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Lake LBJ

Because Life is Better at the Lake

The dark side of the dock


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

The calendar may say it’s September, but it it’s still hot in Texas. Summertime bass fishing tactics will remain until some decent cool weather comes through, which probably won’t be until maybe mid October.

Ask the pros and guides who make a living fishing: Where is one place when it’s hot you will check for fish?

One of their answers will be boat docks. Bass like the shade and are attracted to the baitfish that feed on algae growth along the dock pilings.

“It’s all about the shade," says Alabama BASS pro and Major League Fishing angler Timmy Horton. "You want to look for and fish the deepest and darkest shade areas on the docks."

"Skipping the lure into the shaded area is the prime target on most docks," agrees California BASS pro and MLF champion Brent Ehrler. "You’re looking to fish the biggest part of the dock with the most shade."

Jason Christie says dock positioning is really important. It’s okay for the structure to be sitting in shallow water, but it has to be close to the deep water. “I’ve caught a lot of big fish on docks in the summer, but they’ve always been within 25 yards of deeper water. I think those big fish use docks as much for feeding areas as they do for shelter and protection. They just lounge around out in the deep water and then they move up to feed.”

What’s the best lure for fishing docks?

My personal choice is a plastic worm rigged Texas style, using the lightest weight I can get away with. Ehrler and I are almost on the same page. He prefers a Gary Yamamoto Senko. "Whether you fish it weightless on a wacky rig setup on a spinning rod or you fish it on a jig head with a baitcasting reel, it’s hard to beat a Senko, especially when you get it into the shade. And when you get that lure into the prime shady spot of a summertime Texas boat dock, it’s usually not very long before a serious commotion occurs.”

Besides Senkos and other soft plastics, what are some other preferred lures for fishing docks?

Some prefer a buzzbait rattled down the sides of the docks early in the morning before the sun gets a good grip on the horizon, or in the evening when darkness settles in. Others like a Zara Spook walked along the side of a dock in the morning. How about swimming a jig along the support posts and crossbeams, or a squarebill crankbait banged off of a wooden piling. A spinnerbait rolled over a dockside brush pile or even a hollow-bodied frog skipped into the dark recesse underneath a dock can draw a vicious strike. They will all get a bass’ attention.

Next time you’re on the water, don’t forget the boat docks.

Tell us what you think!

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Lake LBJ Weather Forecast



Hi: 105

Friday Night


Lo: 74



Hi: 105

Saturday Night


Lo: 76



Hi: 106

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 77



Hi: 107

Monday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 78

Lake LBJ Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 7/21: 532.59 (-292.41)

Lake LBJ Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 18)

Water stained; 86–90 degrees; 0.76’ low. Black bass are fair on chartreuse jigs, pumpkinseed topwaters, and green pumpkin Whacky Sticks in 6–18 feet early. Striped bass are slow. White bass are fair on slabs and spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows over brush piles in 12–18 feet. Channel catfish are slow. Yellow and blue catfish are good on trotlines baited with live perch.