Should You Always Fish On The Bottom?

Bottom fishing is a popular technique and is becoming more popular as more anglers experiment with different methods. However, if you are new to fishing, especially game fishing, you may wonder if you should always use bottom fishing techniques or if you should use other methods as well. 

You should not always fish on the bottom. Bottom fishing is good for catching fish that live near the waterbed and for catching large fish, but this technique does not work for catching all fish. It is better to learn multiple fishing methods to catch a variety of species. 

There are several bottom fishing techniques, but bottom fishing is not the only successful technique or fishing method. Let’s explore when you should use bottom fishing and when other fishing techniques are more effective or more appropriate. 

Should You Always Fish On The Bottom?

Fishing on the bottom, or bottom fishing, is a highly effective fishing technique that can be used in the ocean and freshwater. This technique can be very simple and easy to do, or it can be challenging, depending on the fish you target and how your rig is set up. 

Many anglers’ success with bottom fishing and the widespread and trending popularity of this technique lead new fishermen to wonder if they should always fish the bottom or focus on other methods. 

The reality is that the technique you use should be based on the fish you want to catch and the style of fishing you enjoy most. 

If you only want to catch bottom-feeders or fish that tend to live at the bottom of bodies of water, then the best option is to use bottom fishing. But if you want to catch fish in shallower water or fish closer to the surface, then bottom fishing will not work. 

To become an experienced angler and catch a wide variety of fish, learn to fish in various environments. Explore the different fishing options available, and don’t always fish on the bottom. 

Fishing is a varied sport that requires varied techniques to master. Take the time to learn as many techniques and fishing styles as possible, and you will quickly grow as an angler. Bottom fishing will be a tool that you can use when necessary, along with other methods that improve your chances of success. 

When Should You Fish On The Bottom?

If you should not always fish on the bottom, how do you know when to fish on the bottom and when to opt for other fishing techniques?

You should fish on the bottom if you want to catch bottom-dwelling fish, if you are targeting the biggest fish in the water, or if you are looking for a specific angling challenge. 

Bottom fishing is designed for catching fish that dwell at the bottom. This could be in rivers, dams, lakes, or the ocean. There is no other reason to use bottom fishing techniques except to catch bottom-dwelling fish. 

The reason why this technique has become so popular is that the fish that dwell at the bottom of large bodies of water tend to be very big and can be very challenging to reel in. This provides a good opportunity for trophy fish and a great challenge for experienced anglers. 

You should always fish on the bottom if you are after this type of fish, but you should use other techniques if you want to catch something different or if you are looking for less of a challenge.

When Should You Use Other Fishing Techniques?

Bottom fishing can be very successful, and it is a great way to catch very large fish, but it is not a technique that works for every fish species, nor does it work in every fishing situation. How do you know when to use techniques other than bottom fishing?

A basic rule here is that bottom fishing is not the best technique when you want to catch any fish that are likely to be in the mid-water, smaller fish or any fish that prefer being near shorelines. 

Bottom fishing works very well for catfish, large trout, and other bottom feeders, but fish such as bass are unlikely to be caught with bottom fishing. 

These fish are caught best with cast and reel techniques and by using bobbers to keep bait or lures floating below the surface of the water. 

The same is true for many other fish species, especially smaller and fast-moving fish. Bottom fishing will not catch any fish that do not live near the waterbed. 

The key to knowing when to use techniques other than bottom fishing is when you can see fish swimming in shallow water or near the surface or if you are not particularly targeting bottom feeders or particularly large fish. 

How To Know Which Fishing Technique To Use

Bottom fishing is a good technique, but if you want to use something else, or if bottom fishing is not working, how do you know which strategy to use? 

The techniques that you use while fishing should be based on the fish that you are targeting. Every fish species or type of fish is easier to catch with certain baits and lures, specific presentations, and even with specific retrieval techniques. 

There are hundreds of different fishing techniques to use, but the only way to know which techniques will work in a specific area is to know what type of fish are in the water. 

Sometimes certain techniques work for multiple fish species, and the only things that need to change are the type of bait or lures with the technique. 

It is critical to find out what type of fish are present in the area you will be fishing beforehand and choose your fishing techniques accordingly. 

Bottom fishing works in most large bodies of water, but these areas usually have multiple species of fish. So, it is always wise to use a variety of fishing techniques to catch whatever may be biting on that day. 

If you do not mind what fish you catch and are fishing in unfamiliar water, it is best to cycle through multiple methods in every area you fish to maximize your chances of catching something. 

Try multiple techniques until you find something that works and hooks fish. Stick with this technique until it no longer works, and switch to something else, and you may find an entirely different species of fish on your line. 

Can You Use Bottom Fishing With Other Techniques?

An excellent way to use bottom fishing is to combine it with other techniques. This way, you can always use bottom fishing, but you can catch other fish as well by using different methods simultaneously. 

All you need to use bottom fishing combined with other techniques is to simply set up two fishing rods, one with a bottom fishing rig and the other with a different rig for using other methods. 

Set the bottom fishing rod on a stand and wait for a fish to hit. Watch your bobber and keep the rod close to act on any movement that you notice. 

While you wait for fish to bite the bottom fishing rig, use your other rod for more active techniques such as cast and reel. 

Using a combination of bottom fishing and other methods allows you to drastically increase your chances of catching fish and increase the diversity of the fish you may catch while practicing multiple techniques simultaneously. 


Fishing on the bottom can be very successful for certain fish and in certain water, but it is not the best technique for all fish species, nor for fishing in all types of water. Learning as many fishing techniques as possible to maximize your chances of catching fish is critical. 

The more techniques you know, the better you can adapt to any situation. If bottom fishing is not working, you must know other techniques to use to catch fish that require other methods to catch, or your day may be entirely unsuccessful.

Tommy Bull
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