Super Easy Dock Fishing Popping Cork Hack


If you aren’t confident with dock fishing yet, then check out this super easy dock fishing popping cork hack!

Casting underneath and around docks is a skill in itself but for some of us at varying experience levels, it can post a challenge.

Check more out below!!

Dock Fishing Popping Cork Hack [VIDEO]

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Equipment Mentioned In This Video:

Docks are a quick way to get some tight lines, but post a casting obstacle for different skill levels.

At any time of the year, it can be advantageous to hop around and fish docks.

This is especially true in the summertime because they provide extra shade and cover that predatory fish are after.

If you are new to dock fishing and need to start from the beginning, check out Luke’s Dock Fishing Mini-Course!

Popping Corks & Approaching Docks

If you ever have trouble casting your lure out far, a popping cork will assist you in that.

When approaching a dock, you want to set your vessel upstream from the dock whether that be due to wind or current.

Then, cast out your popping cork as close as you can to the dock.

Next, open up the bail on your reel and let out some line so the popping cork actually floats underneath the dock entirely.

In the summertime, the fish are going to sit right underneath the docks in the shade and cover.

This method helps get our lure exactly where we need it to be no matter where our casting skills are at.

Furthermore, you can let it drift to either side of the dock or front and back to fish all angles just by the placement of your cast in the first place.

Try to aim your first cast to the pilings closest to the shoreline.

Let the current take it underneath the dock and then begin your retrieve.

Now you can simply work your way out by placing your casts a little bit ahead of the last one to cover all portions of water around and underneath the dock.

You can further pick up on the pattern and as you move from dock to dock pinpoint exactly where you know the fish are holding.

Dock Fishing Popping Cork Lure Choices

The #1 lure I recommend for this type of fishing is the Power Prawn U.S.A. original or junior, either one will work.

I prefer about a 1/8 oz. jighead because you really don’t need a lot of weight.

Power Prawn U.S.A. Junior lures are now available in all of our existing lure colors with Original size lures in different colors coming soon!

F.R.E.D., Alabama Leprechaun, and Gold Digger are now a Power Prawn U.S.A. lure color option.

Personally, if I’m fishing in clear water I want to use the Natural color and if I’m fishing in dirty water I’ll go for the Gold Digger.

Tannic water is kind of in between and in that situation, I’ll go with the F.R.E.D. color.

Another lure I love throwing underneath popping corks is one of our 2.0 series paddletails rigged on a 1/8 oz. open-hook jighead.

The same reasoning for choosing Power Prawn U.S.A. lure colors applies here as well.

However, in clear water I prefer the Slam Shady color in paddletail lures.

Paddletails work surprisingly well underneath popping corks.

Or you can of course rig up some live bait or live shrimp on the popping cork.

I’d recommend you rig that up using a circle hook that is comparable to the size of the bait you’re using.

Typically a size #1 or 1/0 hook will suffice.

The final lure I’d recommend throwing underneath the popping cork is the Strike King KVD Wake Bait.

These lures are similar to topwater lures but are subsurface creating a small wake across the surface.

You would cast the Wake Bait out the same as any other lure and then as you reel it back in, it’ll create that wake.

And when you are reeling it back in against the current, the lure appears to be a baitfish struggling to fight the current to any predatory fish in the area.

Retrieving The Popping Cork

As the popping cork is drifting back underneath the dock, you should give it a few twitches.

You don’t want to wait until it gets all the way to the back of the dock to then proceed with your retrieve.

Instead, you want to twitch the cork on the way in and the way out from under the dock.

Baitfish are going to move along with the current so if you let the cork drift all the way back and then begin twitching it, then it won’t look natural or appealing to fish.

BONUS Topwater Lure Hack

As an added bonus tip, this same popping cork hack actually works excellently well with topwater lures.

You can cast a topwater lure right up against a dock piling, let it drift underneath a dock, and then work it back towards you as normal.

Another cool part about this is you can actually just work the topwater lure in place because of how you’re positioning with the current.

Sometimes this is what’s needed to entice those skittish fish that are a bit on the timid side.


unpopular popping cork hack

Go out and fish some more docks!!!

At any time of the year, fish are sitting under docks waiting for the bait to come to them.

Next time you’re out fishing on a really slow day, go ahead and give this method a try next to some docks!

Do you have any other questions about this dock fishing popping cork hack?

Let me know what you think and if you have any other dock fishing hacks, please share them with me in the comments!

If you know someone who wants to learn more about the dock fishing popping cork hack, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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James Delle Bovi
1 year ago

Pat – I have a question for you. I noticed you said you open your bale and let the cork drift back under the dock but you also pop the cork as it drifting back. Are you closing the bale first every time you pop it or are you just trapping the main line against the rod for a second to pop it and leaving the bail open. Also, since you are not using a circle hook, just how are setting that J hook on a hit ? Closing the bale by hand first and then setting the hook or are you just cranking down as hard and as quick as you can’t to close the bale AND set the hook ?

James Delle Bovi
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Ogletree

Thanks Pat.

Pablo Diaz
1 year ago

Great tips Pat!!! A jig head versus a screw lock hook? Is it because of the action ???

Steven Free
1 year ago

Now I think I have heard everything popping corks for shallow crankbaits and topwaters?🤔I have only fished popping corks with either live shrimp or gulp shrimp and an occasional paddletail and have caught a few fish on them but not many although there is a dock that is located close to a kayak launch on the opposite side of the Buckman bridge meaning not on the naval base side but the opposite that has a shell bar located on the side where the dock sticks out because it is a dock that has a side dock on it to tie a boat up to it I have caught many reds under that dock partition wade fishing it because the bottom is mostly sand mixed with mud but solid enough for wading when I used my yak I would get about 50 yards down current from it and slowly wade up to about 50 ft and cast either a chasebaits plastic shrimp or a gold bladed chartruese tail paddletail spinnerbait and sometimes really slay the reds there but it seems to be a hit or miss thing and either incoming or outgoing tides worked as long as the water level wasn’t to low that dock has another dock next to it about 50 yards apart but I have only had one fish hit under it one of the biggest flounder I ever had on on a gulp shrimp it was so large it litterally rolled head first like a whale until fully submerged and because I was using a circle hook I got to excited and tried setting the hook obviously something an angler should never do if using a circle hook just tighten up the line and the hook sets itself I was wading on that side of the dock and had a popping corks out just letting it drift when I was finished fishing the area I noticed my cork was no where to be seen thats because that huge flounder was munching on my gulp bait under the dock!!! Oh well can’t catch them all but I rarely use them anymore I guess my confidence with them isn’t I guess what it should be after all that flounder was the only really big fish I have ever had on a popping corks anyways thanks for the info and all you do😉

Steven Free
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Ogletree

OK yea that makes sence but speaking of odd setups I remember when I first joined saltstrong as a regular member and not a lifer yet and Tony had just become the first coach for saltstrong and he had a tip on how to use Flys with a spinning reel by putting them below one of those clear bobbers either the ball kind or the cork style i actually tried it and caught several trout on them a couple under docks when the trout feed on small insects under the dock lights but anyways yea I have tried a couple times throwing a topwater under docks or letting it drift under with some success anyways thanks for the tips and all you do hopefully I’ll get that dang app to work right for me this weekend🤔😉

Pete Ooms
1 year ago

I’ll be working this with my grandkids! Cripple casters, but this will work! Thanks.

andy hodges
1 year ago

What inline hooks do you use for topwater heddon spook juniors

For full size topwater lures?

I’ll have to order bc I can’t find any in the stores.

Bill Moore
1 year ago

Good lesson Pat. I definitely have to try this out.

Paul Evans
1 year ago

New member here. Thank you for this timely tip. I do not own a boat and fish from the shore and public docks on the Indian River Lagoon in Vero Beach. There is a favorite dock that we have had some success catching snook by tossing a shrimp under the dock. Lately this has not been working so today I tried letting a popping cork float with the current far under the dock. Once the cork was a good six to eight feet under the dock I immediately got a hit and caught a nice snook. Second float under the dock was the same result. Next time I lost a good snook that broke me off on a piling. We had not caught snook at this dock for the last three or four weeks and hotter temps. Made for a fun day thanks to your hacks!

1 year ago

Rigging for Sheep heads ?

Tom Pitney
1 year ago

Great lesson Pat. What are your thoughts on using weighted hooks like owner or hos Helix on the trailing artificial?

Tom Pitney
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Ogletree

Great thanks. You anticipated my next question!

Craig Berns
1 year ago

Great info Pat, I’m trying to get my Wife out fishing.


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