Ultimate Bass

Flick Shake a Bass Catching System

The Flick Shake a bass catching system, has proven to be a necessary resource if you want to be competitive on the bass fishing tournament circuits. Many anglers first thought of the Flick Shake as a finesse tactic that was primarily used on finicky bass that were not in a feeding or aggressive mood; while this is true, mixing the different size worms with various weighted flick shake heads you can create faster or slower falls and present different size options that are beyond the scope of finesse.

While I had heard of the Flick Shake system and read many things about it, finesse fishing is not my go to style of fishing, and I never gave the Flick Shake system much thought. Through another endeavor, I had the pleasure of speaking with David Swendseid, a product Specialist for Jackall Lures. After talking with David about the Flick Shake and hearing his excitement and enthusiasm, I had to know more. David went on to explain several features that were specifically designed into the bait. Everything about the Flick Shake, from the Flick Shake jig head design to the curve in the tail of the worm, is designed to produce specific vibrations that appeal to all senses of a bass.

Flick Shake a Bass Catching System

Flick Shake a Bass Catching System

The Flick Shake is a straight worm with a slight curve in its tail end. The Flick Shake jig head is a ball head with a single wire weed guard. The basic rigging is to rig the worm sideways on the hook through the worm’s egg sack so that both ends hang freely. The egg sack is very similar to a natural worm and is closer to the head of the bait; this is to set up the action of the bait.

I hit my local lake with a few flick shake worms and heads in a variety of sizes. My first “Wow” moment was when I first put the bait in the water next to the boat. We all do this, drop a bait into the water to see the action and verify the color selection against the actual water color. Immediately the action of this system went to work. As you pull the bait along in the water, it folds into a U shape with both ends of the worm doing their own thing. As one end is vibrating in a tight rhythm, the other end is seemingly doing the complete opposite with wider more unpredictable movements. This was probably the worst thing I could have seen when I first put the bait in the water. All that action had to be put to use. I proceeded to fish banks, docks, brush piles, rocks, you name it; I covered it. I was fishing this new found tool like a spinnerbait or crank bait and loving every retrieve. However, I couldn’t draw a strike. If I were told I could never fish any other bait I would be happy because the action of the Flick Shake is incredible. However, the bass weren’t biting it. I must be doing something wrong because David said… Well David said a lot of things. One of the first things David said was to let the bait perform for you.

What did David mean by “Let the bait perform for you”? I started playing with this system more, using different sized heads to generate different falls and that’s when it hit me; it’s the fall. I was working the bait way to fast. After seeing the action as I pulled it through the water, I was so excited by it that I continued to duplicate that horizontal fast moving action. While I believe there will be times for this presentation, a fast horizontal one, it’s the vertical or falling presentation that really shines.

As this bait falls, it creates the same amazing action that I was witnessing as I pulled it alongside the boat. Casting to any cover and letting the bait do its magic started producing strikes at an almost predictable rate. Letting the bait perform for you!

Here in the south, we have a lot of lakes with boat docks. The Flick Shake system skips very well; it’s the easiest off the shelf product I’ve used for skipping docks. Skipping the baits up under boat docks and letting it settle to the bottom has become a sure bet for catching bass. There is something about the bait hitting the surface two or three times and then starting it’s flurry of vibrations during decent that drives bass crazy. I know that as the bait skips across the surface it catches their eye, but once it starts to fall and the vibration goes to work, rarely will this bait hit the bottom if there is a bass in the area. This skipping technique is a far cry from the definition of a finesse technique. I can cover many docks in a short period of time, knowing full well that if the bait hits the bottom after a good skip across the surface, there isn’t a feeding bass there, and I can move to the next casting angle or dock.

Shaking the Flick Shake on the bottom creates tremendous action without moving the bait. This statement may not immediately make sense but follow me here. If you keep just a slight slack in your line and lightly shake the tip of your rod, the bait does wild things in the water. As the center of the bait is lifted slightly the ends appear as if they are pulled down, then as the center falls the bait goes straight and then the ends appear as if they are pulled the opposite direction. You have to think about this in minute amounts of measurement. We’re talking about fantastic vibration and only moving the bait 1/16 of an inch. If you shake your rod tip creating these movements, the ends of the bait start a vibrating frenzy. Each end of the bait is going in its own directions because of the offset counter weight from an offset center point pivot. The action you’re trying to create with your rod is very similar to what western style anglers call “doodling”. This equates to shaking a small straight tail worm in one place without moving it forward, a technique that is difficult to master because the bait is rigged through the nose on a jig head. The Flick Shake, being rigged in the center of the worm, creates the drag necessary to prevent the bait from moving forward, allowing you to shake it back and forth in the same spot repeatedly.

Ron Fogelson has been using the Flick Shake system for quite some time. He likes to use the system with larger baits, and heavier weights to generate fast falls alongside standing timber or through brush piles. Ron tells me not to be afraid to pitch this rig right in the middle of a bush pile, with some care it won’t hang up. He continued, “Lift the bait to the edge of a limb in the brush pile, and let it fall again. Do that two or three times and hang on. If you don’t get a bite, a quick pop of the rod tip and the flick shake weight will rotate right over the limb, and you can let it fall again”. I’ve had great success with this system in all kinds of timber.

Whether you fish highly pressured lakes, or are looking for a new way to catch difficult bass, give the Flick Shake system a try. It’s very effective around docks, timber, and simply casting to drop offs. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to take your time and don’t over work the bait; the smallest movements of the rod create tremendous action in the bait. Remember to let the bait work for you.

Get the Net it’s a Hawg
Mike Cork
Ultimate Bass



Leave a Reply