How to practice skipping docks at home | Learn To Skip Cast From Home
The TRUTH about learning how to skip cast can be frustrating and difficult especially when just starting out, but I’m going to give you these 5 dirty little secrets on how I learned to practice skipping docks in my own driveway… all while I avoided damaging any of my good jigs or getting backlashes.
- Start with a kids-size rubber ball (you can often find these at the dollar store). If you have multiple sizes, even better.
- Take a screw eye pin (that you would use for attaching a swimbait) and screw it into a rubber ball.
- Now you can practice skipping in your own driveway.
- Go slow to avoid backlash
- If your ball bounces up then you cast too low.
That’s the 30-second “How to practice skipping docks at home” instruction checklist… But there is so much more to it than just that list. Below you’ll get all the detailed secrets on how you can practice skip casting from the comfort of home in less than 15 minutes! So continue reading…
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What is Skip Casting?
Skip casting is like skipping a rock across the water. It is the process of casting a flat or compact lure across the water (normally underhand/sidearm) and bounces off the surface, preferably many times! Think about skipping a rock.
Learning to skip cast is vital because the bass will position themselves in the deepest, darkest spot underneath a piece of cover (like a dock). The bass will use that spot to ambush prey.
Anglers like to skip lures under docks and other structures because often these giant bass are hardly ever fished for because they’re so hard to get at.
Many anglers know it takes a lot of practice to become good at skipping docks. And most anglers are not willing to invest their time into learning this key technique… until now
In just a moment you’re going to learn how you can practice skip casting from home.
“Pick out the darkest deepest darkest piece of shaded cover, and that’s where the biggest bass will be.”
Keep It Simple Silly – Start With Right Area To Practice
Before you hit the water, you need to go outside and find a flat area like a patio or a driveway.
The flatter the better. If you have obstructions in the way it will foul your cast and give you a big headache.
Also try to avoid areas that have a lot of wind. Wind will blow your practice “lure” off target.
“The key to skipping jigs is hand-eye coordination and lots of practice.”
– Gerald Swindle BASSMASTER Elite Pro
Time To Go To The Dollar Store…
Take a trip to the dollar store and head to the kids toys section. Once you’re there search and find different size rubber balls.
Try to find at least 3 different sizes.
Using a rubber ball is important to practice with for multiple reasons:
- You avoid damaging any of your good jigs…
- You avoid damaging any nearby objects that you’re casting by…
- The rubber ball will “tell” you what you’re doing wrong in your cast.
Once you settle on your 3 different sizes head to the local hardware store.
Buy This At Local Hardware Store…
Buy a pack of narrow gauge screw eye bolts, making sure the screw is not longer than the width of the rubber ball.
If you don’t want to buy the screw eye bolts, you probably already have some of these laying around the garage…
Back At Home…
Once you’re at home slowly screw in the bolts into the rubber ball. As a reminder make sure your bolt is sticking out the other side of the ball.
Then your rubber ball/practice lure is now ready to be tied on!
Your first swing…
Time to tie on the rubber ball.
The ball should be dangling 12-24 inches below the tip.
Without releasing the rubber ball, start with some slow practice movements…
You simply roll your wrist, making the tip of the rod move in a circular movement. When making that circular motion. The ball will naturally also swing in a circular movement.
Before you cast, keep in mind you want the tip of the rod to swing as close to the ground as possible, about 6-to-12-inches.
Once you feel comfortable, start with your first official skip…
Go easy at first, don’t cast too hard. Right as the tip of the rod (not the ball) reaches the 6-o’clock position let the ball cast off the reel. It’s like an underhand roll.
The harder you cast that call the less accurate it will be and the more prone to getting a backlash…
You don’t want to baseball swing your cast because it will never end up at the target location…
Furthermore, if you cast that ball a zillion miles an hour it’s not going to end up where you want.
Pointers To Keep In Mind….
Use two hands to skip cast at first. Place one hand located over the reel and the other at the butt end of the rod.
Two handed casting will give you far more accuracy and control. The downside is that it will take you longer between casts.
As you feel more confident with casting, try casting with a single arm.
