Flip-Shot for Pressured Bass
DROP SHOT HISTORY
Flipping was made popular by California’s Dee Thomas in 1975 when he won the Arkansas Invitational on Bull Shoals Lake utilizing a flipping technique derived from “tule dipping” in the Delta. The drop-shot technique was made popular by Seiji Kato. A famous lure designer and professional bass angler. He pulled out what he referred to as the “every time lucky rig” and began to catch bass. This was after they had stopped biting his jerkbait. It was during the 1998 Bassmasters tournament on Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico. Flipping the drop-shot derived from this day.
Combining the drop-shot with flipping has slowly gained ground in the bass angling world as more presentations emerge to keep the bass off guard. It’s a great way to present your bait to passive bass that remain shallow. Oftentimes these bass just won’t bite a fast-falling bait on the bottom. Flipping the drop-shot is also a great way to keep your bait above soft mud. This is where bass will cruise in search of crawfish during early spring.
DROP-SHOTTING HEAVY COVER
The drop-shot has become predominantly a deep clear water tactic but flipping the drop-shot into heavy cover in stained or muddy water can be deadly. I like to use this technique when fishing in rocks as well. The line below the bait takes the abuse as you flip to tight strike zones in the rocks. Flipping the sinker to the target and allowing the bait to fall will help keep your line abrasion-free. This allows you to ease the bait out of the strike zone and clear of sharp rocks without the pressure of the weight.
Flipping the drop-shot rig is a power finesse technique. The drop-shot flipping rig is best used when you know the bass are in shallow heavy cover. When the bite has slowed. You can rig a small finesse type worm or go with a giant creature bait depending on what the bass want that day or hour. I like a small finesse worm when fishing brush piles just so I can maneuver the bait through the tangled limbs without hanging up.
RIGGING THE DROP-SHOT
Rigging the drop-shot for flipping is a little different from rigging it for open water. This usually means a wide gap finesse hook in the nose. Flipping a drop-shot in heavy cover will require your soft plastics to be rigged weedless. I almost always go with the Texas rig extra-wide gap Gamakatsu but sometimes a wacky rigged Senko using a Falcon Lures weedless wacky hook is what the situation calls for. The wacky rig requires a little more patience working it through the cover to keep it free of hang-ups but this patience will only help when flipping the drop-shot.
A conventional drop-shot rig utilizes a special drop shot sinker. When flipping the drop-shot it is best to tie your drop-down leader to a bell sinker with a Palomar knot. Three to six inches below the bait. This secures the sinker and allows you to pull it through heavy brush without worrying about it cutting the line every time you apply a little pressure to dislodge it from the brush or free it from between two rocks. Moreover, it is much easier to free the sinker from hang-ups in shallow water.
BAITS FOR FLIPPING THE DROP-SHOT
There are many choices in soft plastics out there. Any of them will work when flipping the drop-shot. I like to use the Gary Yamamoto Senkos because of the great action in these baits. The Senko will jiggle with the slightest of twitches of the rod tip. if there is any current you can just let it sit and the current provides enough action to this bait to drive bass crazy. I use the 5-inch Yamasenko when the water is clear to stained and the 6-inch Yamasenko when the water is murky to muddy.
The six-inch Yamasenko isn’t just longer it is fatter and will move more water so the bass can zero in on it. I will also add a rattle either embedded in the plastic or just threaded on the line before the hook. Sometimes a rattle can dramatically increase reaction strikes from inactive bass by stimulating their lateral line which can generate a strike. This can be important in dirty water and heavy cover. Here, the Largemouth’s preferred sense; sight, is limited. Bass utilizes its vertical line to home in on potential prey.
FLIPPING THE DROP-SHOT TACKLE
The setup for flipping the drop-shot is essentially the same as when flipping any other rig. A seven to seven and a-half foot, heavy-action rod, will work for most conditions. However, I prefer a medium-action rod when water is clear and a lighter line is needed. Heavy braids and monofilament lines work fine when the water is muddy. However, when you start flipping the drop-shot it is usually because the bass are being picky. Either because of weather conditions or from fishing pressure. When this happens lighter monofilament and fluorocarbon lines will outperform heavy lines. It might be difficult for you to use a lighter line in heavy cover. However, there are times when it will help trigger more bites. Worrying about fighting a bass out of thick cover with light line is better than not getting a bite.
The two techniques alone may be more famous than combining the two but flipping the drop-shot is gaining popularity. It will continue gaining ground as long as the technique helps anglers land more bass, and win more tournaments. Many lakes are seeing increased pressure. This pressure creates smarter bass and the angler must come up with new techniques. In some cases maybe use some old ones. To catch these bass. Something as subtle as color change or as drastic as the old Hula Popper can trigger bites from picky bass. These bass have seen every jig and trailer zip by them in the brush. When they tire of being hooked by them it’s time to change things up. Flipping the drop-shot just might be the answer on your lake. To help you catch more pressured bass in shallow cover.
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