When you send that Smithwick Devil’s Horse into action, it’s almost always with a simple overhead cast. Nothing wrong there, but complementing this traditional technique, the well-rounded angler needs to master a quartet of other presentation styles.

Sidearm: Ideal for tight shots, such as sending that Arbogast Hula Popper beneath an overhanging cypress limb, sidearm casts also form the basis for dock skipping (Tip: Spooling your reel about 3/4 full and tightening the spool tension a little more than normal will help prevent backlash when skipping.)

Pitch: Palming and lightly gripping a flipping bait essentially loads the rod tip like a back cast. Releasing the bait as you swing the rod tip up and forward directs this energy toward the cover.

Flip: With the reel engaged and about 8 feet of line off the rod tip, pulling the line laterally between the reel and the first guide draws the bait back somewhat like a bow and arrow. Rod tip motion swings the bait toward its target and releasing the line you pulled to the side allows the bait to fall into the desired spot.

The underhand swinging presentation resembles pitching, but flipping is a fixed-distance technique reserved for more specific placements and often repeated to drops to the same spot.

Shoot: With a spinning rod’s bail open and a light jig or compact Texas-rigged bait dangling about 6 inches above the reel, pinch the line with the index finger of your rod hand. As you hold the rod parallel to the water and line up with a spot under a dock or limb, pull the bait back to load the rod tip and release for a straight-line deliver. (Keep fingers clear of the hook point.)

Mostly a crappie thing, shooting also provides a viable alternative for those who’ve not yet mastered the more challenging skipping technique.