Step-by-Step: How to Fish With Lures From the Shore

Shore fishing is easily the most popular type of fishing that anglers can do. That’s because it’s the most accessible to people and most beginners start with shore fishing, but what are the steps that you need to do to really be successful with it?

To fish with lures from the shore, you should first find the right location. Being at a prime spot at the right time may be so much better than if you’re on a boat. You also need the right fishing rod and a variety of lures. Lastly, you’ll need various lure techniques when shore fishing.

Of course, there are a lot of other things that you need to consider other than these. Let’s talk about the crucial steps you need to do to fish with lures from the shore. Stick around because we’ll also share some tips that will help you fish like a pro!

Why You Should Try Shore Fishing

There are many reasons why you should try shore fishing, but the biggest is because you won’t need a boat. It has a much lower barrier for entry—you only need a fishing rod and various lures to start. It also saves you a lot of time—something that many anglers fail to consider. If you’re using a boat, you need to spend a lot of time, even before fishing. You have to maintain its condition and ensure that it’s refueled and ready for fishing.

Aside from not requiring a boat, many beginners learn to fish from the shore because it’s much easier than other fishing types. You’re stealthier without worrying about the noise created by the trolling motor. It also lets you access areas that are inaccessible to boats. Aside from this, you don’t have to consider anything, and you can take as much time as you want, just fishing.

If you can find the right location at the right time, you can catch fish better from the shore than if you were on a boat. It allows beginners to learn the basics of fishing, making it easier for them to improve their skills before trying other fishing types. Beginners are also more likely to land a fish because they only have to reel it in.

Although shore fishing is much simpler, it doesn’t mean that you can go to any shore and cast your rod anywhere. You need to consider many other things, including the season, color of the water, the location, the type of rod that you need, and the best lure that you can use for your activity.

However, we’re assuming that you’re new to fishing, so we won’t complicate the process for you. Below are the steps you need to follow to succeed with shore fishing, even for those doing it for the first time.

Choose the Right Location

Location is the most crucial factor you need to consider if you want to fish with lures from the shore. This step includes finding the right place and being there at the right time. Usually, spring and fall are the best times to go fishing, but it doesn’t apply everywhere.

Fishes are neither late nor early when they move; they’ll be there when they should be there. Often, they go to shallow water to feed or spawn, and a professional angler knows when it’s time to go fishing. It’ll be much easier to fish from the shore if they’re out looking for food, especially if you have the right lure, and you’re using the proper technique.

Finding the right location is always the first step when shore fishing. Of course, it’s not always easy because sometimes, you’ll have to fish from a rocky shore or a place that you can only reach by foot. When looking for the right location, you should always prepare for the worst.

If you’re on a rocky shore, you should expect that you’ll fight against powerful maritime predators. Letting a hooked fish swim freely can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools. So, once you have the right location, the next step would be determining and bringing the tools you only need.

Bring the Right Tools

Finding the prime spot for fishing isn’t easy. Sometimes, you’ll have to get there on foot. So, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the different rods you can use. It allows you to determine the right rod that you should bring, with all the tools that you’ll need for fishing.

In most cases, we only bring two to three rods with us when we fish from the shore. It gives us the versatility needed for fishing without straining ourselves whenever we need to walk far to reach the prime spot. Remember, if you have to walk, you also need to carry anywhere from 14 to 20 pounds (6.35 to 9 kg) of fluorocarbon line, a baitcasting combo, and a spinning outfit for finesse lures.

That’s a lot of weight to carry, especially if we’re going to the prime spot on foot. Remember, those are only the bare essentials that we need for shore fishing. If you’re bringing more than what you need, which will happen if you’re not familiar with angler’s tools, you’ll strain yourself even before you get there.

Try a Variety of Lures

Each lure has its advantages and disadvantages that work well in various locations, but don’t spend your time finding “the best lure” for shore fishing—there’s none. You can only pick the good ones and try all of them to find the one that works best for your location. Remember, what works on one shore may not be effective on another, so it would be best to have a variety with you.

When you’re fishing with a lure, your goal is to imitate the movement of a fish’s prey. “One cast wonders” do happen, but don’t count on it. Professional anglers are hoping for one cast wonders, but they know that even without it, they’ll still land on a fish. They always have various lures that they’ll try and are also familiar with the techniques they can use to make the baits more enticing for the fish.

