Welcome Guest - Monday, Oct. 20, 2014  Sign In | Join Free
LandBigFish.com
Fishing Tackle Marketplace
Over 80,000 Items Available
 CALL TOLL FREE 1.877.347.4718
Available Mon-Fri 10AM - 5PM EST
Home Shop By Brand Customer Service International Track Order Our Store
  Search    Search Our Buyer Guides
All Categories Other Resources Product News New Arrivals Pre Order Buyer's Guide Sale Items Tackle Videos Rebates Contact
You Are Here > Home > Fishing Articles > Reading Room

Meet The Author
Justin HoffmanJustin Hoffman is a 28-year old freelance outdoor writer and photographer, with a main specialty that is centred on freshwater fishing. Justin Hoffman's full bio and more articles

Contact Information
Email the Author

Related Articles
Rethinking Jigs For Roller Coaster Bass
Who’s Water Is It Anyway?
Yum Flash Mob Jr. Produces 19 Pounds in One Cast
Thomas Larrabee - Fishing Enthusiast
Jim's September 2002 Corner Article
Shifting Gears For Low Water
Is The Drought Getting You Down
Successful Fall Fishing on Alabama's Demopolis Lake
Just One Choice
Slowdown
Autumn Guidelines for the Tennessee River / Guntersville Lake
The Serpent Solution
Color Your Line For Stealth and Success!
The “MO-WAK” Rig
The Art of Fishing Points
Fishing Older Reservoirs
Don't Give Them no Lip
Schooling Bass
Why don't I ever win?
Tips for Handling Summer Bass

Trophy Room
Click To View
Rate this catch

Search Trophy Room
Add Your Photo

Poll Question
Fishing PollToday's Question
How may fishing rods do you own?

  1 to 3
  4 to 6
  7 to 10
  11 and up


Total Votes: 4922
View & Vote on More Polls

Sale Items
Click to View Product Details
Quantum Controller Trolling Reels

Sale - Save 11%
Limited Time $ 48.74


View More Great Deals

Flippin’ & Pitchin’ Strategies for Untapped Bass

Current Rating: 3.00 / 2,881 rates      

Flippin’ & Pitchin’ Strategies for Untapped Bass Flippin’ & Pitchin’ Strategies for Untapped Bass
By Justin Hoffman

To the novice angler, bass fishing can be a very complex, and intimidating game. Tackle store shelves are literally filled with a myriad of lures, which all have different applications, depending on the given situation. Two techniques, however, that are often under utilized, yet rate as proven big bass producers, are flippin’ and pitchin’. Although the standard methods still account for large numbers of fish, changing the tools and delivery can definitely up your quotient. By making these adjustments, and refining this art form, these two techniques can become your saviour out on the water, and make bass fishing a more enjoyable and productive pastime, and less of a guessing game.

Light Line Strategies

When most people think of flippin’ or pitchin’, the thought of heavy lines, stout tackle and thick cover comes to mind. There are times, however, when scaling down your equipment can definitely put the odds in your favour. On any given summer day, on any typical North American lake, you will find many boats pounding the shoreline using similar equipment. Most involve large flipping jigs or texas-rigged worms. Unfortunately, bass start to become conditioned to these lures and will often shy away, or develop a sudden case of lockjaw. Light line and small baits will often fool these negative fish into biting.

Just think about when you go out for dinner. You may be too full for a big dessert, but you’ll never pass up that small, after-dinner mint. Bass act the same way, and can often be coaxed into biting by scaling down your offering.

Bass hiding under cover, especially docks and moored boats, are prime candidates for light line flippin’ and pitchin’. I always use spinning rods for this type of fishing with line ranging in the 6 to ten-pound-test strength, depending on the type of cover I’m faced with and water clarity. In the event of a cold front or crystal-clear water, 6-pound-test line is all I ever use. You may break off a few more fish, but the increase in bites will be well worth the “loss”.

There are numerous baits that can be used for working cover with light-line, and it’s basically a matter of trying different ones until the fish show a definite preference. Tube baits, small lizards and craws, and even the standard twister tail all seem to produce bass on any given water system. Natural colours seem to work best, and it often pays to “match the hatch”. Brown, grey and white are my top three colours, and imitate forage most closely. One tip is to look in the water at the baitfish, or turn over some rocks to establish the sheen on the resident crayfish. By matching your presentation to mother nature, you’ll have a more life-like and convincing bait.

If you’re faced with heavy cover, you have no choice but to rig up your bait weedless. There are numerous new jigs and hooks on the market that accomplish this task, and work wonderfully for these hidden bass.

