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101: Bank & Dock Fishing

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Bank & Dock Fishing

There are a number of opportunities for the bank fisherman and dock fisherman during the summer.

The best bank angling would be in the early mornings and late evening hours.  The two most prevalent species to fish for from the bank during these times would be Largemouth Bass and Bluegill.

The Largemouth are usually more active during these periods in shallow water during the summer.  I would be targeting banks near grass beds with topwater lures and soft plastics for these early and late feeders.  Both presentations are easy to work from the bank and the early and late feeders will readily take both these type lures.

The bank angler should also consider targeting Bluegill.  These fish feed very hard during the early morning and late evening in areas where there are willow fly hatches.  These can be found especially around willow trees growing along the bank.  These fish can be readily taken by fishing with crickets or worms under bobbers in these areas.

Dock fishing during the summer is best at night but can be productive during the day also.  Bluegill is the primary target when fishing docks during the summer.  However, Bass and Crappie can also be taken.

Docks provide a haven for insects, especially if the dock is made of wood.  Bluegill and bass will suspend under the docks using the shade of the docks during the day as cover.  One should fish for the bluegill with worms and crickets under bobbers around the shady sides of the docks during the day.

Those wishing to catch a Bass that might be around the docks during the day should also fish the shady sides of the dock using slow falling lures such as a sinking worm or a Texas rigged soft plastic using a very small sinker.
Fishing the docks at night during the summer months can be very productive.  If the dock has lights on it they should be turned on or the angler can bring a portable light such as a lantern or floating fishing light.

The light is an attractant for insects which in turn will bring the baitfish to the area to feed on them.  Of course, the predator fish such as Bass and Crappie will follow.  These fish can be taken by fishing with minnows under bobbers fished around the edges of the lighted areas.

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Fishing 101 Credits:

Written by Dave Stewart, Bass Buster Guide Service
Edited by Shawn Dunnaway
Fishing 101 may not be reproduced or reprinted and is provided exclusively by ExploreKentuckyLake.com

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Hematite Leaves
Photo by Shane Dunnaway

Those who are familiar with Hematite Lake trail will know where this photo was taken. Beautiful autumn leaves attempt to cover the rocks alongside the path around Hematite Lake.