Pro Tips Weekly

21.Dec.2011 by Vic Vatalaro

Pro Tips Weekly: Vic Vatalaro

Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio, finished the second day of Potomac River competition in third-place overall. (Photo by Gary Mortenson)
Lighten up your skipping load
21.Dec.2011 by Vic Vatalaro

I prefer spinning tackle for skipping lures under a dock because I can get even a lightweight worm or a Zoom Fluke a long way up under there.

The rod action I like is medium-heavy, and I usually go with a 6 ½-foot rod and 8-pound-test fluorocarbon. The best way I’ve found to skip is to use sort of an underhanded pitch where I really load up the rod and put more speed in the rod as I bring it up. Most of the time when I’m not fishing with a Fluke, I’m skipping a Texas-rigged 6- or 7-inch Zoom Trick Worm or Berkley Finesse Worm with an 1/8-ounce tungsten weight and 1/0 Gamakatsu hook. The smaller hook doesn’t pop out so much when you’re skipping, and to me, it allows the worm to have a more natural look. I also secure the weight with a rubber Peg-It. It’s important to rig a bait as straight as possible so that there’s no kink in the body to catch water.

When shad are spawning under docks, I go to a weightless Fluke. You could never skip a bait this light with a baitcasting outfit, but sometimes it’s the only way you’re going to catch fish. It takes practice, but the results are worth the effort.

-- IAMS/Pringles pro Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio