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23 Feb

Fishing Points: All You Need to Know + Expert Tips

Bass Fishing Tips

Every angler who has been on the water for a while knows to check docks, stumps, laydowns, elevation changes, and structures if they want to catch bass efficiently, but fishing points are rarely mentioned. We don’t know why this is, because they’re extremely good fishing spots on most bodies of water.

Today, we’re going to help you break away from the submerged stumps, docks, boat ramps, and other spots that are always on every angler’s shortlist when they get out on the water.

Here are all the details you need to know about fishing points along with some expert tips to help you boost your catch rate!

What is a Fishing Point?

A fishing point is any spot on a body of water where the land juts out and creates a pointy landmass into the water. You won’t find points in ponds and other small bodies of water often, but you’ll find plenty of them in lakes, rivers, and oceans. For the sake of this guide, we’ll be focusing on lakes due to the focus on bass fishing.

Why is a Point a Notable Fishing Spot?

If you just look at it for its face value, fishing points are nothing special. The part you see is just a pointy piece of land, and obviously, bass have nothing to do with that. However, that point of land affects the water dramatically.

Typically, the depth changes in the lake’s bottom will shift differently since it’s leading up to a point. This creates unique underwater geometry that attracts bass beyond just a gentle slope upward.

That point also breaks up waves differently. Depending on the wind, waves might crash on one side while the other remains calm, or they might hit the point directly and deflect to both sides parallel to the point’s more inward banks. This is dramatically different compared to typical waves that smack the bank head-on, and the unique water movement can be a bass magnet.

You also get two distinct underwater environments to fish between without having to move around much. If you’re fishing from the shoreline, you can just turn around and cast off the other side. On a boat, you can move a few yards and have an entirely new fishing area.

All these things, along with more minor details, make points optimal fishing areas for any angler on nearly any body of water.

Are Points Ever Bad to Fish?

Points provide a lot of opportunities, and they’re often ripe with plenty of good bass. However, they’re just like any other spot. If you follow the rest of this guide once on a point, there’s no point to get “spot attachment” and keep fishing it. Move on to other staples such as docks and downed foliage after you’ve checked a point out.

That’s really the only time you should avoid points, though. Any other time, they’re just as viable as the mainstay spots of the fishing world.

What Tackle is Best for Fishing Points?

With most spots, we can recommend very specific tackle options that should perform very well. For instance, if you were to fish a brush pile in the water, we’d recommend getting a weedless football jig in there to avoid hard snags and slowly lure bass out.

It’s not like that with fishing points. A point is just a pointed peninsula of sorts. It doesn’t dictate what the water is like or what structures and other factors are affecting the quality of fishing around the point, either.

As such, it’s always best to check the water conditions just like you would if you were casting straight into the empty middle of the lake.

Check to see if the water is murky or clear, try to identify what the bottom is made of, look for foliage and structures that might hide bass, consider the weather and time of day, and then choose your lure just like you would for any other general situation. There is no “point-friendly” lure to recommend.

However, as you’ll see shortly, effectively fishing a point requires you to take it apart piece by piece. You’ll fish at different depths, currents, and conditions on either side and the front, and sometimes, you’ll fish all three of those variables in one cast.

So, flexible bass lures, such as jigs and spinnerbaits tend to be good choices. If not because of how effective they are, then because of how they allow you to avoid tying on new lures left and right.

Is It Best to Fish Points from a Boat or the Bank?

It’s almost always best to use a boat just because you can move from spot to spot faster and without navigating various types of terrain with all your gear. However, this is one fishing spot that actually does provide an advantage to bank fishermen.

If the point is thin enough, you can walk out toward its tip, cast to one side, check everything for bass, and then simply turn around and do the same with the other side. Any repositioning you need to do is minimal. 

If the point is currently flooded with bass, or even other fish species you might be willing to target when the bass leave, this can be the best spot for a bank fisherman who doesn’t want to walk around a lake all day. In comparison, you’ll have to move a boat around the point, up and down it, and contend with drift.

However, if that point isn’t producing great catches while you’re there, you’re at a huge disadvantage, because you have to get to the next point. So, a boat is still the winner in this situation.

The 5 Key Strategies to Use When Fishing Points

When you’re fishing points, there are five main strategies you need to use. Don’t just pick one and use that the entire time, either. These are meant to be used back-to-back to ensure you cover the entire point without missing any great fishing opportunities.

