Tips for Fishing around the Docks for Bass

Fishing around docks for bass is a joyful pursuit with friends and family. Docks are known to be rife with opportunities for fishing bass.

There are some tips and tricks to follow that will help you get the best catch and earn the rightful admiration from your fishing comrades!

Hooked? Let’s explore!

Finding the Right Dock to Fish Bass

When it comes to hooking a super specimen of bass, your first concern should be to find the right dock.

Most bass inhabit docks that look similar to their habitat, so wooden docks will generally have larger bass populations than metal ones or even those docks that have blue jugs around it.

Noisier docks that have many people around are generally low on bass populations, so it is better to opt for quieter and less frequented docks. It is a good idea to fish around docks at odd times of the day when there are fewer people around.

Fishing near docks that have many fishing boats in the vicinity isn’t a great idea. This is because there are higher chances of your fishing hooks being ensnared in the equipment as well as the nets of the fishermen in boats, causing a lot of inconvenience to both parties.

Important Things to Look for

Here are some more tips that can help you make your next biggest catch!

A Strategic Position

Fish on the shadowy side of the dock, as in places with a sun your shadow will be cast on the water that would scare away the bass in the water.

Bass are often found in close proximity to the wooden legs of the docks as this allows them to ambush their prey (smaller fish). Bass are thus found in the shallower spots near the docks, especially those that have growth of grasses and weeds which provide them protection.

The Ideal Time

The best time to go fishing for bass at the coast is to wait for the changing tides, either when it’s rising or falling. The shift in the water movement causes the little fish to move in groups, attracting bass in the nearby regions.

It helps to know that the prime time to fish for bass around docks is from dawn to noon and from dusk to nightfall. During the afternoon, the water heats up due to the direct sun rays making the bass populations choose to go into the cooler deeper waters.

Though bass fishing can be done in docks all year round, some months are slower than others.

Docks make especially great fishing points during the seasons of spring and summer, as the warmer temperatures make the bass more active. Bass also become more active during winter afternoons when the sun is out.

‘Vertical’ Fishing

When fishing in docks, you need to consider your vantage points.

One of the most important parts of fishing for bass in docks is to be able to tell how deep the water is and where the bass are situated. Due to the shifting waters, it is hard for beginners to estimate the water depth at first glance.

If you’re a beginner it would help that before actually attempting to catch a bass, you suspend the line trying to understand the depth before finally casting it.

Make sure you follow safety regulations

When fishing for bass in docks it is essential that you take care of not letting yourself or your equipment endanger anyone (or anything) else.

  • Don’t leave your equipment unattended
  • Stay away from boats/ ladders, etc. to avoid tangling your line
  • Children shouldn’t be allowed on docks unless supervised by a responsible adult
  • No littering

Picking the Right Equipment

Choosing the equipment that best suits your intention to fish for bass around docks is a crucial part of your pre-trip preparation. You need to ensure that your equipment is right for the occasion, while also making sure that each piece of equipment complements the others.


Fishing docks for bass is a fishing practice that many people opt for because of its general appeal. Many anglers go for the spinning rods while fishing for bass in docks for conveniently controlled casting as well as excellent accuracy.

For catching bass in docks, you need a rod that is powerful enough to handle the strength of a bass, while also keeping in mind the surrounding force of waves. It is a good idea to get a rod that is about six feet long, of a medium to heavy power rating, while also having a fast action.

Additionally, you should make sure that the tip of your rod (20 percent of the length) is flexible, while the remaining rod should ideally have a sturdy structure. This will ensure that there is strength as well as elasticity to catch and reel in your bass.

Bear in mind that taller people can handle longer rods better than shorter rods, while managing a longer rod for a shorter person can become quite tiresome.


For good fishing, you should take up a high-quality reel that is ideal for catching bass in docks. An excellent reel would have a mid-speed reprieve (sporting gear ratio of roughly 5.5:1). This will allow you to lift your fish out of the water quickly and efficiently.


For beginners, going for a 15 pound microfilament line is a more convenient choice. The weight is manageable; while the strength of a microfilament line is able to help you catch heavier bass. Additionally, this type of line is readily available and is bought at a comparatively lower cost.

However, seasoned anglers and professionals prefer to get a 15 to 20 pound test fluorocarbon line as they are less limp, and allow handlers to more sensitively assess underwater movement.


Getting good bait can help you catch a prime specimen of bass. You can either get live bait (which can’t be reused and has a low shelf quality), or opt for a jig. When it comes to live bait, it is a good idea to get a small baitfish or even worms as bass like to go for ‘vulnerable’ prey.

Spinner baits and jigs can be used to lure bass while fishing in dock areas. Vibrant colors such as reds and pinks are visible in clear, shallow water, which would serve to attract the bass. These colors are interesting as they look ‘injured’ to the bass, making them more likely to catch a bite.

Jigs with blades are often used by anglers as they help them get a better grip on the bass. There are also ‘buzz-baits’ that come with soft plastic bodies instead of the usual ‘skirts’, that appear less alien to the bass.

A jig weighing half a pound is much easier to flip and pitch and is also available to dissect the deeper regions of a dock area. However, for shallow sections of the dock area, a 3/8 ounce jig is more convenient to use.

Specific techniques

When going fishing for bass around docks, it is not enough that you have the right equipment. It is essential that you understand and are able to execute some basic fishing techniques to ensure a better catching session.

Use Bait to Indicate Bass Location

In order to find a good fishing spot, you know that you need to evaluate the area, the water currents, and the shade to find the region that has the largest bass populations. Another important thing that you should learn to look for is the depth of the water. This can be done easily using bait.

  • Step 1: Attach bait to your line and slowly drop it in the water. Using a jig will be helpful for better visibility.
  • Step 2: Start from the bottom. Work your bait upwards carefully towards you while also keeping an eye on the water currents.
  • Step 3: By working bait upwards and downwards for a couple of times, you will be able to get an idea of bass movement as well as specific areas of habitation in the water.

Perfect your Casting Skills

There are many different ways to cast a line while fishing docks for bass, but one of the most popular ways is to cast a line from a rough distance of 15 to 20 feet. While casting, make sure that you skip your baits from below piers and adjacent to pilings.

In order to get next to a piling, you can cast your bait on the surface of a dock and slowly pull the bait off while letting it sink next to a pylon. Remember, improving your casting takes time and work, so make sure you devote your time to some serious practice.


When going fishing for bass in dock regions, it is important that you go prepared with the right equipment that will ensure that your expedition goes smoothly and successfully.

Along with equipment, you should also arm yourself with the right techniques to help your understanding of how to land a better catch.