Friday, December 26, 2008

Boat Docks by P. Roberts

Boat docks can provide a better option for anglers who prefer to stay close to the bank.
Regardless of how hot the water is or how many fish are holding, there are always bass around docks. Especially the large docks on the main lake, give bass two important elements during the summer - forage and shade. They provide a comfort zone along the shore, while the bluegill and other panfish utilizing that shade give bass an abundant food source.
That's not to say that dock patterns are good on all lakes or that all docks are productive. If there is a lot of vegetation or numerous logs and fallen trees along the bank, the man made structure may not be as appealing.
The main lakes docks that are exposed to wind and boat waves tend to be more lively with fish activity during the summer than docks in calm creeks.
If the water is stained, or if an algae bloom has clouded clear water,the shallower main lake docks will be more productive. But if the water is clear, fish the bluff shorelines where the fish have easy access to deeper water.
The dock pattern may be the best mid-day pattern. Early in the day when the sun is low, bass roam away from the docks to feed. But when the sun is high and heats the water, bass bunch up in the shade and the strike zone becomes smaller.
That doesn't mean you should ignore docks on overcast days, shadows are present and will effect the fish. Bass will feel more secure under the dock, but they are more likely to feed around the edges and can be seduced by topwaters and buzzbaits in addition to the drop baits.
Dock fishing at night can be great, yet it is often overlooked.
During the day, my favorite dock lure is a 1/2 ounce Strike King Jig with a plastic or pork trailer.
A good jig color for clear water is pumpkin green flake because it resembles a bluegill, the most prominent forage you'll find around docks during the summer, in stained or dirty water, use more visible colors.
A small plastic crawdad will work just as well as pork. Pork doesn't get you more strikes, but I believe it does effect how long a bass holds the bait.
When bass aren't real aggressive pork may be the deciding factor in how many fish you hook.
Dock anglers who are thorough and patient will find enough action to keep them on the water.

Lester Paul Roberts, Basic Author

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