A Practical Guide To Fishing Around Docks

A Practical Guide To Fishing Around Docks

When fishing around a dock, the hitting of pinpoint targets may continuously confuse you. And it all depends upon what time of the day you will catch fish. Here, we will discuss different strategies and tips to fish correctly and effectively. Knowing the basics of catching fish around docks is the first step.

You’d like to consider the angles and stealth of whatever you’re tossing around the docks. These fishes detect many sounds, and if you get in too soon or too loudly, they’ll probably know something. It’s very crucial to stay as quiet as possible. You wouldn’t want to startle any fish. Even a bustling dock would give you a few chances, and you don’t want to lose any.

If you’d like to know more tricks on how to fish in docks effectively, reading the rest would be my best suggestion. And finding out what you may improve would help you tremendously.

How Do You Fish Around a Dock?

It doesn’t matter if you’re catching bass, panfish, or tackle walleye. Dock fishing is an effective and unique way of fishing with surprising rewards. Yet you need to know how different fish impact different types of docks before you head over your boat to the closest port.

Know Your Dock

Before you know the ways on how to dock fish, it’s crucial to know your dock. It means that the water below must be deep enough to support the boat to float—usually at low tides. I have seen docks high and dry, which can only be used at high tides at low tide. These docks must stay alone because they certainly won’t have fish beneath them even in high tide. Fish need a habitat on which they can rely.

The Dock Must Have Sufficient Water For Fishing

The dock needs to have a sufficient amount of water for fishes to live and rely upon so they could feel protected. Another common explanation for why dock fishing is well known is that these fishing docks are almost always in protected water. If the wind is rough, ports usually stay calm, so fishes are safe there, and even in hurricanes, you can still fish.

Fishing From Boat

A Practical Guide To Fishing Around Docks

Usually, there are two ways on how to fish around a dock. It could be from the bank or the boat. Either way, you may or may not catch first on your first few attempts.

When you fish from a boat or small vessels, you are very much in favor of sailing, skipping the bait or lure. You can throw into the docks and banks and lure in areas where those bass fishes are likely to stay together from a boat. Casting down to the banks, parallel with the ports and slowly turning back to you, covering all the docks you can. 

Don’t ignore the shallower spots. You’re going to wonder how shallow most bass fish is going to live. Reach those darkened areas, but don’t also forget those sunny spots and places. How you fish in docks usually depends on you.

Fishing From The Bank 

The other way on how you fish around the dock is ‘dock fishing from the bank.’ When you walk to a fishing dock from the bank, you should be careful and quiet not to scare the fish away. Like walking sounds, all motions will return to blue yonder the fish that stood under this dock. 

The safest starting point is the darker side of the pier. Skipping Missing a trap or lure is a quick way to get into areas a bait usually couldn’t go. To miss a lure by using a fast tip rod, drop and snap the rod’s tip, and keep it pointing in the direction of your target. Toss it parallel, cast the bait over the dock, and bring it back to you gradually if you toss it to the side of the dock.

Which Docks To Fish?

You are identifying which docks are holding fish and which is not a search and failure. Suppose you catch fish in a dock on this trip. In that case, you’re likely to find them on a separate journey under identical circumstances. But, overfishing a single port is not advisable! If you fish the same docks consistently, you can deplete the same docks’ fish population. So here are some perfect spot docks where you can fish.

Floating Docks

Think about the fact that some are mindful of the fish present and fish the same docks. Fish run away under so much pressure. Get many ports chosen and work out a scheme in which you do not fish the same docks each time.

In this scenario, floating docks face a variety of standard and unusual problems for anglers. Many fishers toss, pitch, or skip underwear to typical wooden docks—and to be quite frank, you can hardly question them. These docks are also decorated with clearly detectable bass keeping features like ladders, crossbeams, and expanded walking trails. In other words, usually, you will identify the “low-hanging fruit” of several fisheries.

It is precisely why floating docks are primarily ignored by most of the fishermen. Don’t let your unsuspecting appearance on the ports fool you. Some of the worst looking docks hold more of the fishes than you actually could think. Some metal docks hold fishes more than wooden and vice versa. So, it’s essential to go to different ports and not overfish one dock over the other.

