Walkway

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The walkway, or platform extending from the shoreline to the main platform of the dock, is a prime place to which the bass can relate. I feel most anglers associate this area with where bass will spawn in the spring and it’s certainly a great place to cast that time of year. I’ve found over the years, however, that fish often use this section of the floating docks in all seasons; even the dead of winter feeding on crawfish.

In most cases, the walkway comes with a big challenge: the dreaded support cable holding them in place to the shoreline. But as I mentioned above, skipping will unlock the potential floating docks can provide. If you have the opportunity to skip under the cable… perfect! If you don’t, creep up close enough to make a cast over the cable and be able to lift the fish over or, at the very least, get close enough to net ’em on the other side.

In a recent tournament pro angler Jason Christie won, he said something that stuck with me.

“Your job is to hook the fish first and worry about landing him second.”

That being said, it’s important to remember that this needs to be done without coming in contact with the dock. Always remember that they are private property.

Regardless of the season, in most cases when approaching fish around the walkways I’m reaching for some type of plastic. Shaky heads, jigs and wacky-rigged sinking worms are a sure-fire bet in most cases. The line of shade created by the walkway is an ideal place for shallow-water baitfish like bluegill and shiners to hang out. So when the “big kid at the dinner table” we discussed above decides it’s time to eat, he might just sneak up there for an easy meal. My main focus is just getting a single-hook bait up there which increases my landing percentage and decreases my chances of getting snagged in a place I can’t reach to retrieve a lure.

In conclusion, understanding the most common places bass will position and suspend around floating docks is the key to fishing them. The baits used will change based on the scenario and conditions each day but remember to start with a simple selection and lower-priced lures. There’s no doubt you’re going to get a lot of practice on knot tying along the way, but they can account for some of the best days on the water an angler can have.

Rob Jordan is a professional bass guide and tournament angler specializing in angler development and electronics instruction. Find out more and get in touch with him at RobJordanFishing.com.