Capt. Ethan Hamrick
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Best Flipping and Pitching Techniques to Catch More Bass

Flipping and pitching are some of the most popular bass fishing techniques. It’s a tactic used in the southern United States very often, especially in Florida, where there is a lot of dense cover and vegetation.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can catch more bass when flipping and pitching and grow your knowledge of the technique.

What is Flipping and Pitching?

Flipping and pitching are very similar techniques. Flipping involves making short, precise, underhanded “flips” with your bait into an area of thick cover or vegetation. In other words, it’s using your rod to swing a bait to an area of close proximity. When anglers flip, they are usually targeting areas no more than twenty feet from their boat or where they are standing on the bank.

Pitching is simply making an underhanded cast to a target that’s a little further away. When making a pitch, anglers should allow the bait to rest in their hand and point the rod at their intended target. Then, they should use their rod to make an underhanded “pitch” to their target. When pitching, anglers are typically targeting areas anywhere from twenty to forty feet from the boat.

Both of these techniques are awesome for targeting shallow water cover and vegetation, such as matted grass, cattails, reeds, lily pads, laydown trees, submerged bushes, and boat docks. These tactics can allow anglers to reach areas they can’t get to when using other lures.

When anglers flip and pitch, they usually allow the bait to fall to the bottom and hop it once or twice. If a fish doesn’t bite pretty quickly, they retrieve the lure to make another cast.

It’s a technique that anglers can use to cover a lot of water with and allows them to present their lure to a large number of fish.

Best Flipping/Pitching Baits

Anglers typically use soft-plastic lures when flipping and pitching for bass. There are literally hundreds of soft-plastic baits to choose from. The majority of them work great and it just comes down to each angler’s preference. Personally, I prefer using soft-plastic creature baits and worms when flipping and pitching.

Creature baits are intended to appear to bass as baitfish or crawfish and are an excellent choice when utilizing this technique. And worms provide a very subtle presentation that most bass simply can’t resist.

Each of these baits are apply to difference flipping and pitching scenarios and all catch tons of bass.

Strike King Rage Tail Craw (Black Blue)

I prefer a bait like the Rage Craw or D-Bomb when I’m fishing very thick vegetation such as hyacinths or matted hydrilla. Both are creature style baits with legs that flap when brought through the water column. I usually start with one of these two baits because they are so reliable and tend to catch fish everywhere.

If I’m fishing a little bit thinner vegetation, I prefer flipping and pitching with a Speed worm. This bait slides through vegetation with ease and works great around any kind of cover. Whether your fishing grass and cattails, or laydown trees and bushes, the speed worm is a great option.

I will often turn to the Brush hog if I’m in need of a big fish. For example, if I’m fishing a tournament and need a big bass to boost my bag weight, I will rig up a brush hog. This bait has a larger, bulkier profile than any of the other baits I’ve mentioned and tends to draw the attention of larger fish.

Finally, if fish are being finicky and anglers are having trouble getting them to bite, they should turn to the tried-and-true senko. This bait is probably the most popular soft plastic lure ever and catches fish just about anywhere. Fish seem to bite a senko even on the toughest days. It’s extremely subtle presentation is non-intrusive to wary bass and presents a very easy meal for fish. Its definitely one of the best flipping and pitching baits an angler can choose.

Anytime, I’m flipping and pitching, I Texas rig my soft plastics.

I usually stick with two main color pattens with all my soft-plastic baits. If fishing murky or stained water, with visibility of 2 feet or less, I prefer darker colors, like black and blue. However, in clear water, with visibility better than 2 feet, I like more natural colors, such as green pumpkin or watermelon green.

Best Flipping/Pitching Hooks and Weights

Anytime, I’m flipping and pitching, I Texas rig my soft plastics. I normally always use a 3/0-5/0 flipping hook. Trokar and Mustad both make an excellent flipping hook. I use a tungsten sinker above my hook and vary the size of my weight based on which bait I’m using and what kind of cover I’m fishing. If I’m fishing very thick, matted vegetation, a 1-2-ounce sinker is necessary to allow the bait to penetrate through.

If fishing thinner grass, cattails, reeds, or laydown trees, a 3/16-½ ounce sinker will do the trick. Angler’s should pay attention to how fast their bait is falling. Sometimes bass want to bait to fall quickly into the strike zone, while other times, they want a slower presentation. 

Most of the time, I will peg my sinker with a bobber stop, so that it won’t slide up and down the line on each cast. This keeps me from getting hung up as often as I would without pegging the weight.

Best Rod, Reel, and Line for Flipping/Pitching 

It’s important to have the right tackle when flipping and pitching for bass. Anglers need a strong rod, a fast reel, and the proper line so they can power fish out of heavy cover. I prefer a 7’6” heavy, fast action baitcasting rod paired to a reel with a 7:3:1 gear ratio.

I use both braided and fluorocarbon line when flipping and pitching, depending on the situation. If fishing thick vegetation, I always use braided line. This is because braid has zero stretch and cuts through dense vegetation without a problem. I prefer 50-65-pound braided line, which may seem to heavy, but is necessary when targeting fish in super thick cover.

My favorite braided line:

On the other hand, I prefer using fluorocarbon line if fishing around some type of wood cover or if fishing clear water. Fluorocarbon has some stretch and gives a little more than braid. Using fluorocarbon around wood keeps the bait from getting hung nearly as much as it does with braided line. Plus, when fishing clear water, fluorocarbon is better because bass can’t see it as well and will be more apt to strike the lure. I prefer 20-25 pound fluorocarbon in most situations when flipping and pitching. The clearer the water, the lighter I’ll go.

My favorite flurocarbine line:

3 Additional Flipping/Pitching Tips

When flipping and pitching its important to keep a few things in mind, including:

1. Try to make your bait’s entry into the water as quiet as possible. When fishing in close proximity to where the fish are, anglers should be as quiet and still as possible, not causing too much commotion with their bait.

2. Avoid casting your shadow directly onto the area when your flipping and pitching. Wary bass are often spooked by an angler’s shadow. Position your boat in a way that your shadow is not casting onto your target.

3. Practice flipping and pitching at home by setting up targets in your yard and making shorts underhanded casts toward them. Practice makes perfect, and the repetition of the underhanded motion will help anglers, especially those who are new to the technique, master the art of flipping and pitching faster.

Back to You

When done correctly and effectively, flipping and pitching can be a very fun and exciting way to catch bass and a tactic known for catching giants.

Try utilizing this technique the next time you hit the water and see if it helps you put more fish in the boat. You might just land the fish of a lifetime!

Happy fishing and keep your hooks wet!


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