Weedbed BassBy Dave Lorier - July 9, 2015
The key to this two part technique is to mark a waypoint where you catch a fish (or even get a strike) on whatever search bait you are using. Maybe make a few more casts, but then pick up your flipping stick and dissect the area where you initially caught your fish. Bass in and on the edge of weeds are often schooled up and numerous largemouth can be pulled from a relatively small area in a very short period of time. Flip by making short precision casts, letting the bait free-spool to the bottom. The majority of bites come on this initial drop but sometimes shaking the bait and bouncing it a few times can draw in nearby bass. Anytime a bite is detected hookset immediately as finicky fish may feel the heavy weight it takes to get through the weeds. Keeping your rod tip low makes it easier to make a fast and strong hookset that quickly get bass headed out of heavy cover. Once the fish is in the boat, flip back as quickly as possible to keep the school ignited!
Over the years I have been continually experimenting with different flipping baits. The Grass Stalker Jig is a great option when matched with a craw style trailer. The classic jig and pig combo with an Uncle Josh Pork Craw always catches fish but sometimes trailers with more action get more bites. Kalin's Scrubs with their two paddle style "pinchers" flap wildly on the drop. I also really like to flip Texas rigged plastics like a craws, beavers, or 3.5 inch Kalin's Tubes (my favorite is dirty bluegill, a "double dipped" tube with a green pumpkin shell and blue core). Weed thickness and what the fish are eating determines what bait is tied on my rod. Speed of the drop is also important to consider and I have had success flipping baits ranging from ½ to 2 ounces (weed thickness also plays heavily in weight selection). When fishing with a partner we always start with one person flipping Texas rigged plastics while the other pitches various jig combos until we dial in what the fish want on that particular day.
Flipping is by far my favorite way to catch largemouth but, as I said, finding the fish can be difficult. Using a search bait has greatly sped up the process of locating schools enabling me to catch more fish in the style I prefer. Give this one-two punch strategy a shot this summer and flip more bass in the boat!