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How To Skip A Jig [Guide To Dock Skipping]

How to skip a bass jig | Tips for skipping docks

If you have gone fishing for bass before you know how exhilarating it can be. It can be fun, tricky, and relaxing all at the same time. Skipping baits fishing is another technique used for bass fishing that can be a little challenging in the beginning, but fun!

Skipping bait under dock or other structure on the first try can be very difficult, but with the right information I plan to give you, you’ll be able to start skipping docks in no time.

  1. Start with a compact bait. The flatter the better.
  2. It’s all in the wrist action. Rolling your wrist helps control the accuracy of the cast
  3. Don’t cast too hard and keep the rod tip as low as possible.
  4. Be versatile. Be willing to learn multiple skipping techniques.
  5. Choose the most difficult location to skip

To find out more about the details of skipping docks and being able to do it like a pro continue reading!

WARNING:  There’s a lot of information about this subject you’ll probably want to come back to. No one expects you to remember all these tips. We know your time is precious, so we really tried to over-deliver in value for you. Additionally, we frequently update reports like this, so you’ll want to stay up to date with any changes or additional tips we include for you. 

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What Is Skipping?

Skipping a is the art of casting a lure (preferably flat) across the water (normally underhand/sidearm) that it skips and bounces off the surface, preferably many times! Think about skipping a rock. 

Anglers like to skip lures under docks and other structures because often larger bass will setup deep in the shadows to ambush prey. 

Due to their location, they are also less pressured because it takes skill and practice to skip a dock because fisherman don’t want to either lose their lure getting it hung up or having it knock into the surrounding hard structure, thus scaring the bass away. 

In the end these bass are often really big and less pressured. 

Start With Calm Conditions And “Keep It Simple Silly”

If you’re serious about learning skipping lures, then you need to start in calm, windless conditions. 

The flatter the water (meaning no waves or ripples) the better because it gives you the best chances of skipping your lure.

Waves will cause your lure to deflect off the water at an odd angle and will most likely end a failed cast.  

Wind will also affect your cast. If you have a strong cross wind it will cause your lure to blow off target and it will also cause ripples and waves.

“The key to skipping jigs is hand-eye coordination and lots of practice.”

– Gerald Swindle BASSMASTER Elite Pro

This Is The Best Way To Skip Any Bait, And Science Proves It…

Physicists at both Brigham Young University in Utah and Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Rhode Island have identified the perfect way for skipping an object across the water. 

In their experiment they were using hard round objects, they were not jigs, but the science is exactly the same…

In an interview Dr Tadd Truscott, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the university and one of the researchers said, ““Throw them hard with a lot of linear and angular momentum. Throw at about a 20 degree velocity angle with about a 20 degree angle of attack!”

What the heck does that mean?!…

You want to cast your jig nearly parallel to the water at a 20 degree angle and it will give you the best chances of your jig to skip.  Cool right! 

It’s All In The Wrist…

Reel the bait nearly to the tip of the rod, leaving 6-inches to a couple of feet to let it dangle.

Without releasing your bait, start with some slow practice casts movements… 

You simply roll your wrist half a rod tip nearly parallel to the water like if you are skipping a rock, and throw the bait under.

In addition, you want to keep the tip of the rod as close to the water as possible.

One last thing to keep in mind… as you are casting you want to finish the skip cast (or follow through) with your rod heading in an upward direction.

You never want you finish you cast with the tip of your rod pointing to the water.  

Your First Skip Cast…

Once you feel comfortable, start with your first official skip cast…

Go easy at first, don’t cast too hard. Consider trying to skip in open water off the bank just to practice at first or you can learn how you can practice skipping baits from home.

The harder you throw the bait 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.

If you cast that jig a zillion miles an hour it’s not going to end up where you want.

Read more: How To Practice Skipping Docks At Home?

If You’re Just Beginning Avoid My Mistake Of Choosing The Wrong Bait…

When I first started to learn to skip jigs, I thought I could use almost any type of jig… Boy was I wrong!

