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How To Catch Fish Around Docks: Summer Fishing Tips

June 17, 2020 54 No Comments


If your lake has docks, the fish are under them right now! From bass and catfish down to the smallest baitfish, everything that swims relies on the shade of docks for safety and comfort in the Summer heat. Today Tim goes in-depth showing how to approach dock fishing, explains which docks are most likely to hold fish, and demonstrates some of his favorite ways to target them. 

You can spend years dialing in which pilings on which docks consistently hold fish. Anglers make entire bass fishing careers out of doing exactly that. But if you just want to go fishing and consistently catch fish there are some simple tips that will help you choose the right docks quickly. Focus on docks that stand alone. A dock by itself will often hold large numbers of fish that would otherwise spread out along a row of docks. Focus on docks with quick deep water access. If the dock is in deeper water than those around it, there are likely to be bigger fish underneath. 

Lastly, choose docks based on the type of fishing you plan to do. If you’re fishing slowly with finesse baits target single docks or areas with limited numbers of docks. This will give you the confidence to fish methodically and really pick the docks apart. If you’re fishing fast moving reaction baits then areas with a lot of docks will give you endless targets to throw to. While you’ll make more casts per fish, the reaction bite is so fun that it often outweighs the alternatives. 

Our final tip is about skipping docks. You may have noticed Tim is able to do this effortlessly. While a skilled angler who practices can do this with virtually any reel, the “DC” reels make it simple for almost anyone to do. If you want to get serious about fishing docks, don’t be afraid to try a DC to shorten the learning curve and make the fishing more fun from the start. 

Below is a breakdown of the baits and equipment Tim recommends for Summer dock fishing. Of course you can dial in subtle details on your local lake but these baits and this equipment is what we use anywhere we go in the country when its time to target fish under docks. We’ve broken down the baits into reaction baits and slow moving baits to help you make the best choices. The links go directly to Tackle Warehouse where you can see detailed photos and descriptions of each item. 

Tim’s #1 Bait Today… 

Swimbait- Keitech Fat Swing Impact 4.8″ (Electric Shad):

Hook- Owner Flashy Swimmer 1/4 oz with 5/0 Hook:

Fast Moving Baits… 

-Damiki BTC Squarebill Crankbait:

(Threadfin Flash, Moss Back, Real Shad)

-Teckel Kick Knocker Topwater:

(Bone, Bluegill, Chart Shiner)

-River2Sea Bully Wa 2 Frog:

(Ghost, TW Gill, Little Allen)

Slow Moving Baits… 

-Dirty Jigs Pitchin’ Jig (1/2 oz):

(Molting Craw, Hematoma, Go To)

-Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver Jig Trailer:

(Green Pumpkin Red, Hematoma, Tramp Stamp)

-Yamamoto Senko 5″:

(Green Pumpkin, Watermelon/Green Pumpkin, JuneBug)

-Gamakatsu Superline EWG 4/0 Hook:

-Netbait T-Mac Worm 6.5″:

(Bama Bug, Green Pumpkin)

-Dirty Jigs Canterbury Shaky Head 1/4 oz:

DC Reels work great at every price point. As you move up to higher end equipment the reels become stronger and smoother but the technology that aids your ability to skip works throughout the line. Also, when dock fishing it is recommended to use an HG (high gear 7:1) or XG (Extra High Gear 8:1) to help you pull the fish out of the docks quickly before they tangle in the pilings. 

High End DC: Shimano Metanium DC:

Mid-Range DC: Shimano Curado 150 DC:

Budget DC: Shimano SLX 150 DC:

Excellent All-Around Combo For Docks… 

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 853C JWR:

Reel- Shimano Curado 150 DC:

Line- Power Pro Maxcuatro 40 lb Braid:

Leader- Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon 14 lb:

NEW Tactical Bassin Apparel… 

TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie:

TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie:

TacticalBassin Sun Shirt:

TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt:

Dock web.jpg

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