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Flipping and Pitching for Summertime Bass

When bass are hunkered down in the real thick cover the best way to catch them is to go in after them! Heavy rods, thick line, strong reels and big baits are ticket when you are flipping and pitching! So often in the summer time when it’s hot out, the bass will make the thickest cover in the lake there home. And you can effectively put the fish in the boat with the right approach. In this article I will explain my favorite techniques for fishing this style. It really has worked for me!

No matter where you fish in the country, there is a good bet that there are fish somewhere real shallow and you can catch them by flipping and pitching. From early spring to the late fall there is always a percentage of fish that will be in the shallow water. There are several reasons why the fish will get in the real skinny water. The first being that they like to be around all the food and forage that the shallow water has to offer. Largemouth especially, love to live in the shallow water! They feel safe when they can get around any kind of cover. They are a predator and predators need a place to hide. To be an affective killer they need to blend into their surroundings and hide in or around something that has open water very close to it. If the prey feels threatened, they will not go anywhere near there killers! When have you ever watched a zebra walk right up to a lion? The small bait fish know that bass are the beasts of the water and not to go anywhere near them. So since bass have to eat to survive, they have to hide in and around whatever cover is available. This will enable them to ambush whatever prey makes the mistake of swimming by!

This is where flipping and pitching comes in to play. It is the best way to effectively fish in and around the real thick cover. Boat docks, lay downs, thick vegetation, fallen trees or anything that makes an available ambush point will be a great places to focus on.

Choosing the right bait for flipping and pitching the cover that is in front of your boat is very critical. I will have two baits rigged up and ready to go when I’m doing battle in the shallow water!

The first bait is a V&M Pacemaker flipping jig and the second a V&M Split Tailed beaver. These two baits will work around whatever type of cover your fishing.

I will rig the Split Tailed Beaver with a Bass Pro Shops Tungsten flipping weight, pegged on the line with a Bass Pro Shops Bobber Stopper so my weight and bait will fall around the cover at the same time. This way my bait and weight are not separated. This is very important when you are flipping and pitching around shallow cover. I will choose the weight of these baits depending on the thickness of cover that I’m fishing. I use anywhere from 1/4 oz. to 1-1/2 oz. baits.

Having a long, heavy flipping stick is key when you are all up in the thick stuff. The last thing you want is a fishing rod that is to light and not strong enough to handle getting the fish out of the thick cover. My personal preferences is a Nik Autrey Signature Series RainShadow REVELATION 7’6″ Heavy action rod. It is the best rod I have found for using this technique.

The reel I use is a Lews Tournament Pro 7.1:1 reel. It is very light weight and strong and it really makes a difference when you are flipping and pitching all day long. Your line is very important; it connects you to the fish. I use 20-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon. It is very strong and sensitive and has no stretch. I can set the hook hard and get the fish out of the thick cover without ever second guessing my line.

With this set up I never have to worry about my equipment breaking or failing. It gives me a peace of mind on the water so all I have to worry about is finding the fish. Flipping and pitching shallow cover is a fun and exciting way to fish. There is nothing more exciting than getting up close and personal to some of the biggest fish in the lake!

I hope that you can apply these tips to your favorite body of water and catch some of the biggest fish that live there!

Nik Autrey
"I grew up fishing with my grandpa in Port Angeles, Washington and by the age of 8 I knew making a career in this industry was what I wanted to do wit...