January 25, 2021
Bottom fishing is the simplest method of catching fish where the bait is dropped all the way down to the bottom of the water column to target the fish that inhabit the structure on and near the ground. Bottom fishing is a versatile technique, and it allows you target tons of species at varying depths and in varying locations. You can bottom fish when offshore fishing, nearshore fishing, shore fishing and even freshwater fishing.
As evident from the name itself, the target fish inhabit structure on the bottom, like reefs, wrecks and buoys. This includes predators like Red Snapper, Grouper, Black Sea Bass, and Halibut, among others. However, the type of fish caught may vary depending upon seasonal changes and the water itself (either saltwater or freshwater). Oftentimes, bottom fishing can yield a mixed catch, or a multi-species day of fishing!
You can bottom fish while drifting, anchored, or keeping your position with a trolling motor. Especially when you’re drifting, it is possible for your sinker to get caught in the structure on the bottom, whether that’s reef, a wreck, or rock. For this reason, it can be helpful to gently lift your rig up a few feet every so often. This movement can also catch the attention of a fish passing by! You’ll know when you’ve got a fish because you’ll be able to feel the ‘tick’ of the fish nibbling your rig before you set the hook. A few seconds after you feel the fish take your bite, lift your rod tip and start reeling! It’s important to note that technique for setting the hook does vary from species to species though.
When talking about expectations, we must cover the basic equipment to carry along. All you really need to go bottom fishing besides your rod and reel is a sinker and a hook, or a bottom fishing rig. Combined with a good quality bait, you’ll be able to reel in the bottom fish you’re looking for. Depending on where you’re located and what fish species you’re targeting, a bucktail jig can do the trick too.