Fishing Freshwater Bass Fishing Largemouth Bass

Cast Like a Pro: Skipping Tips from Gerald Swindle

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. Click here to see the video. Nathaniel Welch
STEP 1: THE BAIT The Place: Bass love to hang under boat docks, marina slips, boathouses, etc., because those spots provide the fish with hiding places. The Bait: 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. Nathaniel Welch
STEP 2: THE GEAR The Reel: The reel of choice for me is either a Quantum Exo or Smoke baitcaster loaded with 20-pound-test Vicious fluourocarbon. The Rod: 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. Nathaniel Welch
STEP 3: TARGET PRACTICE The Goal: Skip the bait once on the surface of the water and into the target–usually under a dock, a pontoon boat, or vegetation. The Drill: 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. Nathaniel Welch
STEP 4: HITTING THE MARK The Goal: I always want to achieve accuracy without backlash. The Drill: 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. Nathaniel Welch

Professional angler Gerald Swindle goes over the four basic steps to hopping bait to the crazy places where largemouth bass love to hang.