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Skipping docks for donkeys

Extreme Sportfishing
Created 5 years 48 days ago
by Extreme Sportfishing

Hello my name is Shawn McLaughlin, I am a 31 year old multi-species angler from Windsor, Ontario. Fishing is no longer a pastime for me but a passion/addiction that has grown tenfold since the age I could hold a pole in my hand.  Targeting mutli-species for a number of years from crappie to walleye to musky. I have a great knowledge of large and smallmouth bass, also walleye and do very well for muskies. I have a dream of one day having my own TV show or possibly owning a lodge myself. I have a never dying love and passion for the outdoors and would love nothing more then to work my way up to that goal. I would consider myself not only a positive image but an important asset to any establishment promoting conservation, education and enjoyment of the outdoors.


  • 1st Place Fall Brawl Musky Tourney 2010.

  • 1st place from shore and 2nd overall 2014 Muskie Challenge

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The dog days of summer can be one of the most challenging times of the year, use this technique if you want to up your catches. 

During the summer months leading into fall can be difficult to pattern fish. But when the sun is high, and the fish seem to be scattered or have lock jaw there's one technique I prefer to use that just flat out catches fish and that's skipping docks. Largemouth tend to prefer shade on these hot days and docks provide that along with a food base like panfish and baitfish seeking protection from predators. 


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What makes a good dock? 

When fishing docks it's just like any other type of structure. There are many types of docks... Big, small, floating, ones with small poles, ones with large poles, docks close to deep water, shallow docks, etc. Each one of those things plays a factor in holding fish and if you hit enough of them, you will notice a certain type of dock will produce better then others. The main thing to look for is complexity. The more features in a dock or cover/shade in proximity will almost certainly attract the most fish. 

How do I skip a bait? 

First off,  you want to leave yourself about a foot of line off the tip of your rod. Second, you want to visualize your target whether it be a pole or a dark patch of shade. Once you determine where you want your bait to end up, you then lower your rod close to the water and use a side arm cast aiming about 10ft in front of you but in line with your target. The amount of force to cast with depends on how far you're trying to skip. I should mention that this technique (skipping) is most effective on flat calm conditions. When there are waves it's much more difficult to accurately cast to a target as the bait tends to jump off the waves hitting the dock itself. 

What bait do I use?

When skipping there are many baits you can try but my go-to would have to be a cigar shaped worm, either Texas style or wacky rigged. Not only do they catch a lot of fish but they also skip very well. When fishing docks the best way to fish them effectively and catch the most fish by working the edges of the dock first so you aren't pulling a fish out from the back and potentially spooking others. When skipping along with any type of fishing, boat control is very important. The better boat control you have the more fish you will catch. 


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  • Marty 5 years 46 days ago
    Nice article Shawn! Thanks for sharing! Will hopefully catch a few more! Marty