There are endless lures and approaches to bass fishing docks, but Bob Downey unveils the overlooked tactic of skipping docks with frogs. This comprehensive guide delivers the when, where, and how to skip docks using hollow bodied frogs and equip all anglers from novice to pro with the know-how to apply this technique. *Additional gear links at the bottom.
TACKLED USED (retail links)
- FROG – Terminator Walking Frog, color – Sunny: Buy at Omnia Fishing, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- ALL FROGS – Buy at Omnia Fishing, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- ROD – St. Croix Premier Series Casting Rod, 7′ Med Hvy: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- REEL – Shimano Curado 200 M Casting Reel, 7.4:1 (current model): Buy at Omnia Fishing, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- LINE – Sufix 832 Braided Line Low-Vis Green, 50-pound: Buy at Omnia Fishing, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
WHEN TO SKIP FROGS UNDER DOCKS
Timing is crucial in bass fishing, especially when using a frog under docks. Downey reveals that the prime time isn’t dawn or dusk but during high sun. The high sun generates defined shadow lines under the docks, offering pronounced shade and cooler water to draw fish in.
WHAT HABITAT TO LOOK FOR
The grass adjacent to docks is commonly super dense and choked out on many fertile lakes. Underneath the docks, however, reduced light penetrations create a hole, thus an open space and an edge for bass to live and ambush forage such as bluegills. Downey demonstrates this perfectly by inspecting a recently pulled dock. The areas under the dock have less grass, creating a grass edge on the periphery.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST FROG FOR SKIPPING DOCKS
The choice of frog is essential, with Downey favoring bigger and heavier models to facilitate better skipping under docks. The color also matters, with brighter hues for murkier waters and more natural tones for clear conditions. Trimming the frog’s legs to shorten its profile can reduce short strikes and improve hooking and landing percentages.
CASTING REEL SETTINGS FOR SKIPPING DOCKS
Mastering baitcasting reel settings enhances dock-skipping success. Maintaining a loose bait caster setup for frog casting is crucial, allowing the line to flow freely and aiding the skipping motion. Accepting occasional backlashes as part of the process, Downey advises a controlled thumb to manage the spool tension, ensuring effective skips without constant line tangles.
WHAT ROD FOR SKIPPING DOCKS
Downey prefers a 7′ medium-heavy rod, unlike those used for making long casts across lily pads or mats. The shorter rod improved skipping control, while the medium-heavy specification offers better hook setting in close combat, avoiding blowing the fish’s mouth open.
WHAT LINE FOR SKIPPING DOCKS
A 50 lb braid line complements the skipping technique, paired with a reliable reel of personal preference. Downey underscores confidence in equipment choice, emphasizing personal comfort with his outdated reel. Find a reel that works for you and commit it to this technique.
In summary, success in bass fishing under docks requires a blend of strategic timing, understanding bass habitat, choosing the right frog, mastering reel settings, and selecting the optimal rod and line. Downey’s experience is a roadmap that’ll help you catch more bass when the right situation arises.
BOAT & ELECTRONICS
- SHALLOW WATER ANCHOR – Minn Kota Raptor, 8′: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex MSI+, 52”, 36v (112 lbs): Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- BOAT – Bass Cat Eyra: Check out at Bass Cat
- MOTOR – Mercury Pro XS 250hp: Check out at Mercury Marine