Flipping is a big key when fishing for bass

By John Phillips
October 23, 2001

- Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo., the first bass fisherman to ever earn $1 million in a year while tournament bass fishing, always has enjoyed flipping for bass.

Although Brauer has won numerous other tournaments using various strategies, when I asked Brauer recently what made him one of the best fishermen in America, he smiled his sheepish grin and said, "Now, John, I don't know that I'm one of the best fishermen in the country. But one of the things that I am doing that the other anglers may not be is I really am paying attention when I'm fishing.

"When my lure enters the water, I'm mentally trying to see what the lure is doing under the water. I attempt to determine if the bass has taken the lure on the fall, after I've jigged it a couple of times, or, if the bass is taking the bait when it's laying on the bottom. By knowing what the lure is doing when the bass takes it, I can learn what technique produces the most strikes and how long to leave my bait in a particular spot.

"For instance, if I notice that the bass are taking the baits on the fall but not taking the baits when they hit the bottom, then I know I need to fish the baits only on the fall. When the bait reaches the bottom, I need to pick up the bait quickly and fish it again. Or, if the bass doesn't hit the bait on the fall but waits to take the bait until I jig the bait a time or two up off the bottom, then I realize I need to fish more patiently and expect the bite to come after the lure gets to the bottom."

To successfully flip and pitch, Brauer also must determine the position of the bass in the cover. When Brauer catches a bass, he tries to decide whether the bass is holding on the shady or the sunny side of a bush, in the middle of the bush, on the windy side of the bush or on the downwind side of the bush. He also wants to know on what kind of cover the bass are holding - on rocky points, in pockets, on a log that doesn't have any bark, on a log with plenty of bark, in the limbs or on the stump.

"I try and find a pattern inside of a pattern," Brauer says. "When I determine the pattern within a pattern, then I can let my partner make two or three flips or pitches. If he doesn't catch a bass, I can flip to that same piece of cover my partner has just fished. However, I'll know where the bass are holding and catch the bass my partner has been unable to take.

"Once I fished behind an angler in a boat who hadn't had a bite all day. But I took 10 bass myself in that same water that the other angler already had fished. The guy looked at me and said, 'You're the luckiest guy I've ever seen.'

"He didn't realize that I knew where the fish were and he didn't, because I had paid attention to where my jig was in the cover and what it was doing in the cover. My fishing buddy wasn't paying attention."

To catch more bass this weekend, learn to visualize what your lure is doing under the water, and where the fish are positioned in the cover. Then try to duplicate that same type of cover, and make the same presentation with your lure as before to take bass.

Don't just go fishing. Think, and observe when you're fishing for bass. Then, like Brauer, you can catch more bass and have more fun.







1996-2001 The Weelin Company., All Rights Reserved.