Punchin’, Flippin’, Pitchin’ & Skippin'
Sounds like a rodeo, but these techniques help catch big bass where they hide.
Bass live around heavy, shallow cover such as docks, brush, reeds and grass, which poses one important problem: Not only do you need to present a lure into it, but you must also get the fish out once hooked.
How? Flipping, pitching, skipping and punching are methods where heavy rods and line with Texas-rigged plastics or weedless jigs rule. If you are going to fish for bass in Texas, learn to master a few of these techniques.
Punchin’ is getting a heavy bait to “punch” through matted grass to where the bass live. Peg a heavy weight and pair it with a strong hook; add the plastic bait and use an underhand pitch into the heavy cover or nearby open holes. The weight choice is determined by the thickness of the mat. In extra-thick cover, cast the weight and bait into the air 20 to 25 feet high so it has enough momentum to penetrate the canopy when it drops down. (Pro tip: This is a thick-weeds, big-fish technique.)
Flippin’ is where you don’t cast but instead use one hand to pull line from the reel (without letting go) and then place the lure into a good-looking spot. Feed the line in your hand out by moving it toward the reel. Use a long rod to reach into the cover. Works well in low-visibility water.
Skippin’ is an underhand casting motion. Keep the lure low and let it skip across the surface to go under docks or overhanging cover with a motion much like skipping a rock. Beginners can use a spinning rod. Put 20-pound braid on the reel and use a short leader of 15- to 25-pound fluorocarbon line. A wacky-rigged Senko is a good bait for starters. More experienced anglers use baitcasting reels. The lure possibilities are endless as long as you can make it skip.
Pitchin’ is making pendulum casts into the cover. The lure is presented farther away than in the flipping technique. Works best in clear water so you can fish away from the boat and still hit your target. This is a highly effective technique for fishing shallow cover. Flippin’ and pitchin’ are terms often used interchangeably, but they are not the same technique.
Courtesy manufacturer. Lure images: Randy Brudnicki | TPWD
» Like this story? If you enjoy reading articles like this, subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.