On a whim, I decided I was going to learn how to skip a jig, I grabbed a small box of ball head jigs and went to the local pond…

I was out there for HOURS!  Cast after cast, backlash after backlash, all my casts were unsuccessful.  I had the right rod, reel and line.  I had the correct trailer…  I went home defeated, but determined…

After reading multiple articles and watching videos and interviews I learned one of the the best types lures to skip was the good ol’ casting jig! 

I thought to myself, “are you serious?!”  

I learned the shape of the jig head can either help or hinder your effort to learn how to skip a bass jig.

The casting jig has a unique style head design.  Its head is flat yet rounded contour is perfect for skipping docks and overhanging structure. 

Lastly, I found out that if you don’t have any casting jigs, then are a TON of other baits you can use to skip! 

Choosing The Right Bait for Skipping Docks…

Like when you’re choosing a rock to skip you would need a bait that is relatively flat and compact.

Baits like jigs, flukes, senkos are just some of the lures you can use. And don’t think that you can only skip soft plastics and jigs. You can easily skip certain hard baits as well!

But you’re using a jig and the first thing you need to do is to shorten your soft plastic craw trailer. 

Don’t stop to measure the length, just cut off the lower-third to half of the body! Doing this instantly makes your jig more compact and easier to skip docks.

Also the wider the body of craw the easier it is to skip.

In summary, don’t solely rely on the jig to skip. Just remember the ‘skipping a rock’ analogy… if you were to choose a rock to skip on a lake, you want one that is wide and flat. And there are so many other baits you can skip that match that profile.

Read more: Top 10 Best Skipping Baits You Need To Try

What Type of Rod Is Best For Skipping Lures? … It depends…

The best type of rod for skipping depends on what type of bait you’re using and how tall you are.

Most anglers agree that the most popular rods for skipping docks are casting rods. But, spinning rods are the easiest to start skipping with and they’re preference for light weight baits.

Casting rods will give you more accuracy and more control when you catch a fish.

I spoke with a Shimano rep and he says, if you’re a taller guy (say over 6-feet) you’ll want to use a rod that is over 7-feet long, but if you a little shorter you’ll want to use a rod that is around 6’8” long.

Also he emphasized that you’ll need a moderate-heavy action rod with an “extra fast” tip. 

This way you’ll be able to “sling” the bait incredibly far under the dock or overhanging tree. Then when you get a bite that rod will have a strong backbone built in, so you’ll have the confidence to set the hook without thinking twice. 

Read more: Best Spinning Rods For Skipping (Our Top Picks)

Read more: Best Casting Rods For Skipping: Our Top Picks

What Type of Reel Is Best For Skipping Lures?

The rod and reel work as a team…

You’ll want a quality reel that reduces wrist fatigue and has a quality braking system.  

Lower profile baitcasting reels will feel more natural in your hands. On top of that, the higher quality reels will be made of machined aluminum and titanium which reduces the stress and joint fatigue after a long day of fishing. 

Some the cheaper quality reels will skimp on the type of magnets that are built into the reel. Cheap magnets give you less control on the spin speed… if you have less control of the spool spin speed it will create backlashes (or an ultra-frustrating buildup of loose line at the spool that can cause unwanted knots or tangles to form). 

Having a reel that has a great braking system and smooth casting is just as important as the rod. 

What Is The Best Line For Skipping Docks?

Most professional anglers will prefer to use either fluorocarbon or braided line.

Fluorocarbon is very strong, has very little stretch (unlike monofilament fishing line) and has very little “memory”… That means it does not have as much wrapping or twisting effect like a monofilament line will have. 

Fluorocarbon fishing line comes off the spool well went you cast the lure.  Plus, because of how it’s made, it’s nearly invisible to the fish!

If you’re fishing in relatively clearwater with little surrounding structure… say like floating docks then using a fluorocarbon line that is 12-to-15-pound test is the way to go. 

Braided line is also a popular choice of line for skipping dock and skipping lures in general. 

