Is Bottom Fishing Better? 

One of the most appealing things about fishing is that you never know what may appear on the end of your line. Every cast is a gamble; sometimes you win, and other times you end up catching a pufferfish. This is particularly true of bottom fishing. This go-to fishing method that many anglers swear by is sure to deliver endless thrills and can produce diverse catches of any size.

Bottom fishing requires patience but can be enjoyed by beginners or experts. It is the best way for anglers to experiment in fresh or saltwater locations and can result in impressive catches. Bottom fishing is a versatile technique that can be done offshore, from piers, steep banks, or bridges. 

Within every group of anglers, you will find those hooked on bottom fishing, while others find it boring. The appeal of bottom fishing is in its simplicity while still retaining the very real promise of reeling in a monster. Let’s find out if bottom fishing is better than other techniques. 

What Makes Bottom Fishing Better? 

The adage, different strokes for different folks, is definitely true when it comes to fishing. Some love it fast and furious, while others prefer a slower, more relaxed approach. What all anglers have in common is that they all hope to hook a big one. 

Whether bottom fishing is better than other types of fishing depends on who you talk to. If your aim is a guaranteed catch, you may have better luck trolling or spinning. You may spend hours without a bite, but on the other hand, you could hit a sweet spot and be rewarded with an impressive size fish. 

Bottom fishing is a game of skill and patience. It involves dropping a line with bait into the water, letting it sink down as far as possible, and waiting for a bite. While it can take some time for novice anglers to learn to feel bites and land their catch, the appeal is in the sheer simplicity of the process. 

To bottom fish successfully, the basic equipment consists of a hook, line, and sinker. This basic rig should be teamed up with a heavy fishing rod and reel that can cope with a wide variety of species, and you will be good to go. 

Although it can be challenging to master the finer points and get a good ‘feel’ for slight movements on the line, bottom fishing has some definite advantages. These include: 

  • Variety of species – Bottom fishing is an exciting activity since it is impossible to accurately predict what may be on the end of the line. 
  • Size of fish – Since many large fish species lurk around the bottom of water columns, an angler’s patient approach may pay off, and it is possible to land a giant. 
  • A rewarding fishing experience – Reeling in a fish from the bottom involves plenty of skill and may include an exciting fight to hook and land the catch successfully. 
  • Good eating – Bottom-dwelling fish are often also good-eating fish. Whether you are sports fishing or want a delicious table fish, bottom fishing can deliver the goods. 
  • Diverse locations – Bottom fishing can be done from a variety of locations. The technique can be used in fresh and saltwater; the best spots often include spectacular scenery. 
  • It is a social and recreational fishing experience – Since you don’t need a lot of specialized equipment, and there are plenty of places where you could throw in a line, whether from a pier, a steep side embankment, or the shoreline, bottom fishing can include family and friends. It is an excellent hobby for families as there is plenty of time for bonding while waiting for the fish to start biting. 
father and son fishing from a small boat

How Is Bottom Fishing Different From Other Fishing?

For the uninitiated, one style of fishing may pretty much seem the same as any other. Bottom fishing is unique because fish at the bottom of deep water columns are specifically targeted.

Anglers do not use any float to land the bait or lure as close to or on the bottom. The setup consists only of a sinker, line, and hook to secure the preferred bait. This basic setup can be attached to any sensibly sized (the heavier, the better) rod and reel. 

Bottom Fishing Techniques

There are several methods of bottom fishing; not all are as simple as just dropping in a line and hoping for the best. The approach selected varies according to the location and if the angler is trying to target a specific species. 

In a large lake, bottom bouncing may be effective in catching salmon, while anchoring works well in areas where there is plenty of fish, like over a reef. Some of the most common bottom fishing techniques include the following: 

  • Bottom bouncing – the technique of letting the rig settle at the bottom of a waterway, then dragging it along slowly so it bounces over the bottom. The intermittent disturbance of bottom sediment attracts some fish species. 
  • Drift fishing – If you are bottom fishing from a boat, the drift fishing method involves dropping your line, then letting the boat drift with the current while slowing reeling in. 
  • Anchoring – If you know of a fish-rich spot, it makes sense to anchor over the area and drop a line to the bottom. This method works well over wrecks and reefs where fish are known to congregate. The same technique can be used if fishing off a high position like a bridge or a pier. 
  • Surf fishing – It is entirely possible to bottom fish from the shore as long as you have a killer casting technique and know where you want your bait to land. Since the rig will sink quickly, and you may have to reel it in over a jigsaw of obstacles, surf fishing can be challenging. However, once you find a sweet spot that is teaming with fish, you will be glad you persisted!
couple fishing in the surf

What Kind Of Fish Can I Catch When Bottom Fishing? 

One of the most rewarding aspects of bottom fishing is that it often feels like a game of surprise and delight. You can never be sure what fish you could hook. Quite simply, any fish that hovers around the bottom of the lake or ocean may take your bait, and the variety is astounding. 

The fish species you are likely to land has more to do with where you are fishing rather than just the technique you are using. Bait selection, rig setup, and bottom fishing technique also affect the species you may catch. 

You may hook amberjack, snapper, tilefish, or grouper, among many others, offshore in the ocean. You may even snag an occasional shark. Shoreline anglers should look out for flounder or sea bass. Bottom fishing in freshwater may yield anything from perch to carp. 


Bottom fishing is best for anyone who enjoys the challenge of fishing for various species. It is a popular angling technique since it can deliver sizeable catches while remaining a social angling experience that can be enjoyed with family and friends. 

Since bottom fishing only requires a simple setup, it is beginner friendly. However, it can take practice to cast accurately and develop the sensitivity to feel bites. It is safe to say that once a novice has reeled in their first whopper using this technique, they will be converted, hook, line, and sinker!

Tommy Bull
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