FLIPPING AND PITCHING
By Ken Poor
Flipping and pitching are two casting techniques that are used when bass are inactive or holding close to cover and you need to put your lure right in front of their nose. Both techniques are great for bass that are in hard to reach places such as the back of piers or overhanging brush. Line watching is an important part of both pitching and flipping. If your line appears to move sideways or fall unnaturally – set the hook and hang on.
Flipping is a good choice for murky water and heavy cover such as dense weed beds or brush. Pitching is a better choice for clear water and light cover such as piers, logs or small isolated patches of weeds.
When you use these techniques, you should be very close to the bass you are trying to catch so it is very important to approach the target area carefully and quietly or you will spook the fish.
Make sure the sun is in front of you so shadows are not created over the area you are casting to. Limit the use of your electric trolling motor when you are close to the target area. Instead position your boat so that the wind will carry you close to the spot you want to work.
Most anglers associate a larger profile jig-n-pig set-up with flipping and pitching. On lakes that get a lot of fishing pressure or when the bite is slow for some other reason small plastic worms and a variety of small plastic creatures is often the better choice.
The flip-cast is used for short accurate lure presentation to visible targets and heavy cover at maximum distance of 20-foot. Use a heavy-action 6 ½ to 7 ½-foot bait casting rod and reel. Spool your reel with a good quality, high visibility, abrasion resistant line such as 20-pound test monofilament line or a suitable braided line. Weedless bass jigs dressed with pork, Texas rigged plastic worms or plastic creatures and spinnerbaits are all good choices for this technique.
To make the cast let out about 15 feet of line with the reel facing down. Using your free hand, hold the line between the reel and the first rod guide and straighten your arm to the side. This should leave about 8 feet of line hanging past the front rod tip.
Raise the rod and let the lure swing back close to your body. Lower the rod top and let the lure swing forward and away from you. Using only your wrist, turn the rod 90-degrees so that the reel is pointing to the inside of the arm holding the line. While your line passes the rod tip, keep raising the rod as you feed line with your free hand.
When the lure is close to the target, drop the rod tip, stop feeding line and let your lure enter the water softly and on target. Watch your line and get ready to set the hook as soon as your lure hits the water.
Pitching (Pitch Cast)
The pitch cast is good for targets up to 35-feet away with a very soft lure entry. Either bait casting or spinning gear can be used with this technique. If you use baitcasting gear back off on the reel tension and use your thumb to prevent backlashes.
Select a medium to medium-heavy action rod at least 7-feet long and spool your reel with a high visibility 14-pound test line or a suitable braided line. Tie on a single hook lure such as a bass jig tipped with a pork frog, Texas rigged plastic worm or plastic crayfish.
Face the target and let out enough line so that the lure hangs even with the reel. Hold the lure in your free hand at waist level. Lower the rod tip toward the water and put tension on the line. In one quick smooth motion swing the rod tip upward and forward toward the target and let go of the lure. When you make this type of cast use only your wrist – not your arm. Just as the lure moves past the rod tip, release the line and keep raising the rod tip.
The lure should travel in a tight ark just above the surface of the water. Stopping the lure just before it enters the water will help you get a soft entry. Watch your line and get ready to set the hook as soon as your lure hits the water.