Always use the lightest possible weight that you can get away with, as it will create a much more realistic movement in the water. This point was driven home to me during a tournament on Pigeon Lake, part of the Kawartha Lakes region of Canada, during a tournament four years ago. My partner and I were faced with a severe cold front that day, and no matter what we threw at the fish, we just weren’t having any luck. Towards the end of the day, still with an empty livewell, we decided to flip some docks. We were using big 3/8 ounce flipping jigs with pork trailers and, after fishing ten docks, we still had nothing to show for our effort. Out of sheer frustration, and knowing we had nothing to lose, I picked up a spinning rod and tied on a small, white floating worm. We motored back to the first set of docks, and this time kept our distance and pitched these “scaled-down” offerings right under the wooden structures. Then we waited. Slowly my worm sank its way down, (due to the light weight of the hook), and within 20 seconds I had on our first fish of the day. My partner wasted no time in changing baits, and we managed to scrape together a decent limit of bass. Although we didn’t place in the money, we gained much-needed weight for the classic, and learnt a valuable lesson. If only we had figured out that pattern an hour earlier, who knows what the results would have been? I guess that’s why they call it fishing, and not catching.

Basically the presentation for light-line flippin’, and pitchin’, is quite simple and straightforward. Present your bait to any available cover you may encounter on the lake, be it docks, bullrushes, moored boats or fallen trees. Use a flippin’ approach if the water is stained or dirty, or if you need to get close to make an accurate presentation. If you’re facing a cold front, clear water, or especially “skittery” fish, then it’s best to use the pitchin’ method.

Whichever method you choose, make sure it is slow and accurate, and you definitely can’t go wrong.

Sight Fishing Techniques

One of the more exciting and productive patterns that I have stumbled upon in the past couple of years is sight fishing the shallows for bass. Basically this technique involves cruising the shallows, whether using an electric motor, paddles or a push pole, and using polarized glasses to spot fish.

Once spotted, a precise pitch, using a small bait, can result in a visual game with the fish that is both exciting and productive. Although this technique was born south of the border, where it’s mainly used to legally fish for bedding bass, it’s definitely a dynamite approach that can be used once bass season is under way.

Early morning periods will find bass cruising the shallows in search of food. This is the best time to make your way into shallow back bays, and actively scout for bass. Keep an eye out for any surface activity, which is usually a good indication of bass feeding on baitfish.

Once a bass has been spotted, now is the time to remain calm and keep your cool. Any sudden movements, or sound, will cause the bass to scurry into any available cover to hide. I’ve found that it’s best to keep a low profile, and with a controlled and smooth movement, pitch your bait. Always pitch the bait behind or to the side of the fish, and slowly work the lure to him. Casting directly at the fish will, nine times out of ten, spook him.

By having visual contact with the fish, you can now work the bait in order to provoke a strike. Often times the fish will charge your bait, almost out of anger, and other times, you will have to work hard to get his attention. This is why I love sight fishing so much, since now you can actually see how the fish react to different baits and techniques, which can teach you valuable information about habits, feeding patterns and predator/prey relations.

Baits for this type of fishing are quite simple, and are simply a matter of experimentation. I always use spinning gear with eight-pound-test line, and an assortment of floating worms, grubs, lizards and tubes will all do the trick. If you can, rig a number of rods up with different presentations, and see which ones the fish show a preference for.

Last summer, on a trip to the Trent River, I had a tremendous day using this technique on the resident smallmouth. I was fishing right at sunrise, and upon venturing in to the shallows, found that there were good numbers of fish feeding. I tied on a white floating worm, (which is one of my most deadly smallmouth baits), and proceeded to pitch to the cruising bass. The action was hot and heavy for about two hours, until the fish started to move off to deeper water. By this time my forearm was aching, and I had went through a whole package of plastic baits, but my smile said it all. Sight fishing for bass is definitely one productive technique.

So as you can see, by taking flippin’ and pitchin’ to the next level, you can really make your bass fishing both more enjoyable, and productive. These techniques are deadly on both smallmouth and largemouth, and with a little practice and patience, they will become a new tool in your bass arsenal. So, this summer, instead of pounding the banks and docks with your heavy gear, “lighten up”, and hook into those “untapped bass.”

Article Rating

Current Article Rating: 3.00 with 2,881 rates
Hate It Love It

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10



Post Your Reviews
Post your comments. * Required Fields. You must be logged in to post a review. Please login now or register for free today
Name:*
Email: Optional
Your Grade:
PositiveNegative
Your Review:*
Read Reviews

  Read 1 review
Grade The Review
Gus in Texas | Posted: July 31, 2003

I wan't to thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. I enjoyed and learned lot's from the article. My only negative, if you can call it that, is I would have appreciated your knowledge and more detail of the technique, itself, also. Thanks again.


PAYMENT
Payment Options
DISPATCH & DELIVERY
Delivery Options
Shipping Rates
International Customers
STORE POLICIES
Return Policy
Exchange Policy
Back Order Policy
STORE PROGRAMS
Member Rewards Program
OTHER RESOURCES
Customer Service Home
Track Your Order
Home  |  Security & Privacy  |  Join Newsletter  |  Gift Cards  |  Advertise  |  Send Feedback  |  Email This Page  |  Tools for Website Owners
Copyright 2001-2014, LandBigFish.com. All rights reserved.
Your browsers javascript and cookies must be activated to fully utilize this site.
Business Login  |   Add Business Listing  |   Upgrade Business Listing  |   Website Solutions