Many fishermen got their start in the sport by fishing from the bank around a pond, stream, lake or boat dock.

Anglers like Robert Moore like to fish from the bank, and they catch fish.

Moore, 64, from Warrensburg, started out his fishing career by fishing from the bank at a local farm pond.

“I was 6 years old when my father took me to a farm pond and showed me how to cast an ultralight rod and reel,” Moore said. “It took awhile, but after mastering it, I started catching fish. Even today, I still spend a lot of my fishing time casting from the shore and I still catch fish.”

Many fishermen got their start in the sport by fishing from the bank around a pond, stream, lake or boat dock.

Recently, I watched a family who was camping at Truman Lake, and they started fishing from the bank and I saw them pull in some crappie, bluegill and several bass. They were having as much fun as any anglers I have ever seen. They were having success without fishing from a boat.

In watching some of the televised fishing shows, many would have you believe that you can only catch fish by using a $20,000 boat loaded with electronics. Don’t sell your fishing pole at a garage sale just yet. Bank anglers experience success like the boat anglers, but with a different approach.

Many youngsters have a good time catching crawfish from a creek bank. Crawdads furnish a lot of fun for kids and they make excellent bait for a lot of different species of fish, including bass and catfish.

I remember President Truman telling me that in their courting days, he might be sitting under a shade tree reading a book while his bride to be, Bess, was wading a stream, catching crawfish. When I was a youngster in Carrollton, I used to catch crawdads and sell them to fishermen, so it worked two ways – my having fun catching them and making money at the same time.

Not only are farm ponds a good place to catch fish while fishing from the bank, there are a lot of streams that can also be fished from the bank.

Below dams at some of the big impoundments, anglers line the bank, pulling everything from bass to carp. And trout anglers at the four trout parks catch fish while wading or walking the banks of the streams.

“Some of my best catches came while fishing from the bank, including a 6-pound bass, 2-pound crappie and some big channel catfish,” Moore said.

Tom Hopkins of Marshall spends a lot more time fishing from the bank than he does from a boat.

“Fishing from the bank has several advantages, including the fact that your bank account won’t suffer when contemplating buying a new boat,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins offered some tips to the bank angler.

“Fish from the bank early in the morning and late in the afternoon for the best results,” he said. “However, starting at this time of year, many game fish may be feeding on insects that are active during the day, so act accordingly. Fish areas where streams enter or exit ponds or lakes. Look for natural habitat, like overhanging branches, fallen trees, submerged rocks and stumps and flooded brush. Check out man-made structures that provide good fish habitat, including docks, spillways, and rig your fishing gear to match the species of fish you are after.”

Even on the big lakes, shoreline anglers catch their share of fish.

“You need to scout the shoreline for clues to the location of shoreline fish,” said Bob Garrison, a veteran angler from Kansas City. “Everything from natural vegetation to man-made structures can attract fish, so look for them when fishing from the bank. I catch my share of crappie, bluegill and catfish on the big lakes and I never use a boat. The secret is to know where and how to fish from the bank. I fish Jacomo, Blue Springs and Smithville from the bank and catch everything from crappie to walleye.”

Harry Roberts of Higginsville has a hard time fishing from a boat, so he had a dock built on a nearby small lake where he liked to fish for crappie, bass and catfish.

“I wasn’t about to quit fishing, so I built a place where I could fish anytime I wanted,” Roberts said. “It has worked out great. I catch as many fish as my son-in-law, and he has a big bass boat.”

Although fishing from the bank isn’t as popular as hitting the water in a bass boat, you can still catch fish.