An undercut bank is when the current flowing in a river cuts a cave-shaped hole out of the side of the bank. These caves are great places for fish to hide because they protect the fish from overhead. They also allow the fish to easily get to deeper water if they need food or want to escape. Fish can hide in these spots, then quickly swim out, grab some food and dart back in for cover. In fact, these are usually the best places in a river to find the largest fish.
It can be easy to overlook an undercut bank, so if you don’t want to miss out on some great fishing, you’ll want to look closely. When scanning the area, look for places where vegetation is hanging over the side of the bank, creating a canopy.
In rivers located in forests, large tree roots along the bank can hold the soil together while the current digs out the dirt from around them. This is another great place for hungry fish because these areas give them access to insects that live both in the water and in the soil. I’ve caught many impressive fish in these spots.
How to Fish Undercut Banks
When casting into an overhang of plants, it can be difficult to get your lure or fly into the correct spot. This is especially true if there are branches blocking the entrance. Your best bet is to cast your lure or fly as close as you can to the opening, then use the current to push it into the cave. In fact, it may be easier to use the current if you move a bit downstream from the opening, then cast back towards the edge. Undercut banks are usually found near swiftly moving water, making it hard for the fish to bite your lure. If you don’t get any immediate bites, don’t give up – try casting into the same spot several times.