Flipping year-round

Updated: August 31, 2006, 11:23 AM ET
By Tim Tucker | BASSMASTER Magazine, September/October 2006
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Although the practice of pitching has largely replaced it in some quarters, the technique of flipping remains the same ultra-precise, deadly method of catching heavy-cover bass that Californians Dee Thomas and Dave Gliebe first brought East 30 years ago.

It was a technique that revolutionized the sport.

Flipping was the most effective method ever introduced to the fishing world with the exception of a haul seine. Here was an amazingly accurate procedure that allowed the angler to quietly present a lure into the heart of where big bass lived. It was such an outstanding weapon that the Western warriors reigned supreme in much of the early and mid '70s.

"Flipping changed everything," all-time tournament king Roland Martin says. "Suddenly, we had a way to get a bait to big bass in some bad places."

The virtues of flipping have not changed.

"Flipping always pays off with bigger fish because you're fishing for individual bass instead of schoolies," Gliebe emphasizes. "Individual fish are normally big fish. They'll hold on the most unusual piece of cover in the area. They stake out their own territory."

"If you're going to be a serious fisherman, you've to got master flipping," eight-time BASS winner Shaw Grigsby insists. "It remains a major part of my fishing throughout the year."

The merits of flipping are well known. What many fishermen may not realize is that flipping is still a staple the Bassmaster pros consider a year-round technique. The productivity of this technique isn't limited to spring and summer when bass are most likely to bury up in cover.

Unless the water where you live freezes over in winter, there is an application for this close quarters, hand-to-hand combat technique throughout the year.

Here's a look at where experienced flippers concentrate their efforts season by season: