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Burndigity

Early Season Docks

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I have a tournament every season on opener, on a northern lake. I do well on this lake fishing docks in the summer but have never attempted to during tournament hours opening weekend. Due to the timing of the tournament each year there are no pre-fishing hours. Which leads to my question, how early have you begun to see docks produce? Is there a certain water temp or length of time after ice-out or spawning that you've seen bass begin to relate to docks? I'm planning to do a little dock fishing this year, but don't want to burn too much tournament time on a pattern if there is little chance of it producing.

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Depends on the spring, but typically I don't do well on docks until post spawn. But there should be fish in the shallows looking for locations to make beds.

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Fully agree with Cecil. I would think on a northern lake, first weekend you would be looking at pre spawn or maybe spawn. I've had good luck shallow between docks but rarely see bass relating to dock structure that early. As Cecil said maybe a real wrm spring with lots of runoff would produce something but I would still be looking for staging fish waiting to go shallow.

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FWIW we always have an early tourny in WI. 2 years ago we were fishing a lake with very little vegetation. The person that won ended up getting all his fish off of docks. 2nd and 3rd place guys were fishing transition areas leading up to spawning flats. I didn't spend much time on docks at all thinking that they wouldn't rest there until they were done spawning. But hindsight is always 20/20, with the lack of vegetation the fish didn't have that many places to post up before spawning and it made sense why they were there. So you really never know...

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I also have a tournament every year on opener....docks produce for one of the guys who always seems to be in the top 3. I also can usually pull a few from the docks. But then again I just love dock fishing so probably should always spend as much time as I do on them.

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Really depends on sqawning habits or how the water temp is or if they are still spawning, I have caught bed fish under docks before on opener and around them due to spawning location. I also remember an opener where fish have been mostly post spawn and males are the only fish left around beds.

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