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How do you skip a dock?

Category : HAWK TALK
Dock skipping can put bass in your boat and a smile on your face. Photo: Ken Duke
Dock skipping can put bass in your boat and a smile on your face. Photo: Ken Duke

It’s summertime and the bass are typically in one of two places. They’re either deep, hanging around the thermocline, or they’re in shallow cover, like heavy vegetation or under boat docks. Docks are one of my favorite cover types because they offer bass lots of shade and usually hold panfish or other bait for the bass. If the dock has brush under it and is near deep water, it’s even better.

One key to fishing boat docks is presenting your lure to the darkest, most protected and least accessible part of the cover. That’s where skipping comes into play. Once you learn to skip effectively, you can put a bait in places most other anglers can’t, and you’ll be fishing for bass that rarely see a lure.

The Gear

My favorite bait for skipping is a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko in green pumpkin with large black flake (#297) or black with blue flake (#021). I use green pumpkin in just about any water clarity and black with blue flake in really dirty water or when I’m fishing up north.

When I’m dock fishing, I rig the Senko weightless and wacky style with a 1/0 Owner Weedless Wacky Hook. I like to fish it on spinning gear — a Revo Premier reel and 7-foot, 1-inch medium-heavy iRod Genesis II rod. I spool up with 15-pound-test Seaguar Kanzen braid and use about a 5 1/2-foot leader made of 15-pound Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon. I attach the lines with a modified Albrecht knot.

When rigging the Senko, one thing I like to do that saves baits and allows me to catch more fish on each one is to use a plastic O-ring that slides onto the bait and rests in the middle of the thickest part of the stickworm so that it doesn’t slip off. Once the O-ring is in place, I run the hook just under it and avoid putting it through any of the plastic of the bait. When I’m done, the Senko hangs evenly off either side of the O-ring, and I can usually catch three or four bass before I have to replace the bait.

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