Of all the crappie fishing techniques that will be taught at the Jefferson State Community College’s Crappie University, “Dock Shooting” may top the list with crappie experts.
Crappie University is a unique, four-week continuing education course beginning on Wednesday, February 15 and continues on Wednesday, February 22, Monday, February 27 and Wednesday, March 1 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Crappie guides and tournament pros will be teaching all the crappie techniques, including “Dock Shooting.”
Although it has been used by skilled anglers for a while, “Dock Shooting” has become much more popular today due to new tackle developments which make it much easier to master.
The dock shooting name comes from the process by which the angler, using spinning gear, with three feet or so of line extending from the tip of the rod, grips the bend of the jig hook, draws the lure back underneath the rod like a bow, aims at the target and then releases the jig so that it skips back under the docks, walkways, swim platforms and boat lifts. These spots give the crappie cover that can’t be reached by other fishing methods. The average angler will miss crappie holding in the deep shade of these spots. This may be the most productive technique for highly-pressured lakes.
Crappie University pros Barry Morrow, “the crappie coach,” and two-time Crappie Masters’ Angler of the Year, Dan Dannenmueller, will be teaching this technique and offer a number of tips for mastering it.
Use a compact bait, like Bobby Garland’s Slab Slayer, on a 1/16th-ounce jig head. Most pros prefer six-pound test line and an open-face spinning reel with a light to medium-action rod, 5.5’ to 6’ in length. Be sure to practice this technique before you get to the lake. This practice will give you confidence! Cast with a reel that has a full spool of line. Reels with half-full spools allow the line to make contact with the spool edge and cut down the length of the cast. Once you’ve skipped your lure into a dark place, let it fall, take your time, watch your line and be patient. Don’t overfish your jig. Only use what movement is absolutely necessary. Most bites come when the lure is falling or hanging motionless.
Consider using one of Bobby Garland’s new pull tabs. This tab slips over the point of the hook and gives you something besides the hook to grasp as you bend the rod, preparing for the cast. Always hold the jig so the hook points upwards. Samples of the new pull tab and other Bobby Garland Baits will be given to participants.
In searching out productive docks, look for those with fish cleaning stations. Also, ropes and cables tied to the dock may indicate brush below. Docks with the new sealed flotation blocks can indicate a good spot if the blocks are covered with algae, which attracts bait fish. Always be courteous around docks. Most are privately owned. Stay off docks, remain quiet and respect the dock owner’s privacy.
Other Crappie instructors include long-time crappie guide, Lee Pitts and “The Dean of Southern Crappie Anglers” Sam Heaton.
Enrollment fee for this entire four-week course is $89.00.
For more information or to enroll, call Jefferson State at (205) 856-7710 or go online at www.jeffersonstate.edu/crappie.