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NC_Bass6

Docks In The Winter?

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i was wondering if their are still fish around docks in the winter? if so, what would be the best thing to throw at them?

 

if not, what would be the best shallow cover for fish in the winter? i know you catch them mostly deep this time of year but i was just wondering if there was anything else i can do.

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The answer to your question is yes, they are good to fish in the winter.

 

a couple of things will help you find the right docks, one is the age of the dock, the older the dock the more likly the chance of it having bait fish around the dock, depth of the pilings, the deeper the water the dock is positioned in also aids in winter bass holding there, if you can find both thats even better.

 

Fish these docks slow with drop shots, jigs and shakey heads, if the structure surrounding the dock has a good vertical drop, a DD jerk bait can be very productive as well, even if the structure is not that vertical I would still give the jerk bait a shot.

 

Get your baits up under the docks if at all possible, fish them slow and use every available inch to work your baits, this time of year they are hard pressed to chase a bait very far.

 

Good luck and be safe !!!

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In areas where the water doesn't get hard in the winter, some bass will remain shallow, or near the shallows all winter. They do so to take advantage of baitfish movements and also for the added advantage of rising surface temps on sunny days.

Although baitfish such as shad will move to deeper structure during the cold water period, there is still forage that remains in the shallower water. By shallow water, I'm not talking about 4 or 6ft.  I'm refering to water that's shallow in relation to the depth deeper holding fish are holding.  Say 10ft. when the majority of the bass are using water 30 to 35ft.

Docks and other cover in those 'shallow' areas will hold bass and more often than not those fish are more active and feed more often because of it. 

Wood and rock are your best producers vs. weeds. Although weeds provide cover for the forage fish using shallower water, it won't provide the nutrients they need.  The moss and decaying timber will and that's why I don't recommend fishing weeds during the cold water period unless that is the only form of cover available at the targeted depth range. 

Your odds of contacting fish around docks or rock increase  in natural lakes or in lowland impoundments that don't get much deeper than say 30ft. or so, but even in those shallower bodies of water, your best options are the cover closest to some vertical depth change vs. a gradual one.

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Absolutely, my two weeks ago all of my fish came in shallow water and 6 out of 9 fish came from boat docks. I have pitch about everything in the world under a dock but my most productive baits are jigs, finesse jigs, and t rigged plastics. And that is through out the entire year

Remember this and it is very simple, bass will ALWAYS relate to cover. Even when it's cold and they are typically in deeper water they will move to cover that is near by. Example if you have a couple docks at 6 ft deep but it is near the main creek channel it has a higher probability of holding fish. It doesn't have to be a channel, but deep water near by is something I'm looking for. I fish lake gaston nc so being a good dock fisherman is almost a requirement.

The answer to your question is yes, they are good to fish in the winter.

 

a couple of things will help you find the right docks, one is the age of the dock, the older the dock the more likly the chance of it having bait fish around the dock, depth of the pilings, the deeper the water the dock is positioned in also aids in winter bass holding there, if you can find both thats even better.

 

Fish these docks slow with drop shots, jigs and shakey heads, if the structure surrounding the dock has a good vertical drop, a DD jerk bait can be very productive as well, even if the structure is not that vertical I would still give the jerk bait a shot.

 

Get your baits up under the docks if at all possible, fish them slow and use every available inch to work your baits, this time of year they are hard pressed to chase a bait very far.

 

Good luck and be safe !!!

In areas where the water doesn't get hard in the winter, some bass will remain shallow, or near the shallows all winter. They do so to take advantage of baitfish movements and also for the added advantage of rising surface temps on sunny days.

Although baitfish such as shad will move to deeper structure during the cold water period, there is still forage that remains in the shallower water. By shallow water, I'm not talking about 4 or 6ft.  I'm refering to water that's shallow in relation to the depth deeper holding fish are holding.  Say 10ft. when the majority of the bass are using water 30 to 35ft.

Docks and other cover in those 'shallow' areas will hold bass and more often than not those fish are more active and feed more often because of it. 

Wood and rock are your best producers vs. weeds. Although weeds provide cover for the forage fish using shallower water, it won't provide the nutrients they need.  The moss and decaying timber will and that's why I don't recommend fishing weeds during the cold water period unless that is the only form of cover available at the targeted depth range. 

Your odds of contacting fish around docks or rock increase  in natural lakes or in lowland impoundments that don't get much deeper than say 30ft. or so, but even in those shallower bodies of water, your best options are the cover closest to some vertical depth change vs. a gradual one.

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And remember this : the better you get at skipping that lure all the way to the back without making alot of splash the more fish you will catch.

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I would simply like to add that tossing a flick shake or wacky rigged senko against dock legs can also be productive. If you can control your line, you get a good, slow vertical fall. I would also have to agree about the jigs (maybe even a bulky trailer to slow the fall) and finesse jigs.

You can also skip a flick shake a loooooong way under docks.

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Just fish docks that have steeper angled banks and good depth nearby. Shallow patterns in the winter work best ager a good warm weather trend but the biggest thing that will keep bass shallow is stained to muddy water. One thing to remember when fishing docks is to think about where you would fish if there were no docks, and if there is docks there or you can find them then that's an added bonus.

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I've caught lots of bass out from under docks on Table Rock during the winter time. Of course some of those are over 50 or more feet of water. Huge schools of spotted bass suspend underneath them and if you can find them are super easy to catch at times. A jigging spoon or grub is my bait of choice for catching those fish. 

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Grayson, I went to the local pond (a small lake) and caught two off a dock yesterday on a chartruse flat sided crankbait.

They were hanging around the dock and I nailed them.

So to answer your question, yes - they still hang around docks.

What many bass fishermen don't understand is that in winter the bass will still be in the area they live but deeper and next to any structure they can find, including drop offs.

So continue to fish around docks, piers, boathouses, wood in the water, under and around boats, where there was grass in the summer but fish about 20 feet out and deeper and then head towards the structure or fish the structure and then fish about 20 feet out and deeper.

Hit the structure with your cranks. Bounce off of them for a reaction strike.

Try a nice jig and pig; Rat-L-Traps; spinnerbaits; skip a plastic under the docks, etc; throw a flat sided crankbait in a yellow color of your choice; and hit 'em with a stickbait of your choice.

You want to fish s-l-o-w, even slowing down your crankbait retrieves. The bass will tell you what they want and it is up to you to find their depth.

Remember that shallow water heats up faster than deeper water and that the north and western shorelines get more sun so they are warmer. The bass will go to the warmer and shallow water to feed during the day. So look for any structure on the western or northern banks and fish there.

Post pics.

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