Flipping and Pitching the Bushes with Biffle Bug Baits
With spring rains comes rising water levels. With rising water levels comes flooded bushes that bass love to move into as the water temps rise and the spawn is on their mind. This can provide some of the most exciting bass fishing of the year. This is the best time for flipping and pitching baits like the Biffle Bug. One of my favorite ways to catch bass in the bushes is with a Gene Larew Biffle Bug. The Biffle Bug is a very versatile bait for fishing flooded bushes. Here are some ways to fish the Biffle Bug in the bushes this spring.
FLIPPING AND PITCHING THE BIFFLE BUG
One of the best and most efficient ways to fish the Biffle bug is by pitching to likely targets. When the water is high in the spring there are more bass up shallow, but there are also a lot more targets. Pitching to these targets is a great way for flipping and pitching to shallow bass and hit as many targets as possible.
During the spring bass are moving up in preparation for the spawn and they can be very aggressive. There are times when letting your bait sit a few seconds is needed to get bites, but most of the time bass that are in the bushes strike quick and aggressive. Because of this you’re able to move from target to target very quickly and still get bites. You should take advantage of this and cover as much water as possible. The number of targets available will slow you down considerably if you spend too much time at each one. Keep moving and you’ll catch more bass in the bushes. The exception to this rule is if you know a particular area has a lot of bass and a change of weather or water level has slowed things down. In this case you might want to slow way down to entice more bites during those times. You can also pinch the legs off the Biffle Bug to create a more subtle presentation when the bite does get tough.
Probably the most popular way to rig the Biffle Bug for flipping and pitching bushes is with an extra wide gap hook and bullet weight and the famous Texas rig. Another great way to rig the bug is with a heavy flipping hook. Snelling the flipping hook gives you the strongest possible rig for dragging big bass out of the bushes. Another great feature of the Gene Larew Biffle Bug is its hollow body. This allows for a glass rattle that drives bass crazy and can trigger a lot more strikes.
SWIMMING THE BIFFLE BUG
There are times when bass suspend in the bushes even in shallow water. Usually this happens when the water level is falling or they want to soak up some early season sunshine. When this happens a great way to catch them is by swimming the Biffle Bug through the bushes. The large profile and the action provided by the kicker legs can bring a big bass out of the brush to crush the Biffle Bug as it swims along. Be sure to drag the bug through the limbs hitting as many as you can during the retrieve. The bait banging around in the limbs or off the side of a tree will trigger more strikes. Swimming the Biffle Bug is as exciting as it gets when it comes to shallow water bass fishing. To see a bass come from out of nowhere to eat your bait is always fun, but make sure your heart is in good order, the strikes usually come when you least expect it and can be a bit of a surprise.
FLIPPING AND PITCHING SETUP
My favorite setup for pitching and flipping baits in shallow water is a heavy rod. I like a length of at least 7 foot preferably 7.5 foot long. The long rod helps get the bait out of the water and pitched to the next target quickly and efficiently. The heavy power of the flipping rod is to get bass, oftentimes big bass, out of those flooded bushes. It also helps you boat flip 6 and 7 pound bass, if that’s your thing. A lot of times I have boat flipped a bass only because it all happens so quickly and you have the bass coming to the boat and you need to do something with it before it does the “under the boat” nose dive. I have boat flipped some pretty big bass and never knew just how big until they were flopping on the deck. I was very glad I had a heavy and a long rod. My flipping and pitching rod that I use today is the Duckett Fishing Micro Magic ProCast Heavy Action Rod with Split Grip.
FLIPPING AND PITCHING REEL
A fast reel is needed for flipping and pitching baits and will help you pick up line and make more pitches in a day. This equals more bass in the boat and when your fishing a tournament that is important. I use a Lews Fishing SS1SHA Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel, 7.5: 1. It’s smooth and fast. I have used Lews reels for some time and the quality is excellent. A thumb release and the low profile makes the Lews reel the perfect fit for flipping and pitching all day.
BEST LINE FOR PITCHING AND FLIPPING FOR BASS
The best line for your flipping and pitching setup is heavy fluorocarbon or braid. Either will do fine but over the years I personally prefer fluorocarbon over braid. I like the slickness of the fluoro and it just seems to go through the guides so smooth and quiet. Braid is good too. I like Spiderwire Invisi-Braid when using braid. Most often I use Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon in 17 or 20 pound test. Seaguar is spendy, but worth every penny. I feel that you will use more of the cheaper fluoro when it starts to stretch and curl from hours of flipping and pitching. Seaguar will last longer and save you money over time and you will be using some of the best line on the market.
BEST FLIPPING AND PITCHING HOOKS
There are those that argue that the EWG (extra wide gap) hooks are good for flipping and pitching heavy cover. A straight shank flipping hook is my go to when I flip and pitch. I do use a light wire flipping hook when I’m flipping isolated cover or gravel, but I use the heavy cover flipping hook when flipping and pitching heavy cover like wood and bushes and of course heavy mats or grass which I don’t get to fish that often here in Kentucky. I use the VMC Heavy Duty Flippin’ Hook. Its resin closed eye creates a smooth eyelet so there is no chance it fraying your line. When the VMC Flippin’ Hook is snelled correctly the straight shank hook, I think, will increase your hook up ratio. Also the give in the EWG hook scares me when hard and fast hooksets are needed in really dense cover. When you have to horse the bass out before it breaks you off the heavy and stiff hook wins for me. The straight shank, round bend flipping hook just gives me more confidence when flipping and pitching baits to heavy cover.