On the Bank

Fishing from the bank is always worth checking out. It can provide excellent fishing and is usually free. Some areas aren't suitable because the water's too deep or the bank is unsafe, but many bank access spots are good for various kinds of fish. You can walk the bank and cast or put a couple of rods out in holders and just sit back and relax.

Freshwater Beaches

Beaches in fresh water are easy to access but sometimes the presence of swimmers prevents fishing on them. But many beaches are in picnic areas that also have spots to fish on the shore away from the swimmers. The best times to check out beaches are during cold weather, at night, or on weekdays when the beaches aren't crowded.

Some beaches don't allow fishing at all and others are closed at night and during bad swimming weather. Check local regulations and follow the rules. It may be possible to get permission from beach supervisors to fish at specific times.

Boat ramps are usually located on deep water with riprap (rocks placed on the bank to prevent erosion) around them, which can make them excellent fishing spots. There is usually enough area to the sides of the ramp for fishing, and you can cast to the dock even if fishing from it is not allowed. Make sure you don't block the ramp and be ready to move out of the way when boaters want to use the ramp to launch their boats. The ramp itself can also be a good place to cast because it offers a hard bottom that drops off fast.

Marinas are excellent fishing areas and some welcome fishermen. Find one selling bait and tackle and you're likely to find one with many spots to fish. Some even have special designated areas for bank fishing with benches, tables, and fire rings. You probably won't be allowed access to the docks with boats moored to them, but fishing the bank between them can be excellent.

Canals are usually public waters and often have walking paths beside them and public access at many spots. In cities and towns, look for city parks near the canal, roads that run parallel to the canal, and street crossings over the canal. Out in the country, look for places where a public road swings near the canal or crosses it. Bicycle or walking paths also give fishermen access to canals outside city limits.

Saltwater Shoreline

Many beaches on salt water are public and fishing is allowed in most areas. You may have to walk to find good spots to fish where rip currents have made holes or washed food the fish like near the beach, but a little exploring can pay off. Stay away from swimmers who were there first but don't worry about them scaring off the fish. Watch for other surf fishermen and ask them if it's okay if you fish near them, especially if they're catching fish.

Boat ramps are hard to find in salt water because many places have mechanical launching, but saltwater ramps offer the same advantages as freshwater ramps. Check for bank access around the parking lot and near the ramp itself. Ramps sometimes have holes dug out by current on either side if them. Drifting a bait across one of the holes beside or at the end of a ramp is a good way to catch many kinds of fish.

Buying your bait at a marina store can be well worth any extra cost because you can get local information and maybe even a place to fish. It's likely to be fresh, too. Try to get acquainted with the people operating the bait store and you can benefit from their knowledge and location.

Some saltwater marinas cater to fishermen just like freshwater ones do. They sell bait and tackle and will offer tips on where to fish and how to catch fish. Many times they will allow you to fish near the boat docks and around the launch areas. Some will also have picnic areas with bank fishing within the marina.

Saltwater canals can be excellent fishing for many kinds of fish. In port cities, boats moving in the canals will stir up baitfish and make predators feed. The canals are often lined with roads and access can be good. Many cities designate specific fishing areas on canals and make sure there is good access for fishermen on them.

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