1: Pick it Apart

A point is made of three parts. You have two sides, and then you have the entire front of the point leading up to the pointy part of the land mass.

With an isolated spot like this, you typically want to cast in a sweeping arc and cover everything before moving on, and you naturally do that if you’re fishing a point from the bank, but with a boat, you’ll need to maneuver around the land mass to do this since unless you have an extremely good cast.

Either way, that’s the goal. Start with either side, or the tip of the point itself, and fish that chosen portion entirely before moving to the next portion of the point.

This ensures that you get all of the points and that you’re changing your tactics depending on how the water differs in any given section.

This takes longer, but it’s well worth it.

2: Fish the Cross-Current and Against the Current

The current is going to break up at a point. Especially if it is coming directly toward the point itself. You’ll want to fish the current two ways to make sure you’re getting your lure in front of bass regardless of how they’re moving with it.

For example, let’s say the current is coming straight toward the point. To fish against it, you can stand right at the point and cast straight out. Fish of all species tend to swim with the current to conserve energy. So, this is the most natural way to present your lure.

Then, you can cast out from the side fish across the current. This can pull your lure right in front of the bass as they swim inward and present the perfect snack as they head in to get baitfish.

Of course, currents are always different, and you will have to be able to identify how the water is moving to do either of these things, but it’s easy to do. Just watch the waves.

3: Deep-to-Shallow and Shallow-to-Deep

When you’re fishing from a boat, fishing from the shallows and into the depths with a single cast is easier. If you’re fishing from the bank, the opposite is true. This is due to your position in relation to the water and how you’ll be bringing the lure back in. However, you can switch it up from either position by covering one depth first and then recasting your lure into another depth.

Neither of these approaches is really better than the other. The point is that you get to fish multiple depths in one cast.

In either situation, you’ll find the more active and ready-to-strike bass in the shallower portion toward the bank, and you’ll find the lazier guys nestled near the deeper portion

Depending on the time of day, weather conditions, and other factors, there might not be any in one section or the other. For example, in the winter and without a lot of sunlight, all the bass will likely be further away from the sides and in the deeper water.

4: Start with Shallow-to-Light Fishing

While neither approach we just talked about is technically better than the other, it’s always a good idea to start off casting into the deeper portions and dragging the lure into the shallows.

While the bass are more active in the shallow portions, they’re also easier to spook. You want to move your lure near the bass without them moving away so you can trigger an aggressive reaction or present your lure naturally. Casting into the deep portion first, where less active bass are, allows your lure to settle before you work it upward naturally.

Of course, you should reverse the approach after you try this on all three portions of the point.

5: Fish the Bottom

The best way to take advantage of the elevation changes along points is to fish directly on the bottom throughout your cast. You’ll get your lure in front of the bass in the deeper portions that are just relaxing and staying to themselves, and you’ll sneak up on the bass in the shallows that are trying to get baitfish with strikes from below.

Jigs are always great for fishing the bottom, but you can do it with practically any weighted lures. Even spinnerbaits, which are usually ripped through the middle or upper part of the water column, can be allowed to sink and then bounce off the bottom. Of course, your lure choice should be based on the water, time of year, and local “hatch” just like any other spot.

Revolving Your Day Around Points: Mapping Out Your Fishing Trip

There’s a fairly unique benefit to fishing points that we haven’t talked about yet. 

You can actually identify them on waterway maps and plan out your entire day of fishing around them. Of course, you’ll shift your attention to structures and other points of interest, but points are always great focal points for you to travel between and keep yourself moving without wandering around randomly.

Preferably, you’d look at an online map the night before your trip, pick out all the points, and choose one to start at. Then, plot a course connecting each point around the lake clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Once you start, fish your starting point until you’re confident you’re not going to catch anything, and start moving to your next point. Of course, stop along the way to try your luck with all the little points that maps don’t cover such as submerged stumps, old pier supports, fallen trees and brush piles, etc.

This is mostly a way to organize your fishing trip to make sure you’re covering as much of the water as possible and getting the most out of your efforts.

Of course, don’t forget to download America’s favorite bass fishing companion - The BassForecast fishing app. It provides real-time weather data, a spot-on solunar, details for things such as hazards and structures, and even a whole community working together to make us all better anglers. 

Get on the BassForecast fishing app today and boost your fishing experience.