Boat docks are without question one of the greatest bass holding structures in the game. They can be found in almost every lake, and provide bass both shade and easy access to the schools of little panfish that frequently live beneath them.
For that reason, skipping docks should be near the top of the “essential skills” list for any aspiring bass angler. Although it may be a little tricky at first, once you get the hang of it you’ll spend a lot more time catching and less time fishing.
To help shorten your learning curve – we put together the following dock skipping guide, starting with the easiest presentation to learn with, and stepping up to the more advanced presentations.
Skipping Docks With Soft Plastic Stick Bait
Skipping is best learned with a spinning rod, as the line rolls off the spool without concern of a backlash. Soft plastic stick baits like the BioSpawn ExoStick or Strike King Ocho skip better than a flat rock, so they’re the first thing you should try when learning to skip. Use a 6 to 7 foot medium power spinning rod spooled with light braid or monofilament. Leave about a foot and a half of line down from the rod tip, and use a sidearm cast – releasing the line when the rod is near the surface of the water. If you’re worried about getting hung up, try skipping in open water until you get confident, then head to the docks.
Skipping Docks With Jigs
Once you’ve mastered skipping with a spinning rod, the next logical step is to start learning how to skip with a baitcaster. Jigs are a perfect first lure for baitcaster skipping, as their flat heads and skirts slide well across the surface. Start out with a light ¼ or 3/8 ounce jig like the Greenfish Craw Jig, and practice short, sidearm casts while controlling the spool with your thumb. The biggest mistake many anglers make when skipping with a baitcaster is to overpower the cast (this is the quickest way to a birds nest). Instead, try aiming for smoothness. The goal should be to release the jig about a foot from the water’s surface and have it hit the water about a foot or two in front of your target.
Skipping Docks With Swimbaits
Once you can skip a jig on a baitcaster, you can quickly begin experimenting with other presentations, like swimbaits. Because they’re usually flat, swimbaits like the Bruiser Baits Super Swimmer actually skip pretty well and can be a deadly way to quickly cover water while dock fishing. The skipping is mechanically the same as it is with a jig, but it’s a little tougher due to the heavier rod and lure required to fish them effectively.
For more tips on fishing around docks, check out this fishing tips video from Jon B.: