With the temperatures being so variable from week to week, we are finally experiencing a few cold snaps. This steers many species of fish inshore and towards shelters such as docks to keep warm. Dock fishing has always been a fun and celebrated adventure for anglers and can be a bit challenging due to the residents. Making certain not to come in direct contact with their docks is very quintessential due to trespassing laws. However, nobody owns the water.
There is a myriad of species that congregate under docks. Docks tend to hold the warmth from the sun and provide shelter for the fish. Whether you use live bait or artificial, dock fishing can be very rewarding. During the daytime, aim for underneath the docks with a strategical cast. Let your bait or lure sink to the bottom and give it a bit of a twitch to catch the fish’s attention. This simple tactic will trigger a reaction from anything from snook, sheepshead, snapper, pompano, black drum, redfish and pretty much anything else with an appetite at that moment!
This is where practicing your side casting skills becomes important. You want to try to skip your bait under the dock, near the pilings and in between nooks and crannies without jeopardizing your line being caught when a fish runs. Try to cast underneath where the boats are hung. There is always a much deeper crevasse from the prop. Also, be aware of the depth of the water. That way you can let your lure sink so that you’re not reeling it in too high. Subsurface works great for trout, but when fishing docks, it is advantageous to wait a few seconds for your lure to sink before you initiate your retrieve.
The evening is an incredible opportunity to target docks, because you can utilize dock lights. They always draw fish underneath them. The warmth from the lights creates an environment where they gather and feed. This is certainly the key to success! We hope that you take advantage of these tips and tricks, so that your fishing trip will be bountiful. Until then, good vibes and tight lines–always!