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Flipping Guntersville Lake's Grass Beds
I have had a few folks ask me for more information on this particular way of fishing the miles of grass lines found on this awesome lake. In the next 4 - 5 months I will be flipping many of these miles of grass and will have some very good days, as I have over the last 20 years. Only during the few years that we had little grass, was the flipping bite off. I do flip way too much. I am addicted to it and am willing to admit my problem publicly. However, I will not even try to curb this addiction, I will feed it and make it worse. LOL
Lets talk about lures first. Some say jig, some say worm. I say, do both and let the fish toss you some hints. Most of the time I fish a worm because I can cover more water faster and with less fatigue. If I find some fish in an area I may switch to a jig. I do not believe the jig catches bigger fish it might just catch a few less small fish. I have caught hundreds of bass over 5 pounds flipping worms and fell they do a great job. But I do try both and so should you.
Worms: Texas rigged worms with 3/4oz weight. Any weight you choose must be fixed to the line or the worm, so it will pull the worm into the grass and down to the bottom. Even pegging the weight with a tooth pick works well as I did for the last 19 years. If the weight slips on the line it will leave the worm and just take down some line, resulting in a wasted flip. I use 6 - 10" worms in colors such as June bug, watermelon or similar colors.
Jigs: Using a 3/4-1oz jig works very well and "might" even trigger bigger fish. The only disadvantage of the jig is it will wear you out faster if you intend to flip for days on end as I do. I like black, pumpkin, and maybe some chartreuse mixed in.
Flipping vs. Pitching? This is a simple question. I flip to find productive areas and pitch to catch the fish. You can cover water much faster by flipping but you can land more fish pitching. (see bottom of page)
Hydrilla vs. Milfoil:
Hydrilla grows deeper so more line will be used to sink your offerings. Hydrilla is also much thicker and it maybe difficult to get the baits to drop through the initial surface mat. You might have to allow the bait to land harder to punch through. Hydrilla can become so thick and you will have to drop the bait several time before finding a place where it will go through. It is really cool when a bass blows up on the bait as you try to get it to go through. Most of the time the bass will still be waiting for it to sink. Hydrilla also tends to contain the green slim algae. It is a pain trying to flip in this crap because every time you bring the bait out it is wearing a green wig. Want two tricks to deal with this? First, look real close at the grass line. Most of the time the current or wind will keep small areas clean of the slimy mess. Plus, there are always a few hydrilla clumps with little slim in them for what ever the reason. The best trick I have learned for dealing with this slim is use a worm and do not clean off the bait between each flip. The grass will clean it off for you on the next flip, most of the time.
Milfoil on the other hand, for flipping or pitching, is just too easy. No matter how thick it may be your bait drops through 99 percent of the time. Milfoil is not found very often so you might just have to look for it or deal with the hydrilla and slim. Both grasses hold bass well and need to be flipped. Milfoil is also more common up river.
Where do you try flipping?
Any grass you want to. It is best for the grass to be matted to provide the bass with shade and a current break. It is also best if you can find grass close to deep water. Most of the time if you had to cut through scattered grass with your trolling motor to get to the mat, you are in the wrong place. If I can look on my graph and see 8 feet or more and still flip into a mat I know I am getting close. Naturally the best flipping is along the river channel but do not forget the grass in the pockets or along the bank. The river channel grass gets pressured a lot and can be very dependent on there being some current.
Flipping is when you allow your bait to sink to the bottom and engage your reel. Then you pull the line with you other hand as you raise the rod tip. This will bring the bait out of the water so it can be dropped in again by releasing the line you had in the other hand as you drop the rod tip. Extra care is used to help ensure the right amount of line so you can get a proper hook set. To much slack or not enough = no fish.
Pitching is when you do the same as above only you allow the line to come off of your reel as the bait sinks. You then wind up the line to repeat on the next drop. This is better for landing fish as you can more readily retrieve in line to set the hook and land the fish. In both techniques be sure to wiggle the baits a few times while it on the bottom.
Rods and line: You need big! Heavy line and a heavy action 7 foot or longer rod are a must have. Lighter line will break and a lighter rod will not set the hook well. Not to mention bring out a 3 pound bass with 8 pounds of grass.
Flipping is a simple, affective and very exciting way to fish. It can be tiring and time consuming. As you try these techniques you will learn to love or hate this pattern. There will be no in between. I also love flipping because it seems to work well during the hottest times of the day. When the sun is bright and hot, this can be the best time to try flipping. Oh and I did not want to mention the little white bugs in your face while you flip. LOL, yep love it or hat it you will.
- Good Luck To ALL,
And Thanks For Reading!
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