How to Fish for Bass With Shiners

by Colby Stream
A shiner helps catch a larger bass than a lure can.

A shiner helps catch a larger bass than a lure can.

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A shiner, despite its name, is not a shiny lure. Instead, a shiner is a type of small fish used to catch large bass. These fish, which you use alive and are no more shiny than other fish, attract bass and entice them into eating the hook. Although this may seem simple, there are many specifics you should follow to make sure you have the best chances of catching a bass. Not only do you need to hook the shiner correctly, but you also need the proper equipment and an optimal location.

Items you will need

  • 30 lb test line
  • Counter weight
  • Bobber
Step 1

Find the deepest location possible, or wherever you know that the bass are biting. The location should contain lots of underwater cover, such as weeds. Bass commonly hang around deep, densely populated areas.

Step 2

Rig your pole with 30 lb test line. Attach a weedless hook that is just big enough to hold the size of shiner that you are using. Before hooking the shiner, attach a medium-size bobber to the line anywhere from 1 to 4 feet above the hook. Exact placement depends upon what level the bass are biting at. The bobber should be big enough that the shiner won't pull it under, but not so large that a small bass can't pull it under.

Step 3

Rig the line in one of four ways. The first option secures the shiner and encourages it to swim toward the boat. Push the hook through the bottom lip of the shiner and up through one of the nostrils. The second option allows the shiner to swim more than it is able to if hooked per the first option. Push the hook through the bottom lip and up through the meatier part of the head, behind the nostrils. The third option allows the hook to rip through the fish easily when you set a bass on the hook by hooking just under the dorsal fin. The last option, where the hook is inserted near the dorsal fin, also allows the hook to rip out easily when you set a bass on the hook.

Step 4

Place the shiner in the water. Watch the bobber. When it disappears the first time, don't act. A bass will attack a shiner to injure it. Wait for the bobber to disappear completely the second time, then wait about 10 more seconds to make sure the bass swallows the shiner. Yank the pole toward you to set the hook. Reel the bass into the boat, using a net to help it up.

Photo Credits

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