It’s all about hand-eye coordination when it comes to skip casting.
“Your bait is going to land where your eyes are looking.”
Wherever your rod is pointing at the end of the cast your ball is going to go that direction.
As an example, if you pull up to a dock and you’re wanting to target a specific area, don’t ever take your eyes off that area!
As you practice your movements will become second nature.
The smaller the circle the more accuracy you will have. Anglers who are learning how to skip cast with a spinning reel often think the bigger and faster the circle they make the farther their lure will travel…
The Follow Through…
Casting “follow through” means you slightly extend your arm and point the rod tip to your target right after you let the lure go in the cast.
Follow through after the cast is vital to casting accuracy. If you don’t follow through your lure is not going to end up where you want it.
For example, say you “short arm” your cast. That means you keep your arm pinned to your side and don’t follow through. Your lure won’t travel very far.
Another example is if you try to follow through but end up pointing your tip to the right or left of the target. Your lure will travel off-target to the direction you ended up pointing too.
Time to set up your “dock” …
Now it’s time to set up your skipping course…
Take anything that you can and make a fake dock with it.
Boxes with a plywood board work great!
Yes it may look a bit silly but you know what?! This works!
Now you create a fake boat slip out of the boxes or even get an old tree branch and try to skip the ball through those branches…
Sky’s the limit of how you can practice skipping docks at home
Other Ideas You can Practice Skipping Into
- Tipped over, empty laundry basket
- PCV pipe
- Under a chair
- Practice hitting the cat… just kidding, don’t do that.
If You’re Just Beginning And You’re Still Having Trouble…
It’s Not Your Fault. You’re probably using the wrong type of fishing rod…
Using the right rod is paramount when learning to skip baits.
If you use a rod that is too flexible it will not allow you to skip your lure as far. And when you’re on the water skipping your baits it will also make it really hard catching that bass. You’ll feel the bite, but your rod will not have enough backbone to drive home the hook. Think about trying to set a hook with a rubber band!
On the flip side, if you use a rod that is too stiff you’ll have a really big problem getting the ball to sling off your tip of your rod.
One of the biggest complaints of trying to skip with a rod that is too stiff is that your cast will not be accurate.
What is the Best Rod For Skipping Docks
Best Spinning Rods For Skipping…
If you’re brand new to skipping baits, then it’s recommended to get a good spinning rod for skipping your bass lures.
The ideal spinning rod should be at least 7-foot long, should come with a medium to medium-heavy action backbone and be paired with an extra fast tip.
As a result, spinning rods are notoriously easier to cast, but offer less accuracy.
Best Casting Rods For Skipping…
Many professional anglers will use baitcasting rods to skip with… Why? Are they gluttons for punishment? Maybe (but that’s another article), but seriously, the baitcasting rod can give the angler insane accuracy.
When the money is on the line you want every cast to count. So you’ll want to go with a baitcasting rod for skipping docks.
The ideal spinning rod should also be at least 7-foot long, should come with a medium-heavy action backbone and pair with an extra fast tip.
The reel is not as important as the rod, but should be a medium size reel to give the longer rod a balance in your hand. A balance spinning rig can prevent wrist and arm fatigue.
But listen up, it’s your lucky day! I was frustrated after every rod I tried just wouldn’t perform. However after while I came across some really great casting rods that are phenomenal for skipping.
What Are The Best Baits For Skipping?
It depends… The answer really depends on what type of skipping rod you’re using.
Certain baits will skip better using specific either a spinning rod or a casting rod. As a rule, if the bait is lighter it will be skipped easier if you’re using a spinning rod. In contrast, heavier baits will perform better using a casting rod.
Jigs and frogs have to be the most common and are often considered an old standby. But what if the fish aren’t biting those lures what to do then?
Not many anglers know about all the types of lures you can skip. Because frankly, the guys who are catching the fish don’t want to give up their secrets. And when I asked in different forums no one wanted to lift a finger to help out…
Frustrated, I started to dig up hints, talking to specific tackle manufacturers, and other industry leaders I was able to compile a list of some of the best skipping baits out on the market… Some of which even surprised me! If you’re really interested in skipping baits then you need to check out that report.
