by daVid a. brown
Story & Photos
in Manmade shadows
t’s a classic win-win. Man makes ‘em, bass borrow ‘em and man’s cool with the deal. Why? Because docks offer all the things a bass needs – refuge, shel- ter and feeding opportunities. easier to find than offshore structure, docks are also more convenient to mark; be it with GPS or mental notes such as “blue pontoon boat,” “jet ski ramp,” or “boathouse with green door.” There’s a sense of reason to dock fishing. You know where the struc- ture starts and where it ends. There’s also the ele- ment of permanence – find a good dock today and it’s likely to be there tomorrow.
Bass may seek sanctuary under any dock with water beneath, but certain features indicate greater potential. Consider first the positioning. docks in or close to deep water will be particularly attractive during the weather extremes of summer and winter. Conversely, spring and fall find a lot of the action around docks in the backs of creeks and coves where shad gather in the protected waters. lake level and current affect much in the bass game, so look for damp wood and aquatic weeds hanging high and dry. This indicates falling water and the inevitable current influence. dry wood meeting the water line implies stable water – a sure sign of low or no current on a reservoir lake. Floating or fixed docks appeal to bass. However, fish suspend more beneath floating docks and holding closer to the bottoms of pilings on the pier style struc- tures. Many anglers prefer the old-fashioned Styrofoam blocks under sea-