6'6" MH/H. "When I go fishing, I look for baitfish in areas where I think the bass should be rather than looking for the best looking docks," Yelas said. An excellent rod for skipping docks is the Bass Pro Shops Graphite Series Spinning Rod. Think about it this way: We’ve all heard that the longer you keep your bait in the strike zone, the better your chances are at catching fish. The ideal skip cast first touches the water at the front edge of your target — in our case, a boat dock. The best docks are the first ones where the creeks and rivers dump into the lake. Why learn a new technique? The reel is super smooth, casts great, and is easy to adjust. Don't carry any other rods with you, and don't try any other methods until you've mastered skipping. 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. Zona said that if you’re right handed, fish the dock clockwise, or if you’re left handed fish it counter clockwise. “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. The Lews Fishing Pro-Ti Speed Pool SLP Casting Reel – It’s a bit high-end, but it is worth every penny. With a weighted bait, you'll need to make a harder cast. Finding the right length for your style of flipping / skipping docks (whatever you want to call it) is very important. 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. Always remember to let your bait get to the bottom before you lift it. 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. With that being said, for proper adjustment, turn the antibacklash magnets all the way to zero if you have that control on the left side of the reel. This way when I reel up I can grab the lure with my left hand, put tight to rotate the reel back to the trigger position and then grab trigger and cast. I like the Spirex model the best. After I've skipped my Senko up underneath a good-looking boat dock, the next thing I do is ... nothing. I find a standard Tat CT my best skipping reel with 20 fluoro. One key to fishing boat docks is presenting your lure to the darkest, most protected and least accessible part of the cover. Tim shows the 4 combos and the baits he uses for dock fishing. “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. Come forward with a snap and end with your rod tip pointed directly at the target. Well, a dock is a giant strike zone, skipping is the only way to get your presentation into the dark, unmolested corners of that man-made structure.”. It’s a great reel packed with great features. Here’s a quick list of the top things to consider when fishing docks for redfish, snook, seatrout, etc. How an angler approaches a dock is key to getting those fish to bite. Mark Zona says that a Shimano Metanium loaded with 20-pound fluorocarbon is the best reel for skipping docks. Docks that seem devoid of life often hold big hungry bass. It's 5' with a light action. “You want your bait’s first skip to occur about 3 to 5 feet in front of the edge of the dock. That's why I recommend practicing with a wacky-rigged weightless Senko. Spinning equipment gives the angler better casting control for pin-point accuracy. Of all the weird things that bass do, not much confounds, confuses and frustrates anglers more than suspending. I do want to hear advice on best line for skipping. The proper rod/reel/line outfit will greatly affect the proficiency of this technique. “The bass will often eat the jig as soon as it hits the water,” he said. It takes away some of the action, but it gets the bait down to the fish a little faster. I’d be willing to bet that most anglers would agree that skipping a jig under docks or overhanging limbs might be the toughest. Get too close and you’ll never get the jig to bounce. I am an expert at skipping docks, but, even I get backlashes and overruns, it's the nature of the beast. They all work, but I find the CT the easiest. The deepest, darkest recesses of docks are the best places for big bass to lie in ambush. However, learning this technique and adding it to your arsenal will pay off big time. That spot just at the edge of the dock is your target. Skipping docks with jigs is a favorite of mine. 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. The Daiwa Elite Skippin' Jig casting rod is the best dock-skipping and pitching bait I have ever tested. I'll run through its most noteworthy characteristics. Skipping docks and overhanging cover is easy with the right equipment! You also want a rod with plenty of backbone so you can make a good hook-set and get a bass out from under the dock and away from cover quickly. Especially in the summer months when bass seek the shade and cover docks provide. Zona likes a 7-foot, 1-inch G. Loomis NRX Jig & Worm, with heavy power and fast action (NRX 854C). 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. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. Thrift shares some advice to make you a better skipper. The toughest spots to put a bait under a dock get the least fishing pressure. 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. Get a reel that has a high bearing count of at least 7 that provides a smooth action and a strong front drag. Docks provide the kind of structure that offers shelter for baitfish and predators alike — if docks are available, there are fish to be caught. ... Rod & Reel building & repair ; Best casting rod for skipping docks Contact Us; Again, set the hook! 