A Dock With Appealing Features

Finding an excellent appealing dock that is full of attractive features is always great. Finding a quality bank area with all the great features is required for a good fishing experience. Finding just one dock is not a great way to expand and learn several fishing techniques. 

If you’re not aware of your surroundings, floating docks will throw you off. It would be best if you also took note of the bank’s architecture and the relative location. Is it too far or nearby? Does it have so many tourists or a few tourists? Perhaps you would like to see docks as a welcome incentive for the right bank. Choosing which one is the best for you is the initial step to fishing an excellent experience.

Finding an excellent appealing dock that is full of attractive features is always great. Finding a quality bank area with all the great features is required for a good fishing experience. Finding just one dock is not a great way to expand and learn several fishing techniques.

However, as water temperatures start to warm during the spring, summer, and fall, it is likely to note that some fish prefer to hang under floating docks. These dock fishes use the shade and feeding resources at that period of the year. The docks’ relative positions remain significant, but the surrounding base’s density does not seem to matter. You will start seeing something beneath the floats later in the year, but there is no explanation why the bass fishes lie on the bottom.

Dock Fishing Lures And Strategies

For first-time anglers, fishing may sound complicated, but it does not have to be. You’ll be in a spot to catch some fish with only a little tool, your fishing license with your hands, and the fish catching details in this guide. This guide includes spin fishing, which uses a rod with a spinning roller, and which uses live bait and lures to attract fishes

Bait To Use – Natural Bait

A small live fish, such as a mud minnow or living shrimp, is the top natural bait on the list. These baits, fished with a little weight or a jig head, are baited in the fishes found on the docks’ bottom. Recall that the fish almost always face the current and are typically behind a pole or piles.

Bait To Use – Artificial Bait

Jigs, bucktails, grubs, and crankbaits are examples of artificial lures. A loud topwater bait will also work in the early morning or late in the day. Mostly though, the lure has to go down to the bottom of the water column.

Dock Fishing Strategies

The boat position has three options, and one of them would work if you pay attention to the current situation.

A Practical Guide To Fishing Around Docks
  •  Anchor Parallel Dock – By this strategy, you throw the bait over the current and cause it to sink as it pushes the current. This strategy works for the outside lip, the deeper water pilings. Throw the bait to the most up current piling and let the bait move near the bottom and pass the pilings as it ascends downwards.
  • Anchor Up-Current from the Dock – In this case, the current is directed into the dock’s pilings from the ships’ rear. Here you let the bait drop between two pilings and let the current pass under the port in the end. For this strategy, you will potentially have more hits. Still, when the lure moves well behind the pier, the possibility you have to pull a considerable fish out without getting cut off by sharp barnacles will decrease significantly.
  • Anchor Down-Current from the Dock – This position for artificial lures is one of the finest. The pilings close to the bottom can be shot up and operate up to the boat. Moreover, your bait moves with the current more easily. Artificial lures going against the water current are not typical and therefore draw.

For new anglers, it is one of the best ways of going outdoors with limited investment. Still, all choices might be interesting for you along the way. Saltwater fishing, ice fishing, and other gear fishing forms use different reels and are all available choices that may interest you along the road.

It all depends on the time of day when you decide on fishing docks. Early mornings would be your best bet, and your calmest approach to ports is crucial. You would want to turn into a spinnerbait as the daybreak progresses. Position the spinnerbait first parallel to the dock legs but attempt to bump it off the dock legs or some other framework if it does not lead to a blow.

8 Things To Avoid When Fishing Around Docks

There is an apparent distinction between fishing success and loss. There are just too many variables that can result in you losing a fish, missing a bite, or otherwise going home empty-handed. Turn your head quickly, and you might miss a tell-tale boil in the chase bait. Make one piece right of a stump, and you might not get a catch of your fish.

As so many of these variables are beyond our control as anglers, it is necessary to reduce errors in aspects that we can control. That’s the initial step of avoiding common mistakes that most professionals faced during their early days when they were starting to fish.

1.Being unprepared and always in a hurry 

By far, the most common angling error is lack of preparation can range from minor to primary. A slight mistake has been to have only one bag in the heated worm and overlook your trolling motor capacitors.

