September 3, 2014 by Scott Suggs
Skipping Frogs and Toads Under Dark Docks
A lot of the guys in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray caught fish by skipping buzzbaits under docks. A buzzbait isn’t a lure that you would normally associate with skipping docks, but you can’t argue with success. The only rule is that the flatter the bait, the better you can skip it – like a flat rock skips better than a round one.
Most of the guys skipping buzzbaits at Murray were removing the skirts and adding a toad or swimbait for action. I’ve had good success just skipping a toad or frog under docks. Because they’re flat and light, you can really get them back in the dark places that others might miss.
My two favorites are a SPRO frog or a Zoom Horny Toad rigged on a weedless hook. I fish them on braided line with a rod in the 7-foot range and an Abu Garcia Revo Premier. I like that reel because it has a magnetic brake and a centrifugal brake and I can really get the spool speed adjusted right. Even if there is a line overrun once in a while, which is going to happen if you’re skipping, it’s easy to pick out.
If a fish blows up on a frog, but doesn’t take it, I’ll skip a shakyhead with a 5-inch finesse worm back there. Here again, you want to use the lightest weight possible – say, an 1/8-ounce head – because the heavier the bait, the more it will dig in to the water as soon as it hits. You want it to hit and keep going.
I fish a lot of boat docks in August through the end of September and skipping a bait under them is the best way to reach the bass that are hard to get to. You can fish a row of docks fairly fast, but slow down if you get to one that has a channel swing close by, or a lot of bait coming and going, or anything else that gives you confidence a good fish is under there. Fish it from every angle, shallow to deep and deep to shallow. Take your time and really cover it before moving on. The best fish are usually the hardest to reach.