Flipping and Pitching for Bass

The Punching rig:

Consists of a weight, a flipping hook, a flipping bait, a skirt (optional), and a peg (optional). Peg your weight close to your bait if you want a better feel of your bait or leave it un-pegged / or peg the weight up the line so then the bait will fall down after the weight. When rigging the punching rig you will want to skin hook your bait to keep it weedless ( don’t leave the hook tip exposed ). Use a skirt to bulk up your presentation when you feel its necessary. I use a skirt on my punching rig when the water visibility is low or when it drops below the norm.

Flipping Baits

A flipping bait is one of those baits that keeps warm weather bass fishing interesting. A flipping bait takes a general form within the soft plastics category. They usually have a long, skinny body with various types of appendages. These baits are built like this for a reason. They are designed to slip through the thickest of mats and pad batches with the least amount of friction. Summer is considered the prime season to be using a flipping bait and as long as you have the proper rod, reel, line, and hook then you can be successful with it.

to use flipping baits / Punching Rigs:

  • Mats, any type of vegetation that forms a mat on the waters surface
  • Pads
  • sub-surface grass patches. Just because the vegetation hasn’t formed a mat yet doesn’t mean you can’t flip it

to use flipping baits / Punching Rigs:

  • Consider flipping mats during high pressure systems when bass are likely to be in, and around cover
  • On hot days the bass are tucked back in cover. Mats and pads are a few prime choices for bass for shade, fresh oxygen given off by the plant, and as a place to hide to ambush prey. This is when a flipping bait meets the water in and around these types of cover

to fish flipping baits / Punching Rigs:

  • First observe the mat or pads you want to flip, if you see any holes or small open areas in the mat or pads then first target those holes. Second target the thickest part of the mat or pads because this area provides the most shade and protection for the bass. Work your way out of the cover from here. For thicker vegetation then switch to a heavier flipping weight like 1+oz, when the vegetation is not so dense then lighten up the weight to something like a 3/8, or a 1/2 oz
  • Flip out, let it sink down under the main layer of vegetation then start 
    to move your rod tip up and down (jig it), you can experiment with a pause in between the lifts, and with how many times you jig it before you pull it out of the cover
  • try flipping back to the same spot multiple times before moving on because sometimes it takes a bit of repetition for those bass to commit to the bait
  • Fish it weedless and flip it in then just let it slowly sink down on the edges of mats and pads to get those bass facing outwards waiting to strike their prey

gear to use:

  • Rod: 7’6”  8′ rod, Power: medium heavy, Action: fast
  • Reel: 7:5:1  8:1:1 gear ratio. The quicker the gear ratio the quicker you can pull in your bait to make the next flip
  • Line: 40-60 lb straight braid / 40-60 lb braid with 17-20 lb fluorocarbon leader

colors to use and when:

Use more of a natural color base like greens, browns with maybe a hint of purple or red when the water 
clarity is good. Use blacks, reds, blues, chartreuse colors when the water clarity is poor. Scents can also be added to the baits in murky conditions.

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