Ron Shearer shares his new casting technique in, "New Skippin' Technique May Revolutionize Worm Fishing," published in the Oct-Nov 1982 issue of Pro Bass Magazine.

In today’s post, Ron Shearer Skips to Wins, we’re taking a look back at a casting technique that has become ubiquitous with bass fishing over the last 30 or so years.  The technique of skipping a bait under docks, limbs and any other overhanging cover isn’t something that only the pros do today, it’s a technique that’s mastered by every single bass angler serious about their trade. Just search the internet for “skipping a jig” and volumes of articles and YouTube videos will flood your screen.

This wasn’t the case some 40 years ago as few anglers, even amongst the pro ranks, utilized the casting method – or even knew about it.  You don’t get many things past your non-boaters or the press, especially when you win a major event like the 1982 Bassmaster Eastern Florida Invitational.

In the early ‘80s, though, the technique gained the national spotlight after a tour win by an angler out of Kentucky by the name of Ron Shearer.  If you’re under the age of 40, you probably have no idea who Ron Shearer is.  But if you were paying any attention to bass fishing in the early 1980s, it’s a name you can’t forget.

Shearer and his casting technique, which he rightfully coined skipping, burst on the scene in 1982 after he won the 1982 Florida Invitational on Lake Okeechobee.  He not only won the event, he smashed the competition by setting the 7-bass limit weight record for one day with 36-08, eventually weighing in 57-00 for the three-day event, beating Tommy Martin by four pounds.

After that event, Shearer’s technique, which he’d been utilizing heavily on the new Operation Bass trail operated by Mike Whitaker, had been outed.

The first write-up I was able to find on Shearer’s new technique was in the May-June 1980 issue of CAST magazine.  Shearer had used the technique to win the Baggett Invitational.  The tournament report in this issue didn’t say much about the technique, other than Shearer had used it to beat his competition by 2 pounds in the one-day event.  In the following issue, July-August 1980, there was a two-page spread on the technique.

The next article I was able to find was published two years later in 1982.  Pro Bass magazine, which eventually became Bassin’ Magazine, did a short piece on Shearer and his technique.  Titled, “New Skippin’ Technique May Revolutionize Worm Fishing,” wasn’t far off in that prediction.

Ron Shearer demonstrates the skip cast in the July-August 1980 issue of CAST Magazine.

What I found interesting is there was no mention of the casting technique in the Bassmaster Tournament report for the Florida Eastern Invitational in the May-June 1982 issue, although in the Pro Bass article, Art Lander specifically states that Shearer used the technique fishing a Johnson Silver Minnow.

Shearer claims to have developed the casting technique around the age of 8 years old while trying to cast under willows on the Kentucky River.  That places the date he came up with the technique around 1962.

I’m sure there were other anglers, and especially trick casters, who’d utilized the casting technique prior to Shearer’s wins but no one can lay claim to actually putting it on the map. That belongs solely to Shearer, and you can read about it in Bassmaster Magazine and other magazines published at the time.

Below are a couple examples of those articles, published by CAST Magazine and Pro Bass in the early 1980s.  An interesting fact put out in the Pro Bass article is that Shearer utilized a 7-foot spinning rod for his presentation.  A rod length only utilized by the flippers of the day.  Today, most anglers are predominantly using casting gear to skip their baits under overhanging cover.

What was new over 40 years ago has become a vital casting technique that all anglers who want to be competitive must master.  We hope you like this look back on the history of skipping and the angler who brought it to the forefront.



Gallery:  May-June and August-September Issues of CAST Magazine and the Oct-Nov 1982 issue of Pro Bass Magazine featuring Ron Shearer’s Skipping Technique.