Braided line is made from tiny interwoven strands of manmade fiber such as Dacron, Spectra or micro-dyneema. This makes it very flexible, has nearly zero memory, and has zero stretch. This makes setting the hook with braided lines very easy. . 

Braided lines often have ⅓-to-¼ – diameter mono or fluorocarbon fishing lines!  Thinner lines will have less drag and resistance when you cast… meaning your lure will cast further and will dive deeper faster!  Cool right!

Unfortunately braided lines are very visible to the fish. So that’s way if you’re fishing a traditional dock or something like an overhanging tree that also has a lot of submerged structure nearby, that braided line will blend into the background 

If you’re going to choose a braided line for your dock skipping endeavors, then a 20-to-30-pound test line should work great.

Pointers To Keep In Mind….

Skip casting is all about the wrist and hand-eye coordination.  Your bait is going to land where your eyes are looking. 

Your bait is always going to travel in the same direction where your rod tip is pointing when you finish your cast.

For example, if you pull up to a dock and you’re looking at a specific location or target, don’t ever take your eyes off that target.

Fundamentally, you want each cast to be second nature. If you want to succeed if you have low body movements and you let your eyes do most of the work.

“I don’t care how good you are or how good you think you are, it’s impossible to skip jigs and be accurate when it’s windy or when there is chop on the water. It’s that you’re a bad skipper is just you’re fishing in bad conditions.”

The Three Skipping Techniques You Need To Master…

The three skipping techniques you need to master is the underhand roll, backhand roll, and the straight/vertical roll. 

If your practice those three ways and you’ll quickly gain a skill most other anglers we’ll never have.

The Underhand Roll – Using your normal/dominant side skip the jig using any underhand roll, like if you were skipping a rock.  Note: This is NOT a baseball swing! Its more of a finesse casting technique.

The Backhand Roll – This cast is many from your weak side using your backhand. It’s kinda like a backhand tennis swing, but less swing and more wrist roll.

Straight/Vertical Roll – Finally, this casting technique is used when the lane you’re casting to is very narrow and pointing right at you. You almost have to raise the reel and of the rod almost vertical so you can get your jig in the small lane.  Having tried all three techniques, this by far is the most difficult in my opinion.

As a result, learning all three techniques from one position and not having to move your boat means you can cover the ENTIRE dock from one location!

Most noteworthy, start with a straightforward cast, then target an outside corner using an underhand roll cast and then target the opposite side corner using a backhand roll cast and if there is a narrow lane right in front of you, use the a vertical roll cast to cover that entire piece of structure from one single spot.

Moving your boat into different positions makes a lot of commotion, turbulence, noise.  It will spook the bass and you’ll miss out on bites.  If you avoid the urge to preposition you’ll stay quiet like a ninja!

Making Yourself Versatile…

Gerald Swindle once told a story when he was at a tournament he pulled up to a large series of docks.  Since he is right handed and his fishing partner was also right-handed it made skipping docks difficult because his partner wanted to come to the front of the boat to fish the docks with him. 

So in order for it to work his partner had to learn how to skip jigs backhanded. Luckily for him, his partner did know to skip jigs backhanded and they did great that tournament.

He goes on to point out that even if you’re not a co-angler, it’s still very important to learn how to skip jigs in a variety of different ways.

For example, he explained when he was starting out as a new pro he witnessed anglers come up to a dock and they may not be at an optimal angle to skip at (due to their boat angle) and so they’ll just leave 90% of the dock alone.  He says after a while he noticed this to be more and more common, so he forced himself to skip jigs backhanded. 

As a result, he his new ability gave his team the advantage, because now they could skip their jigs into a variety of different places where other teams would be hesitant to skip to.

If You Just Can’t Get The Hang Of Skipping Do This…

Even after I thought I got the right equipment I still struggled for some time.

It was when I was teaching my kids to skip rocks into a lake where I had my epiphany.

They kept picking up really small rocks at first.  They were the right shape, but were really small. 

