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Fishing Docks

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I'm headed up north in a week and will be fishing in pretty clear water. I was hoping to flip at some docks for smallmouth or largemouth. Anyone have any tips for clear water dock fishing or just clear water fishing?

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Use natural colors, stay back from where you're fishing, use fluorocarbon and good luck.

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Use watermelon red or pumpkin purple. Downsize and use lighter than normal line. I use 6 lb sniper the most.

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A little more difficult to pitch/flip up here. Natural colors like watermelon and green pumpkin are best. You gotta stay back a ways since the water can be almost crystal clear. Better than pitch/flipping is running a jerk bait along the edges of docks, I personally have more success doing that than pitching/flipping.

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I'm headed up north in a week and will be fishing in pretty clear water. I was hoping to flip at some docks for smallmouth or largemouth. Anyone have any tips for clear water dock fishing or just clear water fishing?

I personally do better skipping soft plastics unders docks than pitching or flipping.  I've been slowly using larger and larger lines on my setup.  You need to be able to steer them out quickly.  Ladders, vertical posts, horizontal beams, mooring lines, and buoys aren't your friend.  I use a 10lb flourocarbon leader on braid.  I mainly use a weightless wacky senko as a bait, so when you do smack something it's relatively quiet.  I also use a weedless hook that has a stiff wire weedguard, otherwise snagging is a constant issue.  Reducing the fear of snagging has helped my dock fishing more than anything. Skip where other's won't.  

 

Just my two cents. Hope this helps.

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PItching or flipping is going to require you to get fairly close to the docks and in clear water that can spell doom.  If you're unable to skip some form of soft plastic, you will only be able to hit the outside edges of the docks.  Try this; Rig up two rods with identical crakbaits. Tune one bait to run (track) to the left and the other to the right. Back off just far enough to reach the back of the dock and cast the one that runs left to the right side of the dock and the other one to the left.  The baits will run under the dock and bump the pillars as they make their way out to you.  The downside to doing this is the toll it takes on your line.  Re-tie frequently.

If you insist on flipping,  run your trolling motor on a constant, low setting and avoid pushing water under the dock. Switching it on and off is a sure way to spook 'em.

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PItching or flipping is going to require you to get fairly close to the docks and in clear water that can spell doom.  If you're unable to skip some form of soft plastic, you will only be able to hit the outside edges of the docks.  Try this; Rig up two rods with identical crakbaits. Tune one bait to run (track) to the left and the other to the right. Back off just far enough to reach the back of the dock and cast the one that runs left to the right side of the dock and the other one to the left.  The baits will run under the dock and bump the pillars as they make their way out to you.  The downside to doing this is the toll it takes on your line.  Re-tie frequently.

If you insist on flipping,  run your trolling motor on a constant, low setting and avoid pushing water under the dock. Switching it on and off is a sure way to spook 'em.

This sounds really interesting.  I've never seen anyone do this.  Thanks.  I'll try it sometime.

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Like others have said, stay a ways back from the dock so you don't spook the fish. If they don't know you are there the fish will be 100 times easier to catch. In clear, northern waters, I've done well fishing docks with a finesse jig, a wacky rig, dropshot, or light T-rig. 

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Another tip is to not fish the dock if there are people near it. I got my lure stuck under the dock yesterday, and had to stand on the very edge of the dock to retrieve my lure. There were people having a Bon fire on the shore. Next thing I know here comes a guy ready to sock me, he's got a clenched fist and in my face talking crap. I told him I didn't mean any harm, just getting my lure. He didn't care what I had to say, except "there's a whole lake out there to fish. Don't fish by this dock!" Well I kept my cool trying to be a respectful angler, but just a heads up. There's always going to be that drunken a hole that needs to look like a tough guy.

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Just a word of caution when fishing docks and it has everything to do with those folks that use the dock.  Never break off a lure that gets hung anywhere on the dock, especially under the surface.  The last thing you want is for someone to get a hook in them while sitting on the dock's edge or swimming around it.  I voiced that concern to a dock owner when he 'caught' me lying on his deck with my arm in the water up to my neck. He was still pretty irate, but the situation didn't escalate.

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Just a word of caution when fishing docks and it has everything to do with those folks that use the dock. Never break off a lure that gets hung anywhere on the dock, especially under the surface. The last thing you want is for someone to get a hook in them while sitting on the dock's edge or swimming around it. I voiced that concern to a dock owner when he 'caught' me lying on his deck with my arm in the water up to my neck. He was still pretty irate, but the situation didn't escalate.

I just had a run in with a boater as I got hung up under his dock and he needed to park to grab another beer and I was in his way. Crazy for no reason.

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I find that accurate roll casts from further out from the dock get bit more than pitches in ultra clear water. Also fish natural colours and sizes,and/or fish quicker to avoid giving the fish a good look at it.

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Go weightless with a senko or fluke, or nail weight them. Stay back and send then skipping under the dock on spinning gear with 8# fluoro. Game over

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gardnerjigman nailed it. Weightless plastics are killer around docks.

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Use natural colors, stay back from where you're fishing, use fluorocarbon and good luck.

I totally agree!

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