action on the fall is usually enough to draw immediate strikes. In super shallow water, wacky worms like the Yamamoto Senko can be even more effective because you can fish them much faster and more efficiently simply because you don’t have to wait long for them to sink to the bottom. Watch pro angler, Mark Davis, show you how to wacky rig a Senko worm here: https://youtu.be/n91kKDxjKak?t=14s 

Be a Jerk. Really

When bass are feeding on baitfish in shallow water, there’s nothing more effective than a weightless soft plastic jerkbait, like the Bass Assassin Shad and the Jerk from Berkley. They sink slowly, produce an appealing erratic action on the retrieve and don’t snag on cover. Toss a plastic jerkbait near a laydown or grass line and twitch it back towards you to draw strikes from hungry bass in shallow water.

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