Bass By Tim
It had been a
stressful day and I wanted to unwind outside and be near water. I
didn't have enough time to take my boat and go fishing, so I opted
for the next best thing. I grabbed a few lures, strapped my fishing
rod to my bike, and peddled to a few shoreline fishing spots along a
decided to fish a sandy flat for some topwater action at dusk. I got
a few smallmouth bass that smashed the floating lure and the last
one hit just as the sun set. By now it was time to head home.
Setting off at a steady pace, I breathed the cool, evening air and
watched the warm light bathe the cityscape. The scene was enhanced
by the fact that I spent my evening fishing within an hour bike ride
from my urban home.
Sometimes keeping things simple is best. Fishing is no
different. Sure, I love my boat, but occasionally it's not worth the
hassle of towing it in traffic, putting in at a busy launch, and
unloading gear at the end of a long day. Cycling a pathway and
fishing from shore is a simple angling alternative with many
A bike lets
you cover greater distances than walking alone; with wheels you can
quickly travel to and fish several spots in a short period of time.
It's also a versatile activity and one you can easily do solo or
with your family. With my bike it's always easy for me to squeeze in
some fishing into my busy schedule. Of course, an added benefit is
the exercise you get from this environmentally friendly form of
Outfitting your bike for fishing is easy, especially if you
already own some cycling gear. Although I cycle to work and use
panniers, I prefer a backpack when fishing. This way all my
equipment (lures, camera, snacks, etc) is on my back and easily
accessible. I also find a backpack more functional when I'm walking
an uneven or rocky shoreline.
will do to transport your gear. Make sure the pack is the right size
for your fishing tackle and some extra gear. I like packs with side
zippers, so I can quickly get at gear at the bottom of the bag.
Cycling backpacks can be handy, especially ones with shock cord
systems for storing a helmet and side pockets for water bottles.
With a backpack you can carry all your gear and you won't need to
leave any behind with your bike.
don't take my one-piece fishing rods out when I go biking for bass.
They make cycling awkward (especially when you're peddling fast) and
I don't want to risk breaking one. To me, a two piece rod is a lot
more functional, although sometimes limiting in the baits you can
my fishing rod, I use the same system I have since I started biking
and fishing from shore. I place both pieces of a two-piece rod along
the top tube of the bike frame, ensuring the rod is positioned
between the two brake cables below the handlebars. This way it won't
interfere with your steering. Next, I secure the rod using Velcro
rod wraps. These re-usable wraps cushion and keep the rod in place
Most of the
time I pack a variety of lures to fish all levels of the water
column. I often take some topwaters, soft- or hard-plastic jerkbaits,
crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs. I like carry fast retrieve baits
that I can use to quickly work a shoreline as well as fineness
presentations in case the fish aren't in an aggressive mood.
In many cases, the route you choose is dependent on what paths
and water are close to your home. Most towns and cities have maps,
many of which are free, of the recreational pathways in the area.
Pick up a few of these and you can quickly locate some productive
stretches near water. Next, it's a matter of grabbing your bike and
exploring the shoreline.
Urban Angling Cautions
Although biking and angling are rather safe activities, here are
a few things to keep in mind. When fishing from shore, be cautious
around current areas as some fast-water sections of rivers can be
deceivingly calm. It's also important to respect shorelines. Use
pre-established paths when exploring spots. Also, keep an eye out
for natural and urban hazards, like poison ivy or broken glass. When
fishing from shore and along pathways, heed "No Fishing" signs. Some
areas, like bridges or private property, don't allow fishing.
want to ensure your bike is outfitted with proper safety gear,
including a bell and reflectors. Carry bike lights if you intend to
fish till dark. Bring a quality lock and make it a habit to secure
your bike. And don't forget to bring your fishing license.
pathways aren't just for amateur athletes; they're also an artery to
some amazing angling opportunities. So the next time you're itching
for some fishing, hop on your bicycle and hit the paths.
Photos by Tim
Bike.jpg: a bike, collapsible rod, some lures and a backpack are all
you need to start biking for bass.
Smallmouth.jpg: this smallmouth hit on a sunny afternoon while the
author was fishing from shore.