Only skilled anglers can put their baits there. Only after the bait has hit bottom do I lift the rod tip, and then I'm doing one of two things. Slow down, he said, and approach it just like you would a small laydown along the shore. “It’s a very effective method, and it’s an absolute blast hooking into a giant bass at the back of a dock,” he said. The main time frame for skipping is in the springtime around the spawn. You'll also learn very quickly that weightless plastics are a lot easier to skip than weighted baits. Bass Pro Shops Graphite Series Spinning Rod A relatively new fishing technique that is taking the bassin' world by storm is skipping docks. Best Reel … “The bass will often eat the jig as soon as it hits the water,” he said. Now I know none of this really answered the question but I believe the rod/reel/line setup you use is as important as the bait itself. The further out you are the flatter your angle will be, which helps in making the lure skip across the surface. It’s a great reel packed with great features. 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). The best way to stay cool and comfortable on and off the water, the new Performance Hoodie offers style combined with function. His favorite lure combo for skipping under docks is a brown 3/8-ounce Arkie jig and a green pumpkin Zoom Fat Albert twin-tail plastic grub. “I load the Stradic with 10-pound PowerPro Super 8 Slick because it comes off the reel extremely fast, which is key to getting long, accurate skips made,” Zona said. That means it will still have plenty of momentum to carry it far under the cover, where the bass are holding. The reel is super smooth, casts great, and is easy to adjust. Of all the effective methods out there, which one is the hardest to master? Zona explained that a fast rod tip helps with casting accuracy and consistency, but also helps the angler with a quick hook set. It’s easy for a bass to become wrapped up and impossible to move beneath a dock’s cluttered underbelly, and a rod with a stiff backbone adds pulling power to the equation, which will bring more fish to the boat. “Effective and accurate skipping happens from the elbow to the wrist. Gerald Swindle is probably the best there is and even he gets them. 1 Trokar whacky-worm hook with 4- to 5-inch whacky-rigged stick bait is another solid skipping presentation. Followers 2. I am an expert at skipping docks, but, even I get backlashes and overruns, it's the nature of the beast. I just let it fall, and I want it to fall without any tension on my part, so I don't even engage the reel unless the water's extremely shallow. It's 5' with a light action. I do want to hear advice on best line for skipping. Here’s his rig of choice: the new 7-foot, 1-inch medium weight, extra-fast G. Loomis Jig & Worm rod (GLX 853S). This technique can be used in any water clarity and sometimes the cleanest weed free docks are the best spots. A lot of anglers seem to think that a smaller, more finesse-type jig is important, but a 1/2-ouncer skips better and is much easier to control. It starts with the right rod, reel, line and jig combination, but getting some instruction from an accomplished dock skipper will put you on the path to catching good numbers of fish from those hard-to-reach areas. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. Come forward with a snap and end with your rod tip pointed directly at the target. He admits that learning the technique on a spinning outfit is likely the best way to reduce frustration, and really understanding how the lure reacts to the water’s surface before upgrading to a baitcaster. “The way the back of the head tapers to the nose and how the hook positions the trailer makes it easy to skip. I like to fish the Senko weightless down to 8 or 10 feet. This reel is usually used by professional anglers, but it’s also excellent for beginners if you have a more flexible budget. He also said that if you notice a lot of bluegills and other panfish “happily” hanging around, that’s typically not a good thing. “In a clear-water situation, I might add a 5-foot, 12-pound fluorocarbon leader. I don't know if I've ever used the word "best" in a review before, but this rod is unbelievable and it's the rod I use more than any other I own. Best skipping rod and reel setup. A Senko is an ideal bait for skipping docks for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that it's such a great fall bait. The proper rod/reel/line outfit will greatly affect the proficiency of this technique. Just get out there and give it a try. Perhaps that is one of the most attractive things about the sport in general, but figure how many ways there are to catch bass, then think about how many you actually use. Docks that are isolated away from other can be great. When I'm dock fishing, I rig the Senko weightless and wacky style with a 1/0 Owner Weedless Wacky Hook. Sometimes you'll see the line twitch as the Senko falls. Well, if you ever get into a situation where you need to catch a fish, whether it’s for fun or a tournament check, having an extra trick up your sleeve could be critical. Don't carry any other rods with you, and don't try any other methods until you've mastered skipping. Keeping this in mind will put you in position to make more casts without blowing out the dock. The best docks are the first ones where the creeks and rivers dump into the lake. Zona prefers a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig trailered with a Rage Craw over any other combination. I am 6' tall and like a 7'rod. Here’s a quick list of the top things to consider when fishing docks for redfish, snook, seatrout, etc. Position the boat about three-quarters to a full boat length from the docks edge before making a cast, and work your way around hitting all the good angles.”. They're either deep, hanging around the thermocline, or they're in shallow cover, like heavy vegetation or under boat docks. This reel comes in a 150 size that is extremely comfortable and fits well in any hand size. Don't worry if your first few efforts are off the mark — they almost certainly will be. Why learn a new technique? Plus, a bass will eat a jig that size just as quickly — if not quicker — than a smaller jig.”. When it comes to approaching a dock, it largely depends on which hand you use. Finding the right length for your style of flipping / skipping docks (whatever you want to call it) is very important. How an angler approaches a dock is key to getting those fish to bite. Experimenting is the best way to figure out what works for you. FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift is widely recognized as one of the best at skipping baits deep under docks and other overhanging cover. Best casting rod for skipping docks. And remember to practice ... a lot! But once an angler figures out how to skip with baitcasting equipment, he’ll be able to call his shots and hit spots that are seemingly impossible to reach. The Shimano SLX Casting Reel is an incredible pitching and flipping reel that is at a phenomenal price point – you are going to have a hard time finding a better reel for the price. The right rod, reel, line and jig combination is essential to learning and performing the skipping technique with as little frustration as possible. “The real beauty to skipping is it will work on any lake in the country. 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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