If ever there was a signature move in the world of professional bass fishing, it would be tournament pro Gerald Swindle's skipping docks. His effortless yet accurate casts are the envy of the tour.
"It's like that half-inch wrench in my toolbox," Swindle is fond of saying. "It's a tool that I always have ready, because I'll always find a place to use it." And use it he does. "I slipped from dock to dock to finish second in the Virginia Eastern Open in South Hill," Swindle says. Here's how it's done.
Bass love to hang under boat docks, marina slips, boathouses, etc., because those spots provide the fish with hiding places.
I most often go to a 3/8-ounce Arkie jig tipped with a green-pumpkin Zoom Fat Albert twin-tail soft-plastic. It skips real well.
STEP 2: THE GEAR
The reel of choice for me is either a Quantum Exo or Smoke baitcaster loaded with 20-pound-test Vicious fluourocarbon.
I go for a 6-foot 10-inch, medium-heavy Quantum Smoke rod for its fast tip. It's real smooth and gives me the best accuracy.
STEP 3: TARGET PRACTICE
Skip the bait once on the surface of the water and into the target--usually under a dock, a pontoon boat, or vegetation.
It's done sidearm, with one hand and a quick roll of the wrist. Start with your bait at 6 o'clock and make a circle with your rod tip. Release the bait when you're back at 6 o'clock.
STEP 4: HITTING THE MARK
I always want to achieve accuracy without backlash.
Keep the bait low to the surface and end up with your rod tip pointing right at the target. Remember that you want your skip to be close to the target and not too far out in front of it, or you risk skipping it over or into the target.
Professional angler Gerald Swindle goes over the four basic steps to hopping bait to the crazy places where largemouth bass love to hang.