When you think of bass fishing from the shore, there is one thing that you want to bear firmly in mind, which is stealth. Bass are a cautious fish and can, on occasion, be easily alarmed, which means that a low key approach may ultimately put more fish in the net.
If you want to leger for bass, then for bait I would suggest that you should probably use either peeler crab or whole sandeel or squid. You can use ragworms or lugworms but you will usually catch smaller fish on these. You will also be plagued by whatever small fish are lurking around.
You could, of course, turn this to your advantage with a small ragworm baited hook fished hair rig style from a larger hook. This should catch a smaller fish which should, in turn, attract the larger predators such as bass. In theory, it sounds good but you never know for sure what will take your bait! You might spend a lot of fishing time with a lesser weaver on the rig, for example, which will definitely not increase your chances.
Peeler crabs are a good bait off the beach, especially in the autumn, but you should also keep your eyes open as to what else is going on. Periodic invasions of sprats, for example, can lead to some deadly sport on whole sprats or on silver bodied plugs. Similarly a storm will churn up masses of razorfish and clams, which can bring in big shoals of bass, all of them intent on mopping up the storm's casualties. Hatches of the seaweed fly's maggots can induce them to feed as can other events. You need to be alert to the different possibilities and ready to take advantage of the clues provided by the sea, all of which will help you to become a better bass angler.
When you look at the beach, try to think of three things - direction of tide and currents, food holding places and features. The tide sweeps along the shore - not towards it - so there will be places where food is swept, perhaps an eddy at the end of a breakwater, a clump of rocks etc., where the food has a chance to settle. Smaller fish will know these places and investigate, looking for food. These, in turn, will draw the bass.
A freshwater stream may attract sandeels, digging into the softened sand as the tide recedes. Then, as the tide comes back in, the sandels will erupt from the sand ready to hunt for their own food. However, nine times out of ten, the bass will be aware of this and will often come in startlingly close to ambush the sandeels. I have seen the water turn silver from sandeels, only to find them being hammered into by black silhouettes in the water - bass daring in as shallow as water only six inches deep. Here fly and spinners can be deadly but you will have to work fast. When it happens, it happens quickly and it can be over in a matter of minutes.
Bass Fishing from Shore