As temperatures rise, the flipping bite now dominates as we start off the month of June.
Flipping is a technique where you target a specific piece of cover and accurately place your bait into a very small area, the “strike zone.” It’s very important to put your bait into small holes in the grass and pads without making a commotion. Flipping can be very productive, and it doesn’t mean you have to have “gorilla” equipment; especially right now because there’s a lot of vegetation, but the thick, heavy, matted stuff like we see on lake Okeechobee, doesn’t exist yet. Target scattered grass clumps mixed in with lily pads. You’ll still need a long stiff rod for best results. This is also important when you do get a strike, you can turn the fish and bring him to the top quickly. While you can use monofilament, 50 lb. braided line or 25 lb. fluorocarbon is better to quickly turn fish and bring them to the top with little line stretch. You’ll want a reel that has a retrieve rate of at least 6:1-1., but too fast of a reel will sacrifice power. I prefer the Shimano Curado 7:1-1.
Weight size can vary from 3/4oz to 1-1/8oz depending on how fast you want the bait to fall; you’ll often have to use your thumb to slow down the fall rate when using heavier weights. Tungsten is a much harder weight with greater density and is much smaller than comparable size lead. They are, however, expensive and can cost as much as $10.00 dollars each. Hooks should be small but stout enough not to bend or straighten. Bait size and color matters, but it’s more important how your bait enters the water and slides through cover. Bait fish are still fairly small right now so I like to use a smaller creature or beaver tail type bait. Dark colors include black and blue, dark green or junebug. Natural shades of color include watermelon/red and light greens.
Now that you’re rigged up to flip, I suggest you practice this technique at home. You’ll need some sort of box or step to practice from to replicate the height of a bass boat. An old metal dog dish bowl is a great target for starters. Make sure it’s less than 8” around and set your target 8’- to 10’ away. If you’re right handed, hold the bait with your left hand and use your right arm as a pendulum. In one motion, let the bait fall with your left hand while keeping tension and swing the rod in the direction of the bowl. “Thumb” the line to adjust travel rate and fall. Remember, the softer the splash upon entry, the better the results. Once you master the 8” target find a smaller bowl. Eventually work your way to a coffee cup at 15’ away and you’re ready to go!
For more info visit www.fishtallahassee.com.