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Skipping for Bass

By Nic DiGravio

skippin for bassAnother good technique for putting Bass in the live well is ‘skipping’. Skipping bait under potential Bass holding cover requires a lot of practice. However, once mastered it reaps excellent rewards!

Skipping requires two key fundamental elements. A good free spooling reel and accuracy. Accurate casting is a must. Side casting with your rod tip close to the water surface is a good way to start off your skipping technique. As time goes by different types of cover will determine what casting technique to use, with side casting still being the common denominator in many situations.

It doesn’t really matter what bait you use as long as it is light enough to skip across the water surface to get to the back reaches of cover. Another important key is ‘hang time’ for the bait. Quite often Skipping is done near shore and in relatively shallow water so the longer the bait takes to get down to the bottom the better. This is where finessed baits shine. Skipping heavier baits like jigs and weighted plastics have their place too, but require a little more experience. Practicing in and around docks without boats around is a good idea!

As far as reels go, the spinning reel is a good choice for skipping. The line doesn’t have resistance during the skip as opposed to the bait cast. However, with practice, the bait cast outfit is just as effective skipping, thanks to the excellent free spooling reels of today combined with a talented thumb. My personal favorite reel to use is the spin cast. Talk about free spooling! I can tell you from experience that a spin cast reel is ‘free spool heaven’ in my book. Any of these reels will do but when it comes to rods a good backbone to pull the Bass out of cover with a ‘fast’ tip for close range skipping is a sure bet.

skippin for bassDocks, of course, are good skipping terrain but a tree canopy like this one shown is gold during a hot sunny day. The Bass take to the shade to stay cool and most importantly hide waiting to pounce on unsuspecting baitfish!

Big Bass don’t get that way sitting on the edge of cover waiting to smack anything that passes their snout. They normally are the fish that hide deep in cover. This has been proven time and time again. Pitching, flipping or casting at the threshold of the Bass’s haunt sometimes is not enough to entice big Bass to hit. We have to get into the heart of docks and tree canopies, and the best way to achieve this is by ‘skipping’.

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