Detailed Guide About Bottom Fishing Everything You Need to Know

Many anglers choose bottom fishing as a method, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s famed for its thrilling, action-packed adventures and can capture fish of about any size. Even though bottom fishing looks to be a simple method, it is a time-consuming operation. For that reason, this article will offer a full explanation of this fishing method.

What is the definition of bottom fishing?

Bottom fishing is a simple but successful way to catch fish at the ocean’s base or on reefs and wrecks. This versatile technique lets you fish from the shore or a boat in the deep sea, in both fresh and saltwater. It’s a favorite technique of both new and experienced anglers worldwide since it is simple to learn yet challenging to perfect.

The fundamental way is to bring bait near or on the seafloor. Then we wait for the fish to bite. The fish may snag your line on rocks or become entangled in underwater plants since the floor is covered with sharp stones and weeds. It implies that studying the target species and their habits before fishing is best. The boat can remain stationary (for example, above reefs and wrecks) or programmed to drift gently. However, you should keep track of where you started drifting from to return to it fast.

Remember that the bottom is three-dimensional and that different fish species and sizes require different depths. While maintaining your bait towards the bottom of the water will attract some fish, adding some live bait several feet above it may bring a larger predatory fish.

Where can you go bottom Fishing?

The ocean floor areas truly exist and attract an incredible variety of aquatic species. Fish gather around undersea structures in search of shelter or food.

Also, freshwater bottom structures are home to various bottom-dwelling species. A large number of fish may gather around the most basic structure. Bottom fishing is a bottom angler’s paradise, whether reefs, wrecks or any other undersea feature.

Not all structure is the same. Depending on where you are, here are a few spots you can cast your bait.

  • Bridge pilings, rocky banks, and piers are popular spots for shore fishing.
  • Wrecks and natural and artificial reefs are mainly used for nearshore fishing.
  • Wrecks, artificial reefs, and oil rigs are popular offshore fishing locations.
  • Bridge pilings, piers, rocky outcrops, and drop-offs are popular spots for freshwater fishing.

What fishing gear do you need for bottom Fishing?

The technique, like other fishing strategies, is determined by the location. You won’t be able to catch a massive Grouper on an oil rig using an old Bass rod. We’ll review a few attempted methods to show you what works best. But first, let’s go over a few bottom fishing equipment that every angler should have in their toolbox.

Without three crucial pieces of equipment, no bottom fishing adventure would be possible. The sinker, hook, and line is the three components. They form what is known as a rig when combined with a few other optional pieces. You create a great combination when you combine good fishing gear with superb bait.

First, consider the advantages and disadvantages of various rods, reels, hooks, lines, sinkers, rigs, and baits.

Rods and Reels

Things will vary significantly based on what you want to catch and where to grab it, so selecting the right rod and reel for bottom fishing is often crucial.

For bottom fishing near the shore, a light-spinning combination is appropriate. A 6-7′ rod is enough for most anglers if they are not casting too far away. Longer rods allow you to cast farther, but they are less potent than shorter poles.

It all comes down to where and how you want to fish regarding reels. Spinning reels are excellent if you’re bottom-fishing from a pier. The Baitcaster is a perfect option for pro bass fishermen to make a long and accurate cast.


Circle hooks are the most effective bottom fishing hooks, especially when hunting for large game fish. They are much more firmly lodged in the fish’s jaw and can endure a good struggle without being torn out. Unlike treble and “J” hooks, Circle hooks do not require setting, making them a better alternative for beginners. 


Each line has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to know which ones to use and when.

Mono: Mono is the preferred choice of many anglers since it is inexpensive and easy to handle. The disadvantage is that most mono versions are buoyant, making them unsuitable for bottom fishing. 

Braided: Braided line is the most vital line available and ideal for battling large fish in deeper seas. It has the disadvantage of being more expensive and difficult to handle than mono.

Fluorocarbon: Fluorocarbon is ideal for bottom fishing in clear water. It’s also quite durable, perfect for fishing near rocky areas. The disadvantage is that it is tougher to control and knot tying.

Combining at least two of these will most likely be necessary. 

A braided mainline with a fluoro leader is a great line combination for deep-sea bottom fishing. This combination provides a lot of line strength while remaining stealthy and precise.

Related post: Different Types of Fishing Lines Explained


A sinker is a lead weight to drop your bait to the water’s bottom. You’ll want to employ one of three variations depending on the type of structure you’re fishing:

  • Egg sinker: A circular sinker with a hole in the center of the line. The main advantage of using one is that a fish may eat your bait and move away from it without trouble due to the load.
  • Bank sinker: These bowling pin-shaped sinkers are ideal for fishing on rocky bottoms since they won’t get stuck between them.
  • Pyramid sinker: This is ideal for bottom fishing in the surf because of its sharp edge, which keeps the bottom in the sand.

Deeper waters require heavier sinkers in terms of actual weight. A heavier sinker can effortlessly glide your hook past any bait pickers on the way down. On the other hand, Heavier sinkers can make bites challenging to detect and retrieve. The lightest sinker that will retain your bait at the desired depth should be used.

