To flip or not to flip, that is the question? Flippin’ is a technique that can be aggravating for some. Down here in the Sunshine State we practice the art of flippin’ quite a bit because we have numerous numbers of lakes with thick matted grass. When it gets extremely hot the fish will get under those mats for the shade, and it will be cooler under those mats. When it gets cold down here, the mats heat up quicker than the water, so the water higher up towards the matt will be a few degrees warmer than what’s beneath and the fish will stage under the mats. This is a time where we break out our heavy "broomstick" rods and go to work.
Before we go into the technique, let me brief you on what my recommended equipment for flippin’ is. I prefer a 7’6" heavy action flippin’ stick. This gives me enough leverage to rip fish out of heavy cover. I recommend a reel with a high line retrieval rate. This enables you to pick up line quicker which for one will let you make more flips in one day. It will also let you reel down quickly to slam the hook on a fish. I just recently switched from fluorocarbon to braided line for flippin’ and I love it. I have not had any problems with it so far. The braided line gives you a bunch more sensitivity and it enables you to flip through heavy grass with ease. I also like to use a heavy wire hook, especially when using heavy braided line. A heavy wire hook will enable you to set the hook hard, even on big fish, without worrying about bending or snapping a hook in half. As far as weights go, some anglers like to use tungsten. The advantage to tungsten is that you get just as heavy of a weight but in a smaller profile than lead because tungsten is denser than lead. I usually use a ½ ounce weight. That is my flippin’ stick set-up, those are just my recommendations, but it works well for me.
There are numerous amounts of different styles of baits out there that you can flip. You can flip jigs, you can flip crawdads, lizards, creature baits, worms, grubs, and the list could go on and on. If you’re going to be flippin’ heavy matted grass or other type of thick cover, you may want to downsize to a smaller profile bait. The smaller bait will let you punch through the cover easily, which will enable you to present your bait more effectively.
Speaking of presentation, that’s something we haven’t discussed yet. The presentation is probably the most important thing in practicing the art of flippin’. There are many ways to present your bait. You can make your flip, and you can swim or crawl your bait through the cover back to the boat. You can hop your bait off the bottom. You can shake and bounce your bait. The presentation all depends on how aggressive the fish are. If it is cold and the fish are lethargic, you’re going to want to slow down your presentation. You will want to wait a few seconds after the bait has entered the water to begin your presentation. If the fish are real aggressive they may hit the bait as soon as it hits the water. You’re going to have to experiment and find out what works best for you. Down here in Florida we flip ALL year long. It is a great technique and a great tool to have.
Remember fellows it’s called fishing for a reason. Take care, God Bless, and tight lines. Most important, take a kid fishing, the memories will last forever.