Finesse flipping: the tough fishing medicine
By Massimo Zanetti
Massimo was a member of the "Kick'n
Bass Pro-Staff," our first international Pro.
All Rights Reserved By Author
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 theres 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 dont fitted with that heavy cover! So I Texas rigged on my 76" flipping stick a 4" Perch colored Snakebite Mega Curl, doused it with a generous shot of KickN 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 suddenly 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, that 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 offering. The key is the small lure. I have experienced that, even if the bass metabolism isnt very low, flipping finesse lures is a technique that pays big dividends. Ive 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 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 this technique. In Italy we started flipping tube jigs in the early 90s, but we werent 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 2times B.A.S.S. Megabucks champion Doug Garrett or to 1998 Bassmaster Classic Champion Denny Brauer.
The great thing Ive found about flipping small lures is that I often dont need to add to them a lot of weight 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 doesnt 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 ¼ oz. I usually trim the skirts to make them look even smaller and add a small trailer, normally a 2.5" Snakebite Frog or a 3" Snakebite Mega Craw. This way I obtain an extremely compact and short lure that I can put everywhere.
Snakebite Custom Fishing Tackle offers a great line of small plastics for finesse purposes that I use a lot for flipping and pitchin. I love the 4" Mega Curl, a versatile Zipper-style worm with a great built-in action. I usually flip this bait with a 3/16 or ¼ bullet weight. The 3" Mega Craw, that Ive 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. Plus, the great scent they put in their lure bags is made by Scientific Bass Products, the home of Kick 'N Bass.
Massimo's email address in Italy is:
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