The term “shooting docks” might sound like a duck hunting term, but it’s actually a well-known fishing technique among crappie anglers throughout the Carolinas. Despite the name, no firearms are involved.

Shooting docks is done with a light, flexible fishing rod and a crappie jig. Instead of making a traditional cast, anglers put the jig in front of fish by first letting a little line out and pulling the jig by the hook with one hand while holding the rod with the other. The hand that is holding the rod also grasps the line, keeping it from freely coming off the spool. The rod will bow and the whole thing will resemble an archer getting ready to shoot a bow. 

A cast is made when the angler releases the jig, then releases the line with the rod-holding hand. The rod flexes forward, the jig flies through the air, then touches down, hopefully on the bullseye the angler was aiming for.

This type of casting is really effective when you’re trying to get a jig way under docks or in tight cover. When it’s impossible to make a conventional cast, shooting is the way to go; it presents the jig in places that you probably couldn’t cast to otherwise.

While this technique is quite effective, it does have a bit of a dangerous aspect to it. It is also an inexact science because sometimes the angler grasps the jig in different places. It’s tough to reproduce that perfect cast when the jig has no designated spot for the angler to grip before letting it fly. 

That problem has been solved with the Garland Pull Tab, a product that keeps anglers’ fingers free from the hook point. It also gives anglers a consistent point to grip the jig, which means their casts will also be consistent.

Pull Tabs are short pieces of waterproof, lightweight, flexible material that is resistant to tears. Each strip is 1/4-inch wide and 7/8-inch long and has a small hole on each end. This hole is for passing the jig’s hook point through. Instead of grasping the hook with their fingers, anglers now grip the Pull Tab instead, then take aim. 

The difference in pulling back on the hook and pulling back on the Pull Tab instead is akin to shooting a bow-and-arrow with a trigger release or without a trigger release. Accuracy with the Pull Tab is greatly improved, and it’s much safer to use.

Click here to find out more about Pull Tabs.

-Click here to post your own fishing reports and photos.