Read more: Top 10 Best Skipping Baits You Need To Try
What’s the best line to use skipping docks?
It depends on what type you lure you’re using. Most professionals will recommend using braid or fluorocarbon.
If the lure you are using floats (like a top water frog) then braid is preferred. For a simple reason – it floats.
I was told by dozens of pro anglers they throw their frogs on braided line because of the large diameter hooks and force needed to set the hook through the lips of a bass.
Conversely, if the lure you are using sinks (like a jig), then it’s best to use a high-quality fluorocarbon line.
Fluorocarbon line is invisible to fish under water and virtually has zero stretch, hence is very sensitive.
Read more: 21 Tips To Choose The Best Bass Fishing Line
Article Of the Month
Other Skipping Related Articles
Accessories You’ll Need
Rod –The popularity of fishing is growing and people are becoming much more conscious of different rods that can help them.
Fishermen want the best technique-specific rod for the money.
Luckily, the report I wrote provides you with detailed information in order for you to make buy the rod for the money, and more importantly which rods to avoid at all costs.
Reel – Having the correct reel to match with your rod is just as important. A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the a quality Shimano baitcasting reel. It’s a great reel packed with great features. So much so that it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range.
Fishing Line – Having a good line is just as important as having a good rod. I recommend fishing with a good fluorocarbon line. Furthermore, it’s super sensitive because it has little to no stretch, and underwater it’s invisible to the bass! If pride or money is on the line I would use Sunline Sniper FC.
Fishing Lures & Baits
Fishing Lures – It’s pretty hard and darn near impossible trying to catch a fish without using some sort of lure or bait. More importantly these baits you should never forget at home or it could lead to a horrible day on the water
Tackle Bag – You can’t carry all your gear in your pockets, so you need a reliable tackle bag to transport it. I wrote a complete review guide, Best Tackle Bag for Fishing, check it out by clicking here. But if you don’t have the time to read the full guide then let me tell you I recommend the Lunker Bag by KastKing.
Sunglasses – Do you find yourself fishing in variable light and water conditions? Fishing in open water? Fishing in the bright hot sun? Then, only to leave the lake with eye strain and a splitting headache?
If so, I strongly recommend investing in a pair of Costa Sun Glasses. Thousands of anglers, charter guides, and tournament professionals put their trust into Costa, and so should you. Here’s why…
Costa’s co-injected bio-based nylon frame material is robust and durable, as well as extremely comfortable to wear for all-day use. TR-90 nylon is an excellent material for sports and performance frames since it is heat and cold-resistant.
Costa builds their glasses with class-leading technology. Their 580G glass lens sets them apart from the competition. These lenses are ideal for long days on the lake or sea since you won’t have to worry about scratches on the lens when you wipe the saltwater off. Needless to say they’re Costa’s most durable lenses.
Anyone who spends time outside, especially on the lake, needs polarized lenses. However, not all polarized sunglasses are the same. Costa is 99.9% polarized, giving it the most effective possible in blocking reflecting glare, and minimizing eye strain and headaches.
Sun Screen – Skin cancer is a very real threat and it’s only getting worse. That is why you need a powerful sunscreen that is personally used and endorsed by hundreds of dermatologists from around the world.
That is why you should put your trust in Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen. The state-of-the-art Purescreen Technology absorbs, reflects, and scatters harmful sunrays in this specially designed water-resistant sunscreen lotion – and it’s created with 100 percent organically derived zinc oxide. Not some test tube concoction the other competitors are trying to sell you.
Neutrogena’s sheer body sunscreen lotion is fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, dye-free, and chemical-free. Dry-Touch technology aids in the non-greasy drying of this thin sunscreen.
For effective protection against the sun’s damaging rays, this hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and oil-free lightweight sunscreen is the number one dermatologist-recommended suncare brand.
Fishing Pliers – Nothing will ruin a day quicker than getting a hook embedded in your hand, or worse your eye. This tool is more than simply a pair of pliers; it’s jam-packed with functionality.
