The Birth of Pitching

Though persistent trial-and-error, he tweaked his pitching to the point where he could gently drop a 5/8-ounce jig into a teacup size opening. And, he could easily reach targets more than 40 feet away. It gave him a considerable edge over anglers who were flipping.

Before he began fishing Bassmaster tournaments, Biffle competed in draw events that attracted some of the biggest names in bass fishing. In early 1985 Biffle was paired with Rick Clunn at a tournament on Lake of the Ozarks. Clunn had already won three of his four Bassmaster Classics.

“I was excited to no end,” he said. “I didn’t even flip a coin for the boat. I just went with him.”

Clunn spent most of the day flipping to buck bushes, a strategy that normally prevented backseaters from catching anything. Whenever Biffle was presented with a target that Clunn couldn’t reach flipping, he would pitch his jig in there. It often paid off with a bite and a good bass.

“After I caught several fish, Clunn just turned around and stared at me,” he said. “I thought I’d made him mad. He told me to just keep doing what I was doing. We both had a good day.”

Later that year Clunn won a Bassmaster Invitational on Lake Okeechobee by pitching his baits into grass. While giving fishing seminars the following winter, Clunn credited Biffle for teaching him how to pitch.

“I didn’t teach him anything,” he said. “He learned just by watching me.”

Since then Biffle has won over $2 million fishing Bassmaster tournaments, including seven wins and 19 Bassmaster Classic appearances. He has accomplished, “dang near all of it pitching.”

Biffle’s flipping/pitching rod measures 7 feet, 6 inches, and bears his name. He designed it for Quantum when Quantum was one of his sponsors. Quantum no longer sponsors Biffle, nor do they make his signature flipping rod.

“I’ve got three left,” he said. “They’re the stiffest flipping rods out there. Other flipping rods have too much tip action. I can’t pitch near as well with a rod like that.”

Biffle matches the rod with a light, high-speed baitcasting reel filled with 25- to 30-pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon. A number of experiences have convinced Biffle that the zipping noise braided line makes when it rubs against grass and wood cover puts off the bass.

“We used to think you had to have a low gear reel to pull them out,” he said. “You pull them out with the rod, not the reel. You need a quick reel so you can get the bait back faster and make more pitches.”

Originally posted on Bassmaster Go to Source
Author: Mark Hicks

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