The challenge of using sinkers is that you don’t always have to use the precise weight. As a rule, Stronger currents, on average, demand more severe repercussions. Keep a pair of sinkers in your tackle box to avoid becoming sidetracked.


Because dead bait can be obtained at a local tackle store, it is the most convenient option for most people. Sardines, mullet, menhaden, and cigar minnows are also excellent choices. The bait needs to sink to the bottom like a dead fish.

Fishing with baitcaster live bait might feel like a shortcut when opposed to dead bait. It takes a bit more energy to start, but it pays off big time, especially when pursuing larger fish. 

Finally, lures can be employed. Lures come in various forms and sizes, making them ideal for anglers. It takes more skill to utilize them, but it is undeniably the most enjoyable method of catching fish.


Because there are many options, focus on building the most essential and straightforward rigs. Let’s look at a few of the best bottom fishing rigs available.

The spreader rig, often known as the chicken rig, is a handy bottom fishing technique because its two hooks allow you to cover more land. It’s frequently used with bank sinkers, making it an excellent choice for rough bottoms.

The sliding sinker rig, sometimes known as the Carolina rig, is one of the most effective bottom fishing rigs. It is made of a simple barrel swivel attached to a single leader with a sinker, bead, and hook at the end.

A 3-way rig, often known as a drop rig, has a three-way swivel that links the mainline, the leader, and the shorter sinker line. It’s excellent for surf fishing and holding your hook a few inches above the bottom.

The knocker rig is one of the most basic rigs available, requiring only an egg sinker as its single component. The knocker rig’s “straight-line” arrangement allows you to feel the bite immediately. Another advantage of this design is that tangles are practically impossible to form, even at high currents.

How to Bottom Fishing? 

It’s time to learn how to bottom fish after we have all the essential equipment. To do this, It all comes down to where you fish!

Bottom fishing from a pier, for example, differs from bottom fishing from the waves or bottom fishing from a boat. We’ll look at how to bottom fish from various places in the sections below.

Bottom Fishing From The Surf

If you’re fishing along the beach or a riverbank, you should inspect the bottom structure ahead of you. You’re looking to see if it’s rocky or weedy. It will assist you in selecting the optimum equipment for your setup. You’ll also better understand the deep waters since unexpected drop-offs might leave your bait floating halfway down!

After you’ve figured out what’s going on with the bottom structure, you’ll need to consider how you will cast. Cast out and let your rig strike the floor if the bottom is sandy. Wait for 10-15 seconds before slowly reeling in by two revolutions. It’s also good to utilize a spreader rig here to boost your chances of catching something.

Bottom Fishing From A Boat

You’ll need a boat to go bottom fishing in the deepest seas. You’ll also need a lot of skill, patience, and balance to accomplish it safely, especially when pulling in those large fish. Bottom fishing from a boat may be done in two methods, which we’ll discuss in detail below.


Drifting is the most successful approach for covering a larger area when bottom fishing from a boat. Turning off the engine and allowing the tide to carry the boat is what this entails.

Doing this in shallower waters is safer because the waves will be less powerful. It’s also a great idea to direct your cast-down current since this will give your bait plenty of “soak time” before the boat comes up with it.


Bottom fishing from a boat is the safest method and allows you to make the most of a single underwater site. It’s also straightforward — sail to your favorite location and drop anchor.

Some anglers prefer a two-anchor arrangement because it provides stability to the boat, although it is not entirely required. A two-anchor system may reduce your chances of catching one by spooking the fish.

Strong currents can upset the boat, carry you further out, and reduce the stability of your rig. Don’t worry! Some modern boats include a trolling motor that locks the vessel into a fixed place on the water without an anchor. These are especially handy for bottom fishing because they are quieter, allowing you to disturb the water and the fish much.

Bottom Fishing From The Shore

Bottom fishing from the shore is ideal if you like to stay on firm ground or a more permanent structure. Unfortunately, you can’t cover as much ground as you would if you were bottom fishing from a boat, but it has several tactics you may find to catch a lot of fish.

Bottom Fishing From A Pier

Bottom fishing from a pier or in the surf may not significantly impact. But it has one thing in common: you both fish in the same bodies of water. Begin with lower your bait into the water vertically. You may target a specific spot rather than casting and seeing where it hits.

Bottom fishing from a pier maybe is a more passive method of capturing fish. After the bait is in the water, you must cut the line, sit back, and wait.

Last words

Bottom fishing can be one of the most exciting hobbies available. You may also enjoy it in various ways and make some truly remarkable catches.

To get the most out of your bottom fishing experience, the most important thing to remember is where you’re bottom fishing. Different sorts of fishing equipment require for other places. Pay attention to your surroundings, have a variety of sinkers and lines in your tackle box, and experiment with different setups.

Read more: Best Baitcasting Reels For Bass – Top 10 Baicasters