These are some of the significant problems. Nothing is more time consuming and annoying than not getting the tools that you need. When you get out on the fishing docks. Luckily it is also effortless to fix a lack of preparedness. Establish a checklist of all you need for each fishing trip, and don’t go outside unless every item is checked off. 

2.Not minding the clues 

Any of the best clues to open the bite can be picked up by easy observation. Having shade dipping from the surface, birds diving, or even a conglomeration of herons is a dead gift of bait availability. Mayfly hatches, cicadas humming, and even flies buzzing on a lily pad field will all provide clues as to where the catch is most outstanding.

If you don’t pay attention to these hints, you certainly don’t optimize your catch. Try to capture all the sights and sounds you get on the water because it indicates that you need to mix this puzzle several times.

3.You shouldn’t make too many casts and fishing too fast. 

Most of the time, you can have one cast on each side. You’ll cast anywhere there’s shade. If you see a hole below the middle, you should hit the center of it. Then cover it as soon as possible and as effectively as possible. Whenever you fish, you should hunt for the fish that you are eating. Not for the fish you have to work for. Fishing too fast won’t help because it may lessen down your catch. You don’t want that to happen.

4.You don’t think seasonally. 

Too many anglers fish according to what their memories are based on. Just because you have hit previous areas that have been most successful for you in the past, then you’ll revisit and fish there over and over again and expect the same outcome.

Your best-preferred spot in the spring is perhaps barren in the fall. The dock fish approach is more effective by fishing the current conditions and changing them to the current needs instead of basing your catch from the past weeks or months. 

5.Failure to avoid covers.

When you are on the water, many anglers avoid coverings like laydowns, grass beds, and docks–which are critical because they don’t want to snag up or lose their baits. It is not a good move, since the cover is the hiding place for most fishes. If you don’t fish around the surface, you probably won’t get any catch.

There are many presentations and strategies to help anglers to fish around the available covers without snagging up. Moreover, it’s only part of the game. You probably shouldn’t have to use a lure if you’re afraid to lose it.

6.Being too disorganized

Efficiency is the secret to fisheries. But the enemy of efficiency is disorganization. It is hard to tie your lucky Spinner plug if it is not found because if the pliers are hidden at the end of your tackle bag, you can never get this fish unhooked.

Suppose you know what you have, and everything is readily accessible. In that case, the number of casts created will increase in one day – and you will most likely increase the number of fish you capture. Getting ready for the stuff you need and making it easy to reach is the first step to successful fishing.

7.Avoid being too noisy or getting too close to fishing spots.

It’s essential to know your docks. Because fishing in foreign ports will most likely decrease your chance of catching your number of fishes if you’re not careful enough. You may scare them off and, worse, not show up at all. Fishing too close is also not recommended. Turning off your motors will also decrease the chance of them hiding in their hiding spots to avoid predators.

8.Check first the weather forecast

Being an angler by profession or interest, we should keep an eye on some important news before we head for the waters. Quite a significant reason that influences your fishing efficiency is the climate condition. If you’ve been looking for a considerably decent time, at that point, you realize that the climate is a significant player here.

Before taking off for a fishing trip, watching the weather forecast before the night and attempting to get as much data about the area is crucial for fishing. The state of the climate and ocean change quickly, settle on the correct choices concerning fishing areas, target species, strategies, and all the more significantly, your wellbeing and safety.

It’ll be ideal to recruit a guide because a nearby individual has more information about the spot than any outsider or guest. Do some fundamental investigation on fishing climate conditions and sort out the best and ideal opportunity before going out for fishing. This strategy will save you a reasonable amount of time if you know the particular fishing area’s weather. In that case, you may have some spare time to look for other spots.

Dock Fishing Tips

A Practical Guide To Fishing Around Docks

Fishing around docks is a fun outdoor activity that involves fishing in an area of water around human-made structures that have something to do with boats or ships’ systems. Doing this activity can be entertaining. Being able to catch a fish after trying can be fun, especially if you are with family or close friends because it allows you to make new memories. 

But did you know that there are many ways to make this activity more enjoyable and exciting? Below, I will give you tips to make your dock fishing experience more worthwhile.

