Fish Docking Structures
Fishing around private docks can be a great option when it comes to light tackle fishing. It comes with lots of structure and many times an unpressured fishery. Before we discuss dock fishing tips, we need to talk about etiquette. Always keep in mind that you are near someone’s home or even back door. The nearby property owner may not care, but it is important to be on your best angling behavior so that you will be allowed to come back. Here are a few tips on how you can remain welcome at a dock fishing spot.
First, make sure you have good casting skills. Hitting boats and docks with lead weights is guaranteed to get you in some trouble and they will probably ask to leave the area. No one likes noise or damage from weights and lures bouncing off their boats or deck furniture nor do they want fishing line draped all over docks and boats.
Secondly, remember to be quiet. You may not be on private property, but loud noise is offensive. Keep the radio off, the chatter to a low volume, and always refrain from using profanity.
Don’t forget that fishing near a private dock should always be considered a “no smoking” zone. The smell and the threat of litter is a quick way to offend a generous property owner. This also includes refraining from urination. This bad action will not get you expelled from the area, it may get you arrested.
Lastly, never tie your boats to the home owners dock unless you have permission. The dock does not belong to you so anchor yourself somewhere else close by.
Now to the dock fishing tips!
It’s important to remember that fishing around docks can change with every tide. This means that one side of the dock will be hotter during one tide and likely cool off when the tide changes. You will find this will be the same with the other side of the dock. Frequently fishing specific docks will give you insight to the best position during certain tides.
Fishing in the winter months will give you a far better perspective because of the clear water. Therefore, take the time to quietly scout the docks when the fish are visible to see what the activity is like in relationship to the tides.
Another great time to fish is at night on lighted docks. Fish are attracted to light so when you are fishing, be sure to cast into the dark and retrieve into the light.
Learn to skip the lure under the docks because this is where the fish populate. While the fishing can be good near the docks, the actual structure is the fish magnet. Ending your cast under the dock will give you the best results.
Finally, remember “SLO”: Stop, Listen and Observe. This will be the best tip for fishing docks you will ever get.