I instinctively replaced it with a little bit larger rock because I knew I had more surface area to skip.  

Like a freight train it hit me… I need to upsize my lure until I get the hand of skipping lures!

So I did. But,  I needed something large with a little bit more weight with flat sides…

After about 20 minutes I settled on a big soft plastic swimbait with a weighted swimbait hook. 

Later that day I was off to the local pond…

Sure enough, by adding that extra size and weight really helped me learn how to skip a lure and gain a ton of confidence.

After I felt comfortable skipping that swimbait I took the lessons I learned and honed it down to the smaller, more compact jig.


I know this article is packed with tips and strategies. I hope you don’t care that I over delivered for you. I just really want you to succeed!

Here I’m throwing in some extra important tips and tricks for you to remember when learning how to skip jigs or any other lure for the first time.  Being confident in your skills, keeping it simple allows you to be much more comfortable when you’re required to skip that lure deep under overhanging structure.

So with these bonus strategies, you’ll get even more at ease with skipping baits!

Bonus Tip 1

Choose The Most Difficult Location To Skip Your Jig…

The best skipping anglers will look at that dock and ask ‘where’s the most difficult place to skip his jig?’ That’s where you need to cast to.

Many anglers are scared of skipping jigs to difficult targets so they’ll completely bypass it.  Fortunately, many times there is a bass in that deep dark location. Best of all since the other anglers are often hesitant skipping jigs you can go behind someone and attack that spot and  catch that bass those other guys missed!


Fish every dock the same way and cover every inch of it…

If you don’t get any bites in your process, if a bass was in there it would have seen it and eaten your jig.

Once you start getting bites, remember where and how you presented that jig.  Chances are if there is a bass relating to that dock, they’ll be in the same location 


Trimming a skirt to be compact can help your jig skip better…

In an interview with Bassmaster, Major League Fishing Pro and BASSMASTER Elite Series Pro Andy Montgomery says, “Sometimes in the package, the skirt will get uneven, so I’ll slide it around to get it nice and even — pretty. Basically, I want the skirt even (in alignment and separation) because I don’t want it to fall to one side or the other” 

To make is easier for you I wrote a detailed report on how to what is the best way to trim the skirt on your jig without completely ruining it.

Read more: 27 Best Bass Jig Modifications Made Easy (With Pictures)

Article Of the Month

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Accessories You’ll Need

Fishing Rod

RodThe 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.

>> What Rods To Use For Bass Fishing? 10 Awesome General Purpose Rods Reviewed

Fishing Reel

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.

>>How To Choose A Great Bass Fishing Reel For The Money [and which to avoid at all costs]

Fishing Line

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.

>>21 Tips To Choose The Best Fishing Line

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

>>5 Bass Fishing Lures You Never Want to Leave At Home

Tackle Bag

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.

>>15 Best Tackle Bags For The Money (Tested & Reviewed)


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.

>>Click HERE to Claim Your Costa Sunglasses Right Now!


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.

This zinc-based sunscreen lotion has received the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance and is mild enough for sensitive skin. It is suited for everyday use.

>>Click HERE to Save Your Skin Before It’s Too Late!

Fishing Pliers

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.

>>Click HERE to Claim Your Rapala Fisherman’s Pliers Right Now!

Landing Net

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.

>>Click HERE to Buy Yourself A Floating Landing New Today!

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.

>>Click HERE to Claim Your Rapala Tournament-Grade Fishing Scale & Culling System now!

Fishing Scissors

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.

>>Click HERE to Pick Up Your Rapala Super Fishing Line Scissors – quantities are limited

Fishing Hat

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.

>>Click HERE to Claim Your Sun Shirt with Built Cooling Technology and UV Protection today!


Can you skip a bait that has a bobber?

After some thought, you probably could if the bobber was a slip bobber and the bait was compact.

Can you skip worms?

Yes, absolutely. The best worms to skip has to be the Senko or another stick bait style worm. Worms that have curly appendages are a little harder to skip