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bass fishing resource tackle tips

bass fishing resource tackle tips


Jennifer Spurgeon

The Perfect dock

By Nic DiGravio

As I approached the massive dock with my quiet Minn Kota, I flipped my 1/8 ounce jig and craw and watched as my line instantly moved to the right. I reeled in a bit, gave it a yank, and up comes this tremendous splash, and with it a 6lb small mouth. After a battle of a life time I finally brought it in. I said to my cousin Nicola, "Who would of guessed that this small mouth was under the same dock where the cottage folk just finished entertaining ." This is proof that fish under docks get use to human activity. They use the dock as their home and source of food. There are many variations of docks out there, hopefully this will help you try to use docks to your advantage and put more fish in the live well.

Temperature is one of the key fundamentals of dock fishing. Without the right temperature all other aspects of dock fishing will be a waste of time, in my opinion. There is only one exception of course, and that is depth. For example, If you approach a given dock and the temperature is 85 degrees, but the depth is any where from 8 to 12 ft, I would definitely give it a try. I would be fishing bottom with tube jigs and texas rigged plastics or even deep diving crank baits. Cast the crank baits right into the heart of the dock and get it down as quick as possible, or even cast along side with a deep running Husky jerk by Rapala and just let it sit there in the fish's face and drive them wild. When I approach a dock, the first thing I look for is the temperature of the water. Temperature will give you the first indication of any sign of life in that particular dock. The optimum temperature, I normally look for, is roughly 68 to 80 degrees.

Depth is good to have, but too much depth is not good either. For example, in Lake Muskoka it is not unusual to fish a number of docks and find some to be 20 feet in depth. To me a good dock depth would be 5 to 10 feet of water. A combination of 80 degrees and 8 feet of water is my idea of paradise, especially if that combo is stacked with 20ft.of water in close vicinity.

The other things to take note of are the surroundings of the dock. Are there weeds in the area leading to the dock, or are there boulders, fallen trees? If so, don't hesitate to cast into these hideouts as well. Even docked boats are good, and don't pass up that swimming platform.

For tackle, I usually have 4 poles rigged up with a crank bait, craw, jerk bait, and tube jig. As you come up to your potential dock cast out the crank bait around it. I like to use the Berkley Frenzy deep diver in perch and blue gill colours. You can even try the Rapala Husky Jerks twitching as you reel in and also letting it suspend. I like to use these in brown and orange and green. Try using the Husky Jerk deep diver too, it also works great.

My favorite baits to work under the docks are the craw and the tube. These type of bait worked slowly along the hearts of the docks are lethal. To fish the craw I like to use a small 2 to 3 inch, pumpkinseed coloured, Berkley power craw rigged to a 1/8 or 3/16 ounce black or brown jig head. I pitch this bait all around and under the dock, letting it sink so slowly and working it back to the boat. The bass normally find this combo irresistible. When I fish the tube, I fish it in the same fashion as the craw. The secret of fishing the tube and the craw is to use as little weight as possible, just enough to let it fall naturally to the bottom. In deeper water sometimes I use a 1/4 ounce jig head instead to get it down quicker.

If a particular shoreline has many docks to fish I sometimes fish the first round with the crank bait and the jerk bait just to get the active fish. Next I slowly work my way back with the craw and tube jig. I have caught fish going both ways and have found myself spending a lot of time going up and down these docks. If you have a friend with you, try to use different baits to see what the bass want. Don't hesitate to use a top water lure first thing as well, because, keep in mind, the "cottagers" are most likely still in bed this early in the morning.

The next time you are out in your favorite lake don't pass up the opportunity to fish those docks. They are ignored time and time again by many anglers, and YOU just might find yourself the perfect dock!

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