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MinnesotaMongo

Dock tactics/progression in dirty water lakes

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This may have been covered in earlier posts, but for some reason, I stink at doing accurate searches on this forum's search engine.

I'm interested in finding out how some of you approach fishing docks in areas that have less water clarity - like the lakes in southern Minnesota. What are some of your go-to baits? What is the progression of baits? How much time do you spend on a dock? Do you recommend flipping larger, bulkier jigs in these less clear waters?

Let me give you an example of how my son and I approach docks. Right now, we have one person working spinner baits, and/or shallow running cranks on the edges, while another one is plying the shady spots, skipping, etc, senkos - jig worms/plastics.

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i have been having luck with manns shallow cranks and wacky rigged senkos skipped under docks also some success with a bigger than normal sized jig and pig

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Great topic MM.

I myself, woudl go to bigger baits when it comes to dirty water. I feel that a jig is awesome becuase its going to be a bigger bait, and has rattlers. Sometimes there not going to want something that big, so you go to a tube or comida.

As far as working the docks, there can be a time that you can fish one dock for 2 casts, and then go to the next dock, and flip it 25 times and get alot fo fish. The key is to throw it in places that are hard to get to. Hit all the shad that you can, and make sure that you get the back side of the dock, just dont fish the front.

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Thanks. I just have a further question on progression: Do you work it with 2 lures, or just with your confidence bait? The reason I ask, is that when I fish deep weedlines, I will go back with a slower, bulkier bait, after covering it with my confidence bait. I'm wondering if it's worth going through a dock with more than one lure.

I haven't used many jig/pig combos around dirty water docks, because I thought there wouldn't be enough noise or flash. I appreciate the tip on rattles, etc.

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i usally dont go back, unless it was a dock or structor outside of the docks that i know from a later date that i knew there is going to be fish holding there.

Another great tip that i learned years ago. If there is boat on a lift or in the water, make sure you throw your bait by the motor, its going to create a hole there from when they pull the boat in or take it out, fish will lay in there, and smoke baits if there in the hole. Something else to think about.

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good tip bass

i have also noticed that when fishing docks that alot of times i will get a hit under the back side of boats by the motors also if the dock is a roll out kind of dock the fish will also hide out under the axels on the dock. i have caught bass on the first axel of the dock by shore

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Those tires that the docks roll out on can hold a fish to. A hard to get to spot is under a poontoon. Some junky docks can hold good fish to. But I tend to focus on those docks with boat lifts and covers. I try not to toss a lot of metal under there as I know I'll hit the dock or boat or something. Or if the boat name sitting on the lift is titled "Lucrative Expenditures" you may want to pass on that. I'm just sayin'

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hit every post on the dock at least once & I like to pitch a blue black jig with a blue or black trailer in stained water

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try using lures that move a lot of water, one with a lot rings or ridges to its body , when the water is real stained a fishes eye sight is limited so slow plastics with vibration, sound, water displacement . are my first choices.

adding rattles to them will also help account for more strikes.

dead sticking large baits such as 7 inch senko's 10 inch worms

5 inch powerhawgs and such can also be productive .

also try lighter weights aand lighter line sometimes a real slow fall can be all that is needed to trigger a fish that would not bite another bait .

If I'm just out for fun I will target the axles and boat lifts , but if I'm fishing a tournament I will fish in between poles/ axles and the blow out from the outboard/inboard motor or any thing else that looks fishy!

I once caught a 5 lber out from underneath a life vest that was floating next to a dock also had a volley ball net that had small semi truck wheels for the base on each pole caught twin 4lbr's One of each pole.

good luck!!

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Wow - thanks for all the great information.

This is a little embarrassing because I've fished bass for many years - but I've never really used jigs and pigs. I really need to expand my skills a bit. Do you have a weight recommendation for jigs around docks? I can go back and read some stuff in my old InFish's - but I was just wondering what was the consensus around here.

Again, thanks for all the great help.

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I'm still a rookie when it comes to skipping on a baitcaster. Thus I still use spining. I use a small jig like a bitsy bug with some trailer and skip that. Some jigs skip better than others. Bitzys don't skip that well, but could be user error too.

For weight try heavier (1/2) or real light (1/8). Sometimes a slow fall and sometimes a fast fall may trigger them. Its always changing and everyday is different. That's what makes fishing fun and frustrating.

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I have generally used 1/2oz jig almost all the time but lately have come to see that 3/8oz is just as easy to pitch/flip and falls more slowly which seems to trigger more bites. Trailer size/type/bulk is also an influence on fall rate.

Of course when the slop gets thick then 1/2oz is just for starters and I will go all the way up to 1.5 oz if necessary to punch through the junk.

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jigs in 1/4 3/8 range get the most action

I personally like 5/16 if you can find them i feel they skip the best.

I like to fish them on a 6ft 10 in. to 7 foot med/heavy casting rod spoooled with 15-20 flouro. I feel that a heavier line slows the fall a bit. resulting in more strikes !

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The only way I can skip a bait caster is like pulling extra line out already like flyfishing. But before that, you have to measure your line first by casting and flyfishing retrieve.

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The only way I can skip a bait caster is like pulling extra line out already like flyfishing. But before that, you have to measure your line first by casting and flyfishing retrieve.

Great tip! I might have to give that a try and see what happens

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It takes a little experimenting with baits and lots of practice,a balanced outfit is crucial! you get the wrong line for the presentation and you'll struggle. lighter line = lighter baits = lighter action rods . heavier baits = heavier line = heavier actions

backlashs are gonna happen from time to time.

Starting with qaulity gear will minimize that as much as possible, but you'll get better with practice.

PERFECTION DOES NOT COME OVER NIGHT... BE PATIENT !!!

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great information lucky. You did hit it ont he head about not getting it over night. It does take some time. Everythign can change over a period of time, and you have to be able to change it up over a period of time.

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If skipping with a bait caster have a lure on that skips easy to limit the backlashes while learing. Lures like a Fluke or a Tube - they skip really well. Ribbit frogs skip well to and even for me once in a while on a baitcaster I can do it. Not well mind you.

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