Besides the type of fish you’re trying to catch, the lure that’ll work for you will also depend on where you are and the water’s color. To help you find the one that works well in your location, let’s go through some of the most common lures you can get, their advantages, and what it can do for your fishing. Here are the ones that you’ll often find:

  • Crankbait: This is a lure preferred by many anglers because it gives them the ability to work on a particular column within the water. It’s usually made of plastic or wood with a weighted front that looks like a duck’s bill. This design allows the lure to sink to a predetermined depth that forces it to move sporadically. It also comes with various features such as trailing hooks and rattlers that make it even more enticing for the fishes.
  • Lipless crankbait: This lure is designed to provide the angler with more control over the depth he wants to work. It also avoids the most significant disadvantage of using crankbaits—getting caught as you reel it in. It works better if you’re going to use it in colder water, making it the perfect choice for those fishing during spring and fall. Aside from not getting caught, it also gives you the ability to try various lure techniques.
  • Texas rig worm: This is a lure preferred by many anglers because it works all-year-round. There’s really nothing special about it, just a soft plastic that resembles a worm’s shape, but fishes often mistake them for snakes or big leeches. If you use it properly, it’s one of the most effective lures you can use to fish from the shore.
  • Spoon: This is a type of lure that looks like a spoon without the handle. It has a unique shape that allows it to flutter as it sinks. Since it mimics an injured fish’s movement, many prefer to take it up a notch using the “red devil”—the most popular spoon type. It has red and white stripes that resemble blood, making it even more enticing to a hungry fish.
  • Jigs: Some of the most common lures that anglers use when fishing in freshwater and saltwater. It has a weighted head that sinks first and a tail made of plastic or feathers that moves as the lure sinks. The rear also conceals the hook that usually has a live bait attached to it. Some prefer to use oil-based scent because it makes the lure more enticing without ruining the feathers.
  • Plug: This is the most versatile lure that anglers can use. It can skim along the water’s surface, move at a predetermined depth, or troll deep at the bottom of the water. It also comes in dark or light colors that work well at various times of the day. These features make plugs one of the essential lures that anglers can have in their collection.
  • Spinning lure: This is a hybrid of spoons and crankbait. It has a spoon-shaped metal blade that spins or wobble through the water as it sinks. It also has a large hook covered by feather or plastic, much like a crankbait. Aside from mimicking an injured fish’s movement, it also creates vibrations in the water that works better in encouraging a fish to strike.

Match the Color of the Lure

Once you have the right location, tools, and various lures you can use, the next step is to observe the water. The water’s color plays a significant role when fishing, and you’ll use it to determine the right color for the lure.

For example, if you’re fishing in murky water, you may want to use brighter colors. A combination of white and red will be more effective under these conditions because the fishes can easily spot them. 

Bright-colored lures are also what you want to use if you’re fishing during dusk or at night. Remember, it’s supposed to attract fishes and mimic their prey’s movement, but they won’t pay attention to your lure if they can’t notice it.

Another factor that you have to consider is where you’re fishing. If you’re on saltwater, bright patterned lures work best—red and white stripes. However, if you’re going to use the same lure on freshwater, it may only scare the fishes away. If you’re fishing in freshwater with clear water conditions, using a more neutral color will make it more effective.

These are some of the reasons why anglers should always have various lures when they go fishing. You’ll never know the water condition until you see it, and it plays a significant role in the effectiveness of the one you’re going to use.

Start Luring the Fish

The last step when fishing with lures from the shore is to start luring the fish. It’s rare to do a one cast wonder where you cast your rod on the right spot and give you the catch of the day. You’ll have to lure the fishes closer until they reach your casting distance. This process takes skills and patience because you’ll have to cast several times before you can get a fish to bite.

While you’re trying to lure the fish, you also need to try different baits to figure out which works best in that location. Another thing that many beginners fail at is that they’re casting on the same spot every time. It’s crucial to move around, trying a variety of lures, speed, and action. A combination of all of these will make it easier for you to find a fish.

If you keep casting on the same spot, using the same lures with the same action and speed, the fish will eventually realize it. If you keep doing these things, you’ll soon get a lure spit back, which is another way for the fishes to tell you that you should fish elsewhere.

Another factor that can help you be more effective in luring the fish is trying various techniques. Basically, if you’re only using one technique and you’re casting it on the same location every time, it’ll be less effective as the fishes start to notice it.

It’s important to remember that there’s really no wrong way of animating your lure. In essence, a better presenter for the lure will always get the first catch. So, learning the various lure techniques will help you be more effective when fishing.

Even if you do all of the steps above correctly, it’ll still be difficult for you to trigger a fish’s reaction if you aren’t luring them properly. Of course, it won’t be easy to do all of these on your first try, but it’s essential to keep these in mind. As you continue to improve your skills and start to fish like a pro, these steps will come to you as second nature.

Things to Remember When Shore Fishing

The steps we shared with you will help you be more successful when you fish with a lure from the shore. However, it still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll catch a fish every time. Shore fishing is more straightforward and convenient than boat fishing, but it doesn’t mean that skills won’t be necessary.

In fact, anglers who prefer shore fishing should be more efficient because they don’t have the diversity, range, and coverage they can get from boat fishing. Aside from the steps you need to do, there are still many things that you need to remember whenever you’re shore fishing, particularly when it comes to the lure techniques that you can use. 

Learn Various Lure Techniques

When you’re fishing from the shore, you need various lures that give you better versatility. However, there’s something that makes them even more attractive for fishes—lure techniques. It’s a skill that will take some time to master, but knowing and using various techniques when fishing will make your lures more effective.