It’s not only a pair of pliers is a lure tuning tool, a split shot crimper, and a side cutter for cutting tiny wire leads and hooks.
The split ring tool on the nose makes replacing or upgrading hooks in the field a breeze. Soft grip handles provide a comfortable and secure grip. With an adjustable hand lanyard to hold them tight, the leaf spring opens the pliers for one-handed usage.
That’s why I always recommend having good set-up pliers that won’t rust and won’t slip out of your hand. I recommend the new & improved Rapala Fisherman’s Pliers.
Landing Net – As you are reeling in that monster fish, you don’t want to injure yourself or knock the fish off the hook by trying to grab it.
The PLUSINNO floating landing net is designed with foam padding on the hoop and provides buoyancy for fishermen. Now, If the net is dropped or blown overboard, the floating design makes it simple to retrieve – so you won’t have to be concerned about losing it! The rubberized net cannot be snagged. It keeps the fish safe for catch-and-release, and the non-absorbent covering avoids waterlogging and odor absorption in the net. It’s collapsing design allows for easy storage.
That’s why I recommend a dependable telescopic landing net.
Fishing Weight Scale & Culler
Fishing Weight Scale – Whether you’re going to keep your catch or just take a photo of it and brag to your friends it’s important to have an accurate scale. The Rapala Tournament Model Touch Screen Scale makes weighing and logging your catch easier and more convenient. The large digital scale has a lot of functions and is easy to use. simply keep track of your current catch and its place in your overall weight. To see the weight, just suspend the catch from the heavy-duty composite clamp or the accompanying stainless steel hook. Adding the important details to your catch couldn’t be easier – simply input your catch’s weight and tap on one of the eight storage places. The culling process makes it simple to identify fish that should be released for the greatest overall weight.
I recommend a Rapala Tournament Scale that has a large LED display like this one fishing scale here.
Fishing Line Scissors – Designed with sharp serrated cutting edge and oversized finger and thumb holes, these scissors actually grip and hold braided line for easy non-slip cutting.
These heavy-duty scissors are top-notch and are razor sharp for effortless cutting. The stainless steel construction and large finger holes allow ease of use – even for guys with big hands!
If you’re looking into quality fishing line scissors that can fit in your pocket, fishing vest, or fit comfortably in your jeans, these are the scissors you want. Many anglers like yourself use them to cut braid, mono, and even abandoned fishing lines that your lures have gotten stuck in.
In summary, this is a good investment for a serious fisherman.
Wide Brim Fishing Hat – Nowadays, you have to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. That’s why I recommend the SA Straw hat. It fits any size head and it feels really comfortable. Now you can keep the sun off your face while you enjoy your outdoor activities with UPF 50+ sun protection. Rest assured these lightweight and stylish hats give you 360-degrees of sun coverage. Both men and women can wear these hats. As an added BONUS, these hats also include three face shields for UPF neck protection, which protects your skin from dangerous UV rays.
This hat is well worth the money, and the craftsmanship is excellent.
>>Click HERE to Confirm Availability – The SA Straw Hat with 360-degree of Sun Coverage sells out FAST!
Fishing Sun Shirt
Sun Shirt For Fishing – Don’t stop at only getting head protection, you also need to protect your chest, back, arms, and torso. According to the researchers finding skin cancers on the shoulders and forearms rank within the top-5 locations to get skin cancer. That’s why the UV protective PFG Fishing Shirt by Columbia is strongly recommended.
Nowadays, it’s so important to be safe at all times. Omni-Shade helps prevent sunburns and long-term skin damage by blocking UVA and UVB radiation. UV absorbent yarns and a tight weave architecture prevent the whole spectrum of damaging UV radiation. This is the finest in outdoor moisture control technology. Omni-Wick technology absorbs moisture from the skin and transfers it to the fabric, where it spreads throughout the surface and evaporates rapidly, keeping you cool and your clothes dry.
I’m 6’0″ and 200 pounds, and I wear size XL. I ordered a size L and it fits well. Darker shirts provide a more subdued appearance. FYI.