Flipping is a specific bass fishing technique that uses flipping jigs to present bait well in close quarters. It’s particularly effective in shallow waters with heavy cover. Using the right flipping jigs can improve your chances of catching in these kinds of conditions. However, many people are unsure about how to select the right jigs, when and how to use them, and what the best techniques are. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about flipping jigs for bass fishing.
What Are Flipping Jigs?
Flipping jigs are specifically designed to be sturdy and tough in difficult conditions. They can go into heavy wood and brush without getting damaged, so you can fish in heavy cover. A good flipping jig weighs somewhere between ⅜ and one ounce. The head should be very compact, ideally with a recessed line tie. Flipping jigs must be designed to prevent hanging up, so the weed guard tends to be firmer than most other jig types. Rattles are a great addition when flipping a jig and the best models will come with one already integrated. Chunks, creatures and traws are among the best trailers to use on a flipping jig.
Best Flipping Jigs Setup
Flipping is a technique used for catching fish in shallow waters with a lot of dense cover. The jig is designed to come through heavy wood and brush without getting damaged, but you also need to get the setup right if you are going to be able to flip properly.
You need a stout setup that gives you good control and accuracy while also providing a lot of power, so long rods are best. Anything over 7 feet works, but a 7.5 foot rod is ideal for flipping jigs because they give you a lot of control when casting and reeling in. Make sure that it’s a heavy, fast action flipping rod too. When it comes to choosing the reel, speed is crucial. When you have a fish coming towards you in shallow waters, you need to be able to reel very quickly to catch up to it. Spool your fast reel with a tough, heavy fluorocarbon or braid (20-50lb).
When choosing a flipping jig, it’s important to consider the conditions and the activity of the fish. ⅜, ½, and ¼ ounce weights should work perfectly in the majority of situations. They will get the lure down to the desired depth in shallow to medium waters. However, when working in deeper waters with lots of heavy cover, you should look at the heavier options. Consider the aggression levels of the fish too. As their numbers and activity increase, you should increase the weight of your flipping jig accordingly, as this provides more speed.
Many flipping jigs come with a chip-resistant head and this is always a good option to go for. Your jig is likely to hit hard rocks and sand along the way, so having a chip-resistant option is always good.
There are a number of head designs available but stand-up flipping jigs are often the best. They will sit on the bottom of the water nicely and they give the appearance of a crayfish to any passing bass.
Finding the right hook is also incredibly important when choosing a flipping jig. Wide-gapped hooks are best because they improve the angle of the strike, ensuring that you penetrate deep into the jaw of the bass.
If you go for a cheap hook, you will end up frustrated after a long day of missed catches. In this instance, it’s worth paying for the brand names like Mustad, Gamakatsu, or Owner. Chemically sharpened hooks are a great option too because they will stay sharp.
When it comes to the weed guard, it’s all about finding a good balance. You need something that is sturdy enough to protect the hook, but not too firm that the hook is not easily exposed. You can test this by trying to expose the hook with your thumb. It should only take a small amount of pressure and if you have to push too hard, the guard is too firm.
Bass often hear their prey before they see it, especially in thick cover. That’s why rattles are so effective on flipping jigs. Some flipping jigs come with a built-in rattle while others don’t. Both options are fine, but you should be using a rattle either way. There isn’t much difference between metal and plastic rattles, so choose what you prefer.
You need to use a trailer when fishing with flipping jigs. Plastic chunks work well and anything that has the design of a small crayfish or frog will attract plenty of hungry bass.
How To Fish Flipping Jigs
Getting your technique right is key when using flipping jigs. Follow these basic steps to get the technique down:
- Start with a short pitch into a heavily covered area with lots of activity.
- Don’t reel in immediately. Instead, take the line between the reel and the first guide and pull it out slowly. This draws the bait towards you from the water.
- Once it swings back towards the water, aim the drop towards your next target area. Follow the bait with the line in your hand and don’t free-spool the reel.
This takes a bit of practice but if you try it out in the garden beforehand, you’ll get the hang of it. Focus on your thumb control because this is the most important part. Don’t overcast because the weight of the lure will propel it forward in the water. Make sure that you pull back gently on the lure too.
When To Use Flipping Jigs
Flipping jigs are best used when you can’t accurately place your bait using a traditional cast. In most cases, they are used anywhere where bass are holding on to shallow waters with lots of cover. Spots with overhanging branches, flooded bushes, lots of reeds, grass beds, or even undercut banks are all ideal for using flipping jigs. In smaller lakes, they are useful at certain times of the year, but in deeper waters, you will find bass in shallow waters all year round.
You can use flipping jigs at all times of the year. In the winter, in lakes and reservoirs, bass will gravitate towards steep sloped structures when the water is below 48 degrees. So, cast a heavy flipping jig and trail it along the bottom.
As the weather starts to heat up towards the end of the winter, bass will move towards flat, shallow areas to spawn. Once the water reaches 55-65 degrees, focus on these flat areas with lots of brush, weeds and lily pads. After spawning, the female bass will move to deeper waters while the males stay for a few weeks to guard the eggs. You can continue to fish the same shallow areas for a short period but you may not have as much success.
The bass becomes more active again in the summer. When the temperature increases, a lot of bass will move into deeper waters but some remain in the shallows, using docks, swim platforms, lily pads, and rocky areas for cover. Flipping jigs are still an option but there will be fewer bass in the shallows. In deeper waters, heavy flipping jigs can be dragged over humps that bass gravitate towards. As fall approaches, bass will move back towards shallow waters when the temperature begins to drop.
Best Flipping Jigs
Terminator Weedless Football Jig
The Terminator Weedless Football Jig is a great all-rounder that is suited to any water depth and works well on sand, gravel, and rock bottoms. It has a great heavy duty black VMC nickel hook and the new head design keeps your hook off the bottom when dragging or flipping it. It goes through cover easily and it’s available in a lot of colors that are especially good for fall fishing. If you are new to flipping jigs and you want a reliable option that works well in most situations, this is a good one to go for.
Googan Squad Baits Lil Juicee Finesse Jig
The Googan Squad Baits Lil Juicee Finesse Jig is a lightweight jig that is smaller than other options on the market. This gives you more control and the extra finesse means that it won’t spook particularly skittish bass. It slips easily through heavy cover and thick vegetation and bounces along rocky bottoms with ease. The hook is incredibly sharp and strong too.
Reaction Tackle Tungsten Flipping Jigs
These Reaction Tackle Tungsten Flipping Jigs are a great affordable option as they come in packs of two. They’re 97% tungsten and completely lead-free, so they are ideal for fishing in areas with a lead ban, and they’re much lighter too. They are painted with high-quality, chip-resistant paint and they are available in a range of sizes and colors.
Catch Co Gamechanger Lures Trashmaster Cover/Flipping Jig
The Catch Co Gamechanger Lures Trashmaster Cover/Flipping Jig has a few unique features, like a brand new hammer hook design and a screw lock design that makes it easy to rig your trailers. It also has a wire hand-tied style collar instead of the cheap rubber band that you find on many flipping jigs, so it keeps your skirt in place much better.
Strike King Hack Attack Fluorocarbon Flipping Jig
The Strike King Hack Attack Fluorocarbon Flipping Jig features a great compact design and an incredibly strong custom Siwash hook. It is designed to be sturdy in heavy duty flipping situations with lots of dense cover. This is a better option in difficult areas where other flipping jigs have issues with snagging.
These are some of the best flipping jigs on the market right now. Invest in the right setup and practice your technique and you can drastically improve your catch in shallow waters with heavy cover.