Fishes aren’t stupid. They have the ability to observe and eventually realize that they’re only going after lures. That’s why there are anglers who experience a lure spit back. If you keep using the same baits and casting it on the same spot, it’ll be less effective. 

However, if you’re casting it on different locations every time and using various techniques to lure them to your casting distance, it’ll be easier for you to get a fish to bite.

A lure technique is a method that you’re using to animate your lure and make it more enticing for the fish. Many beginners often cast their rod, then reel it back as quickly as they can. They repeat the same process over and over, hoping that they’ll catch one. It’s not wrong, but you want to start slow, then gradually increase your speed every time you cast.

To help you be more effective when using your lures, here are some techniques that you can try:

Walking the Dog

Walking the dog is one of the most effective lure techniques and is also one of the first techniques that anglers learn. It relies on the movement of your wrist and using the right lure. What you’ll need for it is a surface lure that has a weighted rear that pulls it down as you reel it back.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Cast your rod and then move it up and down as you slowly reel it back to you.
  2. Start slow, then gradually increase the speed to mimic a fish that’s swimming away.
  3. Moving your rod up and down is crucial to this technique because it’s how you can animate your surface lure with a weighted rear.

Rip the Surface

Many beginners don’t like this technique because it takes patience to be successful with it. Most of the time, you’ll have to be gentle with it, especially if you’re only testing the water. Instead of mimicking underwater prey, it mimics the movement of an insect on the water’s surface.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Cast a surface lure and keep the line still until the ripples disappear.
  2. Once it’s gone, use a sweeping motion to move the lure until it triggers the fish’s reaction.
  3. You can use varying speeds for your sweeping motion, depending on when and where you’re fishing.

The Dead Stick

This technique is the most effective in places where fish are hesitant or aren’t biting. It relies on languid movements that mimic an injured prey. It’s a very effective technique when shore fishing but requires a bit more patience.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Cast a surface lure into the water and wait for the ripples to disappear.
  2. Wait for a few seconds before you move your rod’s tip gently to another location, then stop.
  3. The secret with this technique is making sure that you replicate erratic movements but are easy for the fish to catch.


Beginners usually start with surface lures, but you should learn how to dive if you want to catch bigger fishes. This technique uses a crankbait, lipless crankbait, or a diving plug to get it to sink deeper in water. The steps are easy but require calculated movements if you want to go for a bigger catch.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Cast your lure and leave it for a few seconds to let it sink.
  2. Slowly reel the bait back and let it sink again. 
  3. If you’re using crankbait or diving plugs, you need to spin it continuously but slowly to keep it underwater.

Professionals Are Calm and Gentle

One of the traits that separate professionals from beginners are their movements. We’ve seen many beginners who are making too many unnecessary movements while holding a fishing rod. There’s nothing wrong with rapid movements if that’s the technique that you’re using. However, you may want to consider doing calm, subtle movements because it’s more effective when attracting fishes.

If you want to trigger a fish’s reaction, you need to be careful with your actions. In essence, fishing relies on quiet and calculated movements that only aim for one thing—to make the catch. Don’t panic when a fish bites—stop reeling and let the bobber go underwater. As soon as it does, yank forcefully and reel your line back towards you.

Fishing Is About Stealth

It’s somewhat related to not doing too many unnecessary actions. One of the reasons why many find it easier to fish from the shore is because it lets them take advantage of one secret in fishing—stealth. Noise can scare the fishes away, which is impossible to avoid when you’re on a boat.

Don’t waste this advantage when you’re fishing from the shore. Stay stealthy and don’t make noises or movements that can scare the fishes. You have to keep this in mind, especially if you’re fishing in shallow water.

Professionals Ask Questions

If you’re fishing from the shore, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be alone unless you’re there at the wrong time of the year. Look at the other anglers, what are they doing, and if they’re catching anything. It’s not always good to compare, but if you’re on the same spot and they’re getting big fishes while you’re still waiting for your first, something’s wrong.

Professionals never think that they’re too good to be asking questions. Ask what bait they’re using and how they’re using it. It only takes 10 seconds and could make a difference with your catch. You might even find yourself a new acquaintance that can help you become a better angler.

Always Keep Lures Clean

An angler is only as good as the lures he uses. So make sure that you care for your lures, especially when you’re not using them. Keep them dry when not in use because metal and water don’t really go well together. Saltwater doesn’t make metal rust, but it accelerates the rusting process. If you noticed that your hooks or other metal parts of your lure start to rust, it would be best to get a replacement for it.

Another step that you need to remember when you’re fishing is to make sure that you check your lure’s condition before you cast it back into the water. Remove any debris that it may have caught while you’re reeling it back because this can reduce its effectiveness.


Shore fishing is much simpler compared to boat fishing. It gives you the chance to learn the basics and improve your skills at your preferred pace. You don’t have to try so hard to get it perfect because no one’s rushing you to be good at it right away.

What’s important is that you get the basics right, and you understand the things that can help you get a fish to bite. Fancy, high-end tools can make shore fishing much more comfortable, but getting a fish to bite will still depend on how good your skills are.

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