The weather scenario
was the typical post-frontal one: bluebird skies and locked-jaw largemouths.
After three hours spent deliberately flipping conventional lures in the
thickest cover and getting only one bite on a 1/2 oz. jig & pig, I
thought that thereís to be a way to unlock those jaws and stimulate the
fish into biting. I figured in my mind that a finesse approach should have
been a thing to try but the light line tackle donít fitted with that heavy
cover! So I Texas rigged on my 7í6" flipping stick a 4" Perch
colored Snakebite Mega Curl, doused it with a generous shot of KickíN
Bass, and started putting that small piece of plastic into the thick stuff.
Right on the third presentation, into a patch of nymph mixed with a log, my
monofilament suddendly twitched. I quickly reeled-in the slack and set the
hook: a 2-pounder thrashed over the nymphs and was pulled in the boat in few
seconds. After catching another couple of fish about the same size in the
next five minutes I decided to experiment and switch to a small 3/16 oz.
skirted jig trailed by a 2.5 inch Snakebite Frog. After 20 minutes of
fishing without getting a single bite I started thinking to go back to the
Mega Curl, when the line started slowly moving towards the boat. The
electronic scale, this time stopped almost at 4 pounds. In the remaining two
hours of that fishing trip, me and my fishing buddy caught another couple of
dozens of fat and vigorous largemouths.
Small slow-moving lures and
stout tackle often represent a good cure to locked-jaw fish. You offer a
subtle-looking bait right to the nose of those bass hiding into the thickest
places. The fish hardly refuse this kind of offer. The key is the small
lure. I have experienced that, even if the bass metabolism isnít very low,
flipping finesse lures is a technique that pays big dividends. Iíve had
2nd big bass of the third day on the 1994 International Tournament flipping
a 4" western worm into reeds. In one of last year Italian Championship
tournaments, flipping a 3/16 oz. black jig, I culled almost 4 limits of bass
while the other contestants struggled to catch a couple of fish! And I can
tell you a lot of other times when flipping small baits has produced for me
since 1993 when I started to fish that technique. In Italy we started
flipping tube jigs in the early 90s, but we werenít aware to have invented
something new, we only Texas rigged every soft-plastic lure and flip it in
the thickest cover. Were we wrong? Just ask to former 2Ėtimes B.A.S.S.
Megabucks champion Doug Garrett or to 1998 Bassmasters Classic Champion
The great thing Iíve found
about flipping small lures is that I donít need to add a lot of weight to
them to puncture heavy cover. A 4" straight worm, goes almost
everywhere even if you put 1/16 oz. bullet weight in front of it. And it is
an offering that bass doesnít seen too often into thick vegetation.
Finesse lures are compact and seem to not intimidate the fish in any way.
They in fact represent an easy meal to the eyes of a bass.
I categorize into finesse
lures the skirted jigs up to ľ oz. I usually trim the skirts to make them
look even more small and add a small trailer, normally a 2.5" Snakebite
Frog or a 3" soft-plastic craw like the Snakebite Mega Craw. This way I
obtain an extremely compact and short lure that I can put everywhere.
Snakebite offers a great line of small plastics for finesse purposes that I use a lot for flipping and pitchiní. I love the 4" Mega Curl, a versatile Zipper-type worm with a great built-in action. I usually flip this bait with a 3/16 or ľ bullet weight. The 3" Mega Craw, that Iíve just mentioned above as jig trailer, is a deadly lure when Texas rigged and flipped! The same goes on with the other soft-plastics Snakebite hand-pours, especially with the 4" Finesse Paddle. Just click here if you want to know more about Snakebite Custom Fishing Tackle.
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