Bank Fishing Basics: Essential accessories for bank fishing

Let’s be honest, the decision to go fishing is not that hard. Where to fish — a little more involved, but usually no biggie. But what to bring … now that’s the challenge — especially when you’re fishing on foot.

Here is a list of things you might consider packing when heading out on foot to catch a few bass.


Tools: Pliers with side cutters capable of snipping all line types and removing hooks should be standard. Split-ring pliers help you change those hard bait hooks, but a little forethought will get you set up well before your outing.

Clip style pocket knives are handy, but I like a multitool that I wear on the backside of my belt. Here, it’s out of the way, but accessible. Most options include a blade, small scissors, pliers, hook sharpening file and a screwdriver for any reel maintenance.

Illumination: If I’m night fishing or getting an early start, I like the NEBO Mycro rechargeable headlamp for its ultra lightweight design that doesn’t feel like I have a squirrel on my head. With spot, flood and UV modes, the light unit easily detaches from the strap for a hat clip option.

For early mornings, or after-hours missions, I’ll also carry a compact, handheld flashlight. My EDC is an O-Light i3T EOS, a compact 180-lumen model that runs on a AAA battery. With low and high settings operated by a tail switch, this little dynamo has a two-way pocket/hat brim clip.

Safe and dry: A Ziploc bag in your pocket or your tackle bag/backpack eliminates moisture concerns for cellphone, wallet, note pads, etc. Adding a paper towel ensures moisture absorption.

Keep clean: If you’re on ‘em, you’ll appreciate hand towels, but don’t grab the good ones. (I’ve been reprimanded for this.) Use retired bathroom or kitchen towels, or buy the bundled cleanup rags sold at home improvement stores.

Several manufacturers such as Berkley and Rapala sell branded fishing towels with a simple belt clip. Gamakatsu offers a packable microfiber towel that packs into a small, lightweight bag with a built-in clip for attaching to belt loops or backpack connections.

Also, Elite pro Gerald Swindle is a vocal proponent of Dude Wipes — and not only because they sponsor him. If you’re unfamiliar with the product, visit I’m not explaining this one.

Power up: Leave home with a fully charged cellphone and you’ll usually be okay, but a lightweight power bank may come in handy. In the worst case scenario, maintaining power to cellphones and rechargeable lights is survival 101. But while we hope such peril never befalls you, remember one key point: When the cellphone dies, how are you gonna shoot that personal best bank fishing toad?