View Full Version : Dock shooting technique question

11-11-2007, 01:05 AM
Went out to day for about an hour to try dock shooting. And I'll tell you it's not as easy as it sounds. I used a 5 foot ultralight with a 16th ounce jig (the wind was up a bit) and a panfish assassin. I let out about half a pole's length of string, held onto the jig head and pulled back, bowing the pole. Getting the timing right for letting go of the jig and then releasing the string at the reel is trick.

My question is, which direction do you pull the lure to bow the pole, to the side of the pole (kind of a side handed technique), or do you pull it with the lure under the pole (with the pole bending down toward the water? Or does it matter? One easier and more accurate than the other?

Initially I was pulling it to the side, but my accuracy was pretty poor. I started pulling it from under the pole and at least I was releasing it in the right direction, though maybe too high or too low. How do you guys do it?

And I'm assuming that docks closer to deep water are more likely to have fish? Also, as the sun is going down, is a dock that is already in the shade as likely to produce fish as one that is still in the sun and casting a shadow? I don't know if that question is clear but it's after midnight and I should be in bed.

I really would like to develop my ability to fish using this technique. Most of my crappie fishing has been at night and I've gotten pretty good at that. But I'd like to have a few more weapons in the arsenal, if you know what I mean.:D


11-11-2007, 03:39 AM
I can only tell you how I do it, from my limited experience.

Most of the time I hold the jig UNDER the pole/reel. I only use a sidearm shot, if I can't get the "under" shot off (obstruction, position, wind, or dock makeup being the determining factors). Underhand shots are more accurate, and they do seem to skip better than sidearm shots.
There's nothing wrong with your equipment, or choice of baits ... so just hang in there and keep practicing (on & OFF the water). You will get better, and you will also misfire now and again :p ;)

Check out these threads, for more info :
(these are just a few I found, using the advanced search feature ... key words "dock shooting" ... there's many, many more)

As to your questions about water depth under docks ... that depends alot on time of year and which specie of Crappie is present. In Spring - Black Crappie come early and utilize docks with deep water underneath. White Crappie come later, and will use shallower docks, or even the shallow side of those with deeper water. Alot depends on water clarity and available cover, too. In the Fall, it's mostly Black Crappie that utilize the docks, and they do seem to prefer the deeper water ones. Can't give you any info on Summer dock shooting, as I've not been to the lakes I shoot docks at, during that time period.
ANY dock that is in the shade, if good water depth (for the time period) is present, should be a good dock to shoot. I'd prefer shooting this dock, over one that is casting a shadow away from underneath itself (low sun angle). But, I wouldn't rule it out, either ... since the posts still cast a shadow, and water clarity/depth can also be a factor.

... luck2ya ... cp :cool:

11-11-2007, 06:09 AM
Do you dock shooters shoot the floating docks also?

11-11-2007, 07:36 AM
Eddie a 1/16 once is big for dockshooting! You want a slow fall! You also want docks near deep water with plenty of shade, structure on them is even better. Try 1/32 and you can side arm or straight shoot from the reel. The key is to keep covering the docks until you find the motherload. Get you a minnow bucket and practice in the yard.

11-11-2007, 07:47 AM
Do you dock shooters shoot the floating docks also?

I haven't tried it, personally, yet. But I have caught Crappie from around floating docks, and from the boat slips on them. If they have a roof over them, creating shade, and the slips can be cast into ...then they could hold fish. The actual "shooting" of a floating dock, could be a bit tricky ... if not downright difficult. The openings between boats & slip walkways, openings between the float supports (styrofoam blocks, or whatever), and openings between dock/walkway sections .... would all probably be quite small/narrow, and usually have obstructions (rope/wire/support beams/floating debris) that wouldn't allow your jig to fall/swim back to you. Even so ... there are times when Crappie will suspend under these kinds of docks, so getting a bait to them, anyway possible, can produce results. Pontoons that are docked alongside, or in a slip of a floating dock ... are prime targets (just as they are on stationary docks).
When thinking about fishing around floating docks (as most KY waters have), I don't think so much about trying to "shoot" the dock. I think more in terms of swimming my jig alongside of the edges ... still in the shaded portion, and slightly below the bottom depth of the floating supports. I'm always reminded of a certain gentleman, that used to own Red Gate Dock on Herrington Lake. Most anytime he wanted to catch a mess of Crappie, all he did was tie a 1/16oz marabou jig onto the line of his spinning outfit. He'd drop the jig down, until it dissappeard from site, then let it down a few more inches. He'd walk, very slowly and quietly, along the edge of the dock ... holding the rod as level and steady as he could. His finger was on the line, where it comes off the reel, and he'd jiggle the line ever so slightly, as he walked along. He walked slow enough, that the line hanging off the rod tip, would stay almost straight down. He rarely ever walked the whole distance of the front of the Marina dock, before getting that telltale "thump".
It may not be "necessary" to actually shoot a floating dock ... but, if the situation presented itself, and a opening was present and big enough, and a dark & shady spot was reachable thru that opening --- I'd certainly take the shot ;)

Just be aware of the fact that a lot of Marina's don't allow fishing around them. Be careful and courteous, when fishing around a private dock, also. If the owner asks you to not fish around his dock ... leave. If you see the owner, ask permission to fish the dock, beforehand ... not after he comes down to the dock. And remember, even with permission, you're still liable for any damage done to his property. Admitting and offering to pay for damages done, can go a long way towards creating a better atmosphere between dock owners and anglers. Stay OFF the private docks ... it's cheaper to break off a bait and leave it, than it is to get caught trespassing !!

... luck2ya ... cp :cool:

11-11-2007, 08:25 AM
Eddie: Crappiepappy has it down pat, I'm not much good at it,But I've been reading his post & they have helped me 101 % on dock shooting,I applied what I've learned from his post yesterday at Neely Nenry, & did good.Found two docks in the river bend deep water was about 10ft in front of them,fishing the shade side,Boy for awhile I had a ball,caught about 7-8 in just a few mins, HEHE was almost like the spring bite,FAST.So CRAPPIEPAPPY THANK YOU, Mark