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What’s the Difference Between River Fishing and Bank Fishing?

Salmon fishing trips in Alaska are like no other fishing trips you will ever take. The fish are plentiful and the scenery is phenomenal. Do you know the difference between river fishing and bank fishing? Want tips for both types of fishing trips in Alaska? Read on to learn more!

River fishing

As you might have guessed by its name, river fishing is a method of fishing that takes place in a body of water, like a river. When river fishing for salmon or other species of fish, you can cast your line from the shore or a boat, or go out into the river wearing fishing waders. Check out the following tips and tricks for river fishing:

  • Bait: When it comes to river fishing, conditions often call for fishermen to use live bait and bounce it off the bottom of the river. Bouncing your bait with the current and using the right fishing rig can make your bait move more naturally. It’s an effective method for catching fish in a river, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses: If the river water is clear enough, a good pair of polarized glasses might allow you to see through the water. Wearing polarized sunglasses helps you see where the fish are, which saves time and avoids the guessing game.
  • Fish near weeds: Most rivers have calm areas complete with weed growth. If you or your fishing guide can find weeds, you might be setting up in a prime fishing location. Why weeds? Because fish like to group together to rest and hide in weedy areas in rivers.

Bank fishing

Like fishing for salmon from a boat, bank fishing can yield many or few catches. Your guided fishing trip will give you a crash course on what to do, but it doesn’t hurt to do some research on your own ahead of time. If you’ll be fishing from a bank, then there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Walk around: When bank or shore fishing, don’t immediately cast your line into the water—take the time to walk around the perimeter. Check out the waters and be on the lookout for fish swimming nearby, as well as areas that attract fish, like areas near vegetation, weeds, rocks, logs and docks.
  • Cast in the right direction: It may seem like casting out as far as possible toward the center of the water is the best option. However, some fish like to hang out close to the bank, or many feet down in the deepest part of the water. Listen to your fishing guide and cast how and where they instruct.
  • Downsize live bait and lures: You should always abide by the phrase “match the hatch” if you want to hook anything (or a particular type of fish). What this means is that the more your bait or lure looks like the dominant prey of the target fish, the greater your chances are of catching it.

Are you ready to go fishing?

Contact Phantom Tri-River Charters to book one of our unforgettable salmon fishing trips in Alaska!