Tips for Saltwater Dock Fishing

Docks can be a great place for fishing because they tend to attract a whole ecosystem. You can catch many different types of fish from saltwater canals or docks. Here are some of our best tips for dock fishing in saltwater.

Determine Your Ideal Catch

First, decide what you’d like to catch. Of course, you may end up catching other things, but you can configure your techniques for a specific fish.

For example, spotted sand bass travel in schools, so if you find one, you’re likely to find a lot more. Flounders take a longer time to retrieve, and you’ll have to get your bait close to the bottom. Groupers hang out around deeper docks and can be huge. Redfish are found at the bottom, like flounder, and they move more, so they can be difficult to locate. If you want a fishing challenge, try for snook. Snook are fighters and often swim for a structure once they’re hooked.

Once you determine your ideal catch, do some research to learn the best way to find them.

Choose the Right Bait

Different kinds of fish will respond to different types of bait. Live shrimp are usually considered the most versatile type of bait.

For instance, redfish prefer baits such as live shrimp, crabs or finger mullet, while snooks like live pinfish and whitebait. Groupers aren’t picky and will eat pinfish, mullet or other types of small fish. Bass and flounders typically go for live shrimp or whitebait.

Evaluate the Currents

Be sure you can evaluate the currents to use them to your advantage. Ambush feeders lie with their heads into the tide, so with this in mind, you can target the down-current side of a dock. You can cast up current and swim the bait parallel to the dock. You can use the current to get your bait closer to the pilings, where many fish are likely to be.

Use the Correct Gear

An example of good gear would include a 20-pound braided line with a 30-pound leader and a medium or heavy 7-8 foot rod. You’ll want to keep the bait close to the bottom, so you’ll need quite a bit of weight for most saltwater catches.

Some of the best lures for redfish, flounder and snook are shrimp or swimming mullet. If you want to catch grouper, you need heavy-duty tackle because some groupers can weigh more than 50 pounds. Deep diver lures are good for grouper. Use a float for catching sand bass.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

You can learn a lot about where and when to fish just by observing. If there’s little or no water under the dock at low tide, it’s not a good place to fish. The best docks to fish around will have barnacles and mussels growing around the pilings. These creatures usually mean fish will be in the area, too. Different water depths are likely to be home to different types of fish, so do a little bit more research if you’re trying to catch something specific. Be careful fishing around pilings since your line could get caught on something and break. If there is a lot of debris under the dock, you may have trouble fishing there without your line snagging on something.

Saltwater Fishing Made Easy With EZ Dock

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be saltwater dock fishing in no time. Interested in a new dock or dock accessories? EZ Dock is the best investment you will ever make in your waterfront property. Browse our industry-leading products today or contact us to learn more