When bass start spawning, most fishermen head for the back ends of coves or big flats, but docks shouldn’t be ignored. Docks are often situated in areas that bass favor for their beds. It might be where there’s a big cluster of docks or a big marina facility. Water depth doesn’t seem to matter; they might bed at the edge of a ledge that drops off in front of a dock, or next to a piling or around a pile of brush or wood. Even the type of bottom doesn’t play that big a role because a lot of times whoever put the dock in used an auger to set the pilings and they brought up and spread around a lot of clay, gravel or other hard bottom material that bass favor. In my experience bass generally like to bed on the outside of a dock where they can get some sunshine, rather than way back under it.
If I’m easing along looking for bedding fish, I’ll have a 4-inch Damiki Stinger rigged wacky-style or a 3-inch Air Craw on a jighead or 4-inch Damiki Hydra Texas-rigged with 20-pound-test P-Line fluorocarbon. White with silver flake, watermelon candy or black-and-blue are my favorite colors. Which bait I use often depends on when I see the fish. If I see it from way off, I’ll fire the weightless Stinger in there. Ninety percent of the time if you see them before they see you, that’s all you need to do. If the fish sees me first, I’ll go on for another 30 or 40 yards and let it settle down, then ease back and pitch the Air Craw or Hydra to it.
---- Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C.