When I read reports of and see people discussing Bass marks, they often share a similar theme; rock and reef marks.

Indeed Bass do love relatively shallow reefs with plenty of soft structure/weed cover and such marks are a fairly safe bet when there’s a bit of fizz in the water. However, what does an angler do when those marks are not “firing”?

From what I have read, most just carry on flogging the mark with their lures and oft result in a blank. I genuinely think that a good percentage of Bass anglers (especially lure anglers) are overlooking one of the many rich feeding grounds for Bass – the sandy beach.

A sandy beach

An open sandy beach

From a distance it does look barren doesn’t it? The sort of place that is strictly reserved for summertime bathers. But if you think this you’d be sorely wrong, lets take a closer look;

Sandeels swimming mid-water

Sandeel swimming on a sandy beach

These Sandeels are swimming mid-water in no more than two feet depth, something to think about when selecting your lure or presenting your bait.

Sand Goby

A Sand Goby sat stationary

The Sand Goby, no more than three inches long, seldom moves far and sits in very shallow water; a prime Bass bait!

Seriously now, I have watched Bass practically beach themselves at night hunting prey like this! There are so many more food sources available too. Small flatfish distributed evenly along the shore, shrimp, Hermit crab, shore crab etc. All make up a very healthy and varied diet for a Bass!

Learning to read.

I hear people say that “sandy beaches are featureless”, but this could not be further from the truth. An anglers first challenge on any mark is learning to “read the mark” and open beaches are no different.

If you take the time to go down to the shore at low tide and watch the tide flood, you will see where the water travels. It soon becomes apparent that this type of beach is riddled with structure. Gullies running all over the place and as the tide floods, these gullies also create structure such as sand bars and enable rips. Observing these features can enable you to catch fish throughout the various stages of the tide, especially at this time of year!

The contours of a beach

A flooding beach has many features

Quantities of baitfish and food sources are washed into such places, corralled by predators, or even buried there awaiting the flooding tide. I know it and so do the Bass!

A bass on a sandy beach

A beautiful bass in shallow water

This is but one example of the varied topography that Bass inhabit, at various times throughout the season, so don’t overlook anything and remember Bass have those awesome tail fins to swim with, yep Bass move!

Tight lines.

Author: Lee Goddard

2 Comments
  1. I only realised how good the flats are this year. One rock or hole on a sandy beach can be a magnet for bait fish.

  2. Very thought provoking Lee. When wearing my ‘plugging hat’ I tend to only consider rough ground marks but I think I may be missing a trick by not plugging over sand more. I remember catching fish at a new mark which I thought was rough ground only to discover subsequently that it was in fact clean ground! But I feel more confident when there’s a bit of ‘fizz’ in the water when fishing over sand, whereas I’m quite happy to fish a rough ground mark in flat conditions.

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