The square billed crankbaits we are using today are in the 100, 200, and 300 XCaliber series. The different size baits work at different depths.  The cove in which we are fishing contains a variety of structure in combination with some boat docks.  We throw the crankbaits at submerged wood and rip rap.

One of the nice features of these crankbaits is that the hooks ride up against the body to reduce the number of snags. As we cast out and begin the retrieve, you can feel the bait bouncing off the rocks and vegetation.  Once you feel the bait hit something, pause to mimic a wounded baitfish.

The theory is that the square bill on the bait allows the angler to make a “bump and run” retrieve though fallen timber and other cover.

With a couple of nice 2-pounders landed, photographed and released it is time to think about the boat docks. The sun comes out after several days of nothing but cold, rain, drizzle and cloudiness.

Fishing boat docks is a great bass pattern during the summer months.   In summer look for a boat dock with lots of water under it.  In the spring look for one with brush.

In summer the bait forage moves under boat docks to get in the shade and little cooler water. The bass follow them.  In spring the forage seek out the brush to avoid becoming lunch.

Throw something small like a wacky worm or tube bait on a 5/16 ounce jig. You can skip the worm under the dock and you can be use the jig around the edges or in the front. A favorite trick for use with the wacky worm is to place and o-ring around the middle of the worm.  Then run the hook between the o-ring and the worm.  The result is a lure that will skip easier and one that will last longer when catching bass.

Another tip is to fish the jig with a trailer such as a Wooly Bullee. It is a 3 ½ inch craw that has good water displacement and action for flipping.

What is in the stalls is important in selecting a dock. Seek out docks with lifts, ramps for skidoos and decks with cables and supports.  The cables appear like a tree limb to the bass and they will actually spawn beneath them.

By fishing the areas around docks that people ignore because they are difficult to reach you are able to find fish. On many of the older lakes, the docks contain white Styrofoam floats.  More recently regulations in many areas require the black encapsulated Styrofoam.  The older white floats have a lot of algae on them which attract fish.

If your lure gets hung-up on a dock retrieve it in the least intrusive way. Be careful not to bump the dock or any boats attached.  If you have to, most people do not mind if you walk up on their dock to remove your lure and then immediately get back in your boat.  People usually do not mind fishermen casting to their docks.  But, if they do complain or have a sign posted then stay out away from it.

In muddy or stained water move closer to the dock.  In clear water, stay out from the dock.

If you do not have confidence in your skipping and pitching ability practice anywhere you might find a bluff or cliff that comes into the water. Practice casting to a specific spot close to the rock.  That way if you miss your spot it will hit the rock and bounce off but not get tangled.




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  1. Pingback: CRANKBAITS AND BOAT DOCKS | AverageOutdoorsman

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