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Fishing Boat Docks
By Denny  Brauer

Boat docks are some of my favorite forms of cover, but not all boat docks offer good fishing. A lot of times there are giveaway signs indicating whether a boat dock is enhanced for fish. Fishing chairs, rod holders, or night lights indicate there may be brushpiles placed under the dock and a pretty good fishing location for you to try. Usually the older docks are the better docks. They have had more time for debris to build up beneath them. They've also had more time to allow algae buildup on the structure itself, whether it is styrofoam floats or rigid dock supports. This enhances the whole food chain, attracting bait fish which brings in both the bluegill and bass.

First, it's real important to analyze where boat dock bass should be, in regards to structure, depth, and other factors, irregardless of the presence of docks. If its spring or fall, bass are probably going to be on the shallower banks, the flatter type banks, and so those are the dock locations you should concentrate on. If it is summer or winter they are going to be on more vertical structure; they want to be in a little deeper water, so you probably need to concentrate on boat docks in steeper terrain.

Also keep in mind the bottom make up. This is getting into patterns within patterns, but for instance, during spawning season I'm often not only concentrating on flat banks, I'm also concentrating on the boat docks on flat banks that have pea gravel bottoms that are in protected pockets. During prespawn, late winter scenario, I'm usually looking for the 45-degreee banks that have some broken rock especially on the lakes in the midwest. Boat docks on chunk rock banks seem to be the key then. In summer and winter I look for the boat docks on the real steep, bluff type banks that have the good brushpiles underneath them. Brushpiles always make a dock better.

The dock location can also be the key. Once in a while it has to be a dock on a point. At times it has to be a dock all the way in the back of the cove,






  maybe the last dock back there would be the one the fish stage on.

Pay a lot of attention, not only to the type of dock but also to the location of the dock, the bottom make up, the slope of the bank, the wind direction, and where the wind is hitting the dock. There are several combinations of factors that can make good fishing docks. Once in a while it's the main lake; once in a while it's the coves, so analyze everything you can and try to duplicate it. Once in a while the great big boat house docks are where the fish are; at other times it is the little bitty, old, flat, obscure dock that nobody messes with.

Docks have been very, very good to me over the years. It seems just about anywhere we go where there's good boat dock fishing, there's an opportunity to catch some good fish.


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