Crappie Fishing photo

Docks provide shade, baitfish, ambush cover, and even a little night mood-lighting, at times. It all comes together as super crappie cover—except for those pesky docks. There’s no way to get a traditional cast in between all those boat lifts, finger piers, pilings, and gangways. You’ll need to shoot your way in.

Shooting docks for crappie is where fishing meets bowhunting. You turn your rod into a bow and your grub into an arrow, shooting a jig deep into shady haunts beneath a dock. Look for old docks with wooden posts. Spool an open-face spinning reel with high-visibility monofilament in 4- to 6-pound test. Use a medium-light or even ultralight rod in the 5- to 7-foot range. Arm it with a soft-bodied crappie jig. You are locked and loaded.

STEP 1: Point the rod tip up and open the bail. Release enough line so the lure falls to the bottom rod guide. Trap the line against the rod with the trigger finger of your rod hand. With your free hand, grasp the jighead between your thumb and your forefinger and middle finger with the hook point up and the rest of your fingers extended out of the hook’s way. Holding the jig to your side, extend the rod tip toward your target zone. This creates a bend in the rod.

STEP 2: Keep the drawn line between the rod tip and the jig low and parallel to the water. You may need to crouch. The lure should start skipping just before the dock.

STEP 3: Let go of the jighead first, and in the next instant, release your trigger finger to allow the line to play out. To keep the lure from hitting the rod tip, pop the rod tip upward upon the release.

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