Tip #1 – Choose Which Docks To Fish First

To make everything work, you have to choose which docks to fish first. There are different types of ports out there. Depending on its kind, the level of the fish being attracted to it also differs. You should remember that docks, mainly brown or dark-colored ones, hold more fish than metal docks. You may also want to avoid docks with boats on them and even those with many people as it can just spook the fish away.

Tip #2 – Choosing Which Part Dock To Fish From

Now that you have found the right dock for you, it is time to think about which part of the dock to fish from. Always look for the dock’s shadowed part first and then aim to fish towards its wooden leg. School of fish likes to hide inside bushes and tree limbs, so if you see one, it is the right spot that you must try to fish from. 

Choosing the dock’s shady side does not mean that you have to avoid the parts where the sunlight hits. It is always good to aim for it first because if you try to fish where the sunlight hits first, the fish may be spooked by the sudden shadow and run away. We definitely would not like that to happen.

Tip #3 – Choosing Right Equipments

We are now down to the exciting part, the strategies of dock fishing. The most important thing to keep in check is the use of the right equipment. Depending on the day you choose to fish, you would have to choose between darker or lighter colors. When the light is at its lowest, it is better to use darker ones, while brighter ones during the time where light is at its peak. It is said that schools of fish can see darker colors during low light.

Tip #4 – Keeping Distance

It is also better not to keep too close to where you want to cast your bait again. Try to have at least a distance of fifteen to twenty feet away from it. Now that you have positioned yourself well, swing and cast your bait from the dock, slightly pull your bait, and let it sink to the water slowly. 

This method is said to have high chances of catching a fish, which is very assuring. We are all done with the tips! With this, you can now enjoy catching a lot of fish as you like and enjoy dock fishing more than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Pier fishing is fun to do. Apart from the objective to catch, you’re also amazed by the scenic view and fresh air that it gives. Given the goal, it is essential to know some aspects needed to have. A fishing experience that will yield substantial fish catches, e.g., essential baits, the best time for fishing, and practices to manipulate the gear you are using. Furthermore, knowing the tricks and techniques also helps you to bolster your fishing skills.

What is the best bait for pier fishing?

Ragworm is a generic term for one of the most used and popular sea fishing baits. Ragworm’s physical characteristics play a pivotal role as a bait agent, i.e., size, durability, elasticity, and wriggling movement. In its primary sense, Ragworms’ size accords with the average size of bait that the fishers often use (3 to 4 inches). 

Moreover, its durability and elasticity will pave the way into an enduring fishing session. It has a tight grip, thus reducing the possibility of detachment from the fish hook. Also, if one uses bait, make sure that it is also appealing for the target’s eye to effectively use the luring effect. The wriggling movement of Ragworm makes the fishes more attracted to it.

How can I practice skipping docks at home?

Here’s a convenient way to practice it at home. First, find a flat area with no obstacles and tied rubber balls with screw eye balls nailed on them—it should also hang 12-14 inches below the tip.

Afterward, practice swinging your wrist slowly as the ball moves in a circular motion. It is essential to use two hands for accuracy and control at the first casting until it becomes natural. Next is to find an object that you’re going to practice for skipping docks, e.g., a box or bucket. The eye is essential when you want to land a bait. That is why proper coordination is a must.

What is the best time to fish off a pier?

Light is significant for us to have a visual view of what we are doing. However, in terms of pier fishing, there is a twist: timing is essential. Remember that dawn and dusk are often critical times for fish feeding on baitfish, especially before sunrise and that first hour or two after sunset. 

Crepuscular time makes the fishes more unaware of the dangers that might occur. That is why, when this opportunity is well-timed, it will undoubtedly increase the yield of fish that one can catch.


In conclusion, dock fishing is a hobby or passion that requires time and effort. Considering many things like the tide is also of great importance to have a successful fishing experience. Waves affect the movement of water. 

The highest point during high tide is not ideal for fish because of the lack of water activity. The water will be more stagnant. Baits are significant during this time as fishes often want to eat again as the water rises. Using your best lures and learned techniques can help you get the best dock fishing experience.

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