Using Docks To Catch Big Bass

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Written by Zak Prenger

In my bass tournament experience I have caught big bass and won money fishing under cottage docks and boathouses! But not all docks hold quality fish and at times no fish at all. There is a few key factors that I look for when approaching a new dock.

*Boat houses are great fish factories as well*  

Below are 5 tips to to ensure your success when approaching new docks.

  • Water depth under end of the dock is key. Too shallow and those big bass won't have room to hunt. Too deep with no bottom structure for the bait fish means no bass around looking.
  • Type of dock and how busy is it. Some docks are much easier to fish then others. Does it appear like children are always playing around the dock area? If so chances are the big bass will not be sticking around that dock.
Fishing Dock
  • Is there a pontoon boat attached to the dock? In my experience tournament fishing there is always a bass way back under the pontoon boat. Toss your lure near the back of the pontoon and wait.  It could be that personal best largemouth you were looking for.
  • Jig or senko? This goes through my head every dock I approach, the jig paired with a crayfish trailer is the ticket for the big bass but not picked up as often. The weightless wacky or texas rigged senko will always catch you bass, big and small. Toss it under or around the posts of the dock and watch the fish come out to eat it.
  • Water clarity – darker more stained water I will make sure my jig is dark in colour, has rattles and maybe even add scent or some type of attractant. In Clear water use natural colors and occasionally use a smaller presentation to entice the bass to come in for a closer look.

When I find the perfect dock, position the boat, decide on a jig and crawfish chunk,  I toss it to the back to the dock and wait. If the bite is taking a while try slowly pulling the jig to the front of dock bouncing is along the bottom with a tap, tap and before you know it BAM fish on! Now the struggle is to get the fish out and not entangled in the dock.

Skipping a jig way under a dock takes practice, even the pros hit the docks or boats. Take your time, practice on docks you feel comfortable with. With that being said have fun on the water and remember those key factors when approaching a new dock.

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