Regardless of where you plan on wetting a line, bass anglers will, at some point, find bass relating to boat docks. With these man-made creations come a prime ambush location for bass to inhabit, and it works throughout the year.
Because there are usually many boat docks on a given body of water here are some quick tips in how to identify the most productive docks over the others.
- Docks can be floating and fixed. Floating docks are usually not connected to the bottom in any way. Non-floating docks either are on wheels or posts that come in contact with the bottom of the lake.
- Does the dock looks new or old? I like docks that appear older because these docks usually have an abundance of algae and other weeds growing nearby that attract the baitfish.
- The time of day plays a big role in if the bass will be buried all the way underneath a dock or if they will be sitting on the edge.
- Is their current or lack thereof? If a boat dock is situated in a lake or a section of a river that has little to no current, then bass will try and set up on the dock where the current will slightly hit that dock. This again gives the bass the cover of the boat dock, but also an ambush point for when food is washed by.
- The last thing I consider when I am fishing boat docks is looking for additional forms of cover in relation to the dock. Other forms of cover can be a brush pile, weed line, rip-rap, or some non-traditional items like a moored boat, tire, etc.
Sometimes you may be able to go down a stretch of docks and get a bite on almost every dock, whereas other times the action will be much slower. Going back and examining why certain docks are better than others can be extremely helpful in establishing a pattern.
My Top Three Dock Lures:
- Soft plastic worm for skipping: can be fished on a spinning rod and put in places many other lures can’t reach.
- Swim Jig: mimics a bluegill, which are typically abundant and also hold tight to docks for cover.
- Hollow bodied frog: works well for skipping underneath docks or fishing adjacent matted weeds.
The last thing I want to talk about when it comes to dock fishing is having respect for the dock owners themselves. When you are fishing boat docks you are putting yourself in the public’s direct eye. It is important to be polite and respectful and show that home owner just how classy bass fisherman can be.
Using common sense is important; if someone is on their dock or around it, don’t fish it. If you do get snagged, do what you to get your lure back, but if you can’t, cut your line.