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. I can help you with this much, though. The biggest mistakes Morrow sees novices make when they try to shoot docks are using too big of a jighead or too heavy of a line. most of the time you skip is docks, so you want short and stiff as possible. 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. If the dock has brush under it and is near deep water, it's even better. The first is I'm checking for a bite. Best casting rod for skipping docks Sign in to follow this . “The real beauty to skipping is it will work on any lake in the country. #1 Rod Length and Action For Skipping Baits The most important piece of … When the Senko's falling, it's working for you and attracting bass. 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. He’ll pair that rod with a newShimano Metanium 100 XG, which is ultra fast in a 8.5:1 gear ratio, and load it with 20-pound fluorocarbon. The main time frame for skipping is in the springtime around the spawn. Skipping lures under docks is a difficult skill to master. If there's not a bass on the other end, lift the bait up and let it fall again. 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. Of all the effective methods out there, which one is the hardest to master? Deeper than that, I'll add a small nail weight (1/32- to 1/16-ounce) to the head of the lure. He also said that if you notice a lot of bluegills and other panfish “happily” hanging around, that’s typically not a good thing. You don't even need a dock for practice — just a target of some kind. JOIN TODAY! 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. Face your target and keep your backcast low and quick. It has a terrific and subtle action as it falls — one that bass can't seem to resist. “In a clear-water situation, I might add a 5-foot, 12-pound fluorocarbon leader. I expect a Tat SV or Zillion SV would be about as good as you could get. Only skilled anglers can put their baits there. ... more accurately, and provide stress-free control when chunking into the wind, skipping baits or casting large lures. These worms skip super easy without adding any weight. It’s the reel anglers like Meyer, Ish Monroe and Randy Howell are carrying for the long haul this season. That’s when I learned how to skip a jig.”. It skips easily, falls slowly and naturally comes with a very appealing retrieve. The Dock “Not all docks are created equal,” he said. When it comes to approaching a dock, it largely depends on which hand you use. Zona suggested learning to skip with a spinning combo. “One of the biggest mistakes I see anglers make, is they wind up and swing their arm like a Major League pitcher,” he explained. Like I said, learning how to skip with spinning gear will make the transition to baitcasting tackle much easier.”. The NRX and IMX blanks literally become an extension of your arm allowing for a fast and solid hook set.”. The best spinner is probably the size 2,500, which strikes a balance between decent line capacity, drag systems, and lighter weights. FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift is widely recognized as one of the best at skipping baits deep under docks and other overhanging cover. There are several key areas I look for while skipping. 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. 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. I use a Dobyns Champion 734c with a Quantum Smoke 100, braid/fluoro (depending on water clarity), and 1/2oz jigs 99% of the time. Once you get good, you'll find there are very few places where you can't put a lure. Watch our guy Tyler Anderson showcase his approach to catching more bass around docks. There are a great number of anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour who could provide insight on how to get good at skipping, but several I spoke with said Michigan native Mark Zona is about as good as they come. So much so it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range. The further out you are the flatter your angle will be, which helps in making the lure skip across the surface. Here’s his rig of choice: the new 7-foot, 1-inch medium weight, extra-fast G. Loomis Jig & Worm rod (GLX 853S). Slow down, he said, and approach it just like you would a small laydown along the shore. As soon as the spool stops spinning, Swindle engages the reel to prepare for any quick strikes from bass chasing the skipping lure. He says the amount of practice that is required for skipping with a baitcaster can be intimidating, but it starts with the right rod-and-reel combination. Plus, a bass will eat a jig that size just as quickly — if not quicker — than a smaller jig.”. I am 6' tall and like a 7'rod. Only after the bait has hit bottom do I lift the rod tip, and then I'm doing one of two things. He also says that a No. This reel comes in a 150 size that is extremely comfortable and fits well in any hand size. They're either deep, hanging around the thermocline, or they're in shallow cover, like heavy vegetation or under boat docks. Forget a slow, lazy casting motion like you might be able to get away with using other methods. A rod with a fast tip — like the iRod Genesis II — will respond very quickly to the short, snapping action that you need to effectively skip a bait. He said most people won’t be able to pick up a baitcaster and just go to work; it’ll take practice and time on the water. Bass Pro Shops Graphite Series Spinning Rod A relatively new fishing technique that is taking the bassin' world by storm is skipping docks. “That’s the part of the puzzle I can’t help you with, you just have to go out and fish them all to determine which ones will hold the most and biggest fish. A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. By stumpjumper16, February 12, 2017 in Rod & Reel building & repair. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the Daiwa Tatula SV/TW baitbasting reel. 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. Elite pro Andy Montgomery is a dock-skipping Jedi master, and her's his A to Z download of bait, trailer, rod/reel setup, technique, etc. Sometimes you won't see anything, but when you lift up it feels mushy or you can see the line is moving to one side. 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). “Not all docks are created equal,” he said. Keeping this in mind will put you in position to make more casts without blowing out the dock. For optimum skipping distance, Morrow’s first lure choice is a 1 3/4- or 2-inch Lindy Watsit Grub, a thick-bodied creature-style bait with a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jighead. This technique can be used in any water clarity and sometimes the cleanest weed free docks are the best spots. One of the most intriguing aspects about bass fishing is the vast array of techniques that can be employed to catch one. JOIN TODAY! I do a side-arm whip cast so the jig hits the water from a low trajectory. When you do, set the hook. “You’ll be glad you picked up the technique!”. “Effective and accurate skipping happens from the elbow to the wrist. And remember to practice ... a lot! Docks that are isolated away from other can be great. When targeting a shallow dock, no weight will ever be needed. 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. That’s advantageous for two reasons: 1) It levels the line going back in and under the dock, kind of like skipping a bass jig; and, 2) It puts you in a perfect position to start the retrieve because a lot of times crappies will hit the jig right away, especially on shallower docks. G. Loomis NRX Jig & Worm, with heavy power and fast action (NRX 854C), Get best fishing times with lunar fishing calendars, Bassmaster College Series 2021 regular-season stops announced, Bassmaster High School schedule for 2021 features iconic fisheries, Fantasy Fishing: Killer combo at St. Lawrence River. Zona suggests starting with the spinning outfit and a weightless presentation, and then graduating to baitcasting tackle and heavier jigs. Sometimes you'll see the line twitch as the Senko falls. It's summertime and the bass are typically in one of two places. Soft plastic stick baits like the BioSpawn ExoStick or Strike King Ocho skip better than a flat rock, so … It’s also worth noting Zona is not only a very accomplished co-host for Bassmaster TV and Bassmaster LIVE, he’s one of the few media guys who could pick up a fishing rod and have a career as an Elite Series pro. 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. I really believe that the shallowest docks hold the biggest fish. But just because it’s the easiest, doesn’t mean it’s easy. The right rod, reel, line and jig combination is essential to learning and performing the skipping technique with as little frustration as possible. 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. For me, the very best bait to shoot up under a boathouse or dock is a #6 sickle hook on a 1/16oz round head jig with a 1" Slab Bandit plastic bait (Baby Shad type). 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.”. It’s literally just like skipping a rock, you really only use your lower arm, and the same technique applies when there is a rod in your hand.”. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. This year I bought a 6' M IMX rod paired with a stradic 2500(the action on the shorter IMX rod feels more like a MH) for skipping docks and started using 20lb power pro. 1 Trokar whacky-worm hook with 4- to 5-inch whacky-rigged stick bait is another solid skipping presentation. When I'm dock fishing, I rig the Senko weightless and wacky style with a 1/0 Owner Weedless Wacky Hook. There may not be as many fish as there might be on a deeper dock, but over the years I’ve found that large, rogue bass like shallow docks more than any other.” Zona likes a dock that sits in water that is almost too shallow for his boat. You'll also learn very quickly that weightless plastics are a lot easier to skip than weighted baits. Just get out there and give it a try. You need to make a sharp, hard cast to do it effectively. “I really think that jig and trailer is one of the best skipping options out there,” he said. One thing I do use, that I think gets me way more cast's per day is a shimano trigger reel. Therefore, some of the best skipping worms are the stick-shaped (cigar-shaped) types such as a Yamamoto Senko. 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. Get best fishing times with lunar fishing calendars, Bassmaster College Series 2021 regular-season stops announced, Bassmaster High School schedule for 2021 features iconic fisheries, Do's and don'ts of tournament competition, Fantasy Fishing: Rely on experienced river anglers, Fantasy Fishing: Pick strong tidal anglers on the Potomac, Fantasy Fishing: Count on skilled vegetation anglers to catch them on Cayuga, Fantasy Fishing: Pick offshore specialists for BASSfest.