[Video] Gerald Swindle reveals secrets to skipping docks with jigs

Today Gerald Swindle reveals some secrets to skipping docks with jigs that he has never shared before.

I can tell you one thing, after I listened to Gerald’s tips it has definitely made me a better jig fisherman.

Pic cred: CBS Sports

Step 1) His set up:

Step 2) Mysteries Solved...

Mystery 1 – Solved) Gerald says he doesn’t use any special reel, no aftermarket high-end bearings or aftermarket braking systems. He says he uses no aftermarket trick equipment, only the product that comes right out of the box.

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

Mystery 2 – Solved) The G-man specifically does not recommend tightening down the side spool break. He says a lot of people think that you should tighten the break way down where your jig doesn’t even come off the reel in order to keep you from backlashing.

In fact, he says he takes the opposite approach.  He goes on to say that you actually want it relatively loose. He elaborates, that the harder you throw the further you pull your hand out and your cast will go off to the left or to the right, you’ll just end up overthrowing.

He does recommend that you set the spool anti-backlash break to a higher setting so the spool won’t continue to spin when your bait hits the water.

Pic cred: CBS Sports

Step 3) The Do's and Don'ts About Skipping Jigs...

Gerald suggests shortening your soft plastic craw trailer. Most of the time he doesn’t stop to measure the length, he actually just bites the lower-third to half of the body off! He says this makes the craw more compact and easier to skip.

Also the wider the body of craw the easier it is to skip. Just like if you were to choose a rock to skip on a lake, you want one that is wide.

One of the first missteps he notices is that its nearly impossible to skip a jig when it is windy or when there is a chop on the water.

“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.”

Step 4) It’s All In The Wrist...

He says it’s all about the wrist and hand-eye coordination.  Your bait is going to land where your eyes are looking. He emphasized, your bait is always going to travel at the same direction where your rod tip is pointing when you finish your cast.

For example, when he pulls up to a dock and he’s looking at a specific location or target, he never ever takes his eyes off that target.

He continued to explain that from a fundamental standpoint you want each cast to be second nature. He says that you’ll succeed if you have low body movements and you led your eyes do most of the work.

The harder you throw the bait the less accurate it will be. You don’t want to baseball swing your cast because it will never end up at the Target location. Especially if the water is completely still that beat coming in at a zillion miles an hour it’s not going to end up where you want.

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.

Pic cred: CBS Sports

Step 5) Making Yourself Versatile...

He told us a story when he was at a tournament he pulled up to a large series of docks.  Since Gerald and 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 you’re not a co-angler, it’s still very important to learn how to skip jigs in a variety of different ways.

He says, 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. 

Since then he says it 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.

Step 6) 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.  Just practice that technique of learning to skip 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, he’ll start with a straightforward cast, then he’ll target an outside corner using an underhand roll cast and then he’ll target the opposite side corner using a backhand roll cast and if there is a narrow lane right in front of him, he’ll use the a vertical roll cast to cover that entire piece of structure from one single spot!  Not moving his boat also means that he stays quiet. Hence, not making a lot of commotion moving his boat into different positions could spook the bass and you’ll miss out on bites.

He knows that since he fished the entire structure if a bass was in there it would have seen it and ate his jig.

Step 7) Choose The Most Difficult Location To Skip Jigs To...

When he’s looking at locations to skip his jig to he often thinks to himself where is the hardest, most difficult place to skip his jig to and that’s where he’ll go.

Many Anglers are scared of skipping jigs to difficult targets so they’ll completely bypass it.  Fortunately, from his years of experience, he understands that many times there is a bass in that deep dark location. Best of all since the other anglers are often hesitant skipping jigs he’ll attack that spot and that bass is immediately going to react to the jig and bite it.

Step 8) Never Worry About Boat Position Again…

Once you learn how to skip backhanded Garald says you never have to change your boat position again.

“If you truly have to fix your boat direction to make a proper cast I would encourage you to work on your cast.”

Step 10) No Water...No Worries - Practice, Practice, Practice.

Finally, force yourself to practice even if you’re not on the water. Gerald says practiced in his driveway or carport and in his front yard!   You don’t have to be on the lake practicing skipping docks. As long as you’re practicing your going to become a better skipper.

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