Knock on Docks
for Bruser Bass
by Justin Hoffman
bass on any given lake can often be a challenging task. With so many
places to occupy in a body of water, anglers may spend more time looking
for fish than actually fishing for them. Dock fishing is a sure-fire
tactic to locate fish that can produce bass of braggin' proportions.
Knowing which are the best docks
to look for and what to throw under them will be the only knowledge
necessary to prosper on these man-made structures. Give docks a try this
year and capitalize on these lunker bass magnets!
This Dock or That?
Searching out productive looking docks that attract bass is the most
important key to dock success. Docks are not created equally, although
there are certain characteristics that will create an ideal habitat and
lure fish in. The most important factor is lead-in cover. Finding a dock
with weeds leading up to it, or surrounding it in some way, will create an
optimum ambush point, cover and safety. Floating weeds that have blown
into the dock are also a tremendous asset as they cut down on light
penetration and attract bait fish - which in turn attract hungry bass. My
most consistent area that I concentrate on are docks with a sand/weed
bottom, with a mixture of wood and weeds in and around the dock itself.
Find an area like this and get ready for superb action.
Another consideration when searching for docks is the material they
are made of. Wooden docks that are old and weathered are the number one
choice as these are as close to a "natural" structure that bass will find.
Docks in this state will usually have a build-up of algae on them, which
is extremely attractive to plankton and small organisms, which in turn
will draw the baitfish and bass in. Look for docks of this kind as low to
the waters surface as possible as they will be your best bet. Metal and
aluminum docks may hold fish on occasion but will not be as consistent at
holding bass as a wooden one will. If there is a boat tied up to the dock,
all the more better, as this will provide an added area for largemouth to
congregate under and will offer more shade and security for the
When To Hit Them
Knowing when to fish docks is quite a simple formula for the angler. I
usually turn to docks during periods of bright sunlight and hot
temperatures. In most instances, a quick check of docks around 11 am is a
good starting point - if the fish are present then you are on the right
pattern. If the action is slow under these prime conditions then the fish
are probably in a transition mode and your best bet is to try back in an
hours time to see if they have moved up by then. Docks are an easy and
quick structure to check for action - finding, or not finding fish, will
often clue you in to where they will be.
Another prime time to fish docks is during cold front conditions, or
when the bass are inactive. During these days that a fisherman dreads,
fish will push tight into docks and stay stationary. Repeated casts with
precise presentations will trigger these sluggish fish to hit.
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