[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_custom_heading text="PUNCHING IT!!" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" google_fonts="font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][vc_custom_heading text="FLIPPING HEAVY COVER" font_container="tag:h3|text_align:center" google_fonts="font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]

I am far from an expert on any fishing topic, particularly when it comes to flipping heavy cover. I have only just recently acquired a rod and reel, for this purpose, and the appropriate terminal tackle. My total "flipping heavy cover" experience totals about 8hrs, so I am not qualified to teach you about this topic. I would rather share with you what I have learnt over the last 2 weeks and hopefully you can get something valuable out of it.

It started at basswarehouse a few weeks ago when Bryan Leppan introduced me to the flipping bait that started it all: the sweet beaver. After seeing his excitement and watching a few videos I rigged up a new setup and was ready to go. Since then I have had 2 fishing sessions at Inanda dam and caught numerous fish over a kilo with the biggest being 2,3kg. I have also seen 50lb Braid break twice and had some tugs which could only be from large and very powerful bass. The strange part is that most of these fish were biting midday in blazing heat, when nothing else was working. So whats the secret? If there was a book called bass fishing for dummies (there probably is), this should be in the first chapter! With the right gear, anyone can do it!

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A lot of people find flipping very daunting, as it seems to be something that's reserved for those super skilled pros like "Kevin Van Dam". But for me its much more simple: flipping is simply using the weight and swing of the lure to propel your lure into "hard to reach" places. I use a very simple technique to do this, which simply involves swinging the lure (using the rod) and releasing the line when the lure has the right speed, height and direction to propel it towards the targeted opening. I fish in a kick boat, so I have the advantage of being able to fish right up against cover and only having to flip 2 meters. Within a few tries you will be able to flip a suitable distance and with a few hours practice you will be flipping 6 meters into those small gaps, with minimal splash. 

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I'm talking about the thickest cover you've ever seen, the type that you wouldn't even want your mother or father in law to get stuck in; bunches of weed, grass, branches (thorns can be a problem), reeds etc. This means heavy tackle: heavy cover hook, 3/8 ounce tungsten bullets, rubber stoppers (to pin your weight), 50lb braid, a solid casting reel with a strong drag and a heavy action rod with a fast or extra fast tip (I use a 7.2ft for ease of handling in a kickboat, but apparently thats too short). The lures I've used are the sweet beaver and the Xcite Bait's Raptor Tail Craw. Both of them are extremely effective and in both outings its been only minutes between bites.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_custom_heading text="Xcite Baits Raptor Tail Craw" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" google_fonts="font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][vc_single_image image="39" alignment="center" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_custom_heading text="Punching Weight" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" google_fonts="font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][vc_single_image image="38" alignment="center" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_custom_heading text="THE RETRIEVE:" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left" google_fonts="font_family:Abril%20Fatface%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]

This is the part where most fishing techniques get more complicated; not the case here. Lock down your drag, once you have flipped your bait into the cover just let it slide down to the bottom. Watch your line; If you feel that familiar tap or even sniff a fish on the other end, strike hard! If your lure stops on something that's not a fish try getting it deeper by lifting your rod and lowering it, while letting out more line. Make sure to keep in contact with the lure. If nothing takes try moving the lure up and down a few more times in that particular spot, to try and trigger the territorial nature of a nearby bass. When you are done your lure should slide right out, ready to be flipped into the next spot, maybe 1 or 2 meters away. Be warned though, often fish will take your bait and it will feel like you are stuck on something. The slightest movement of line or vibration will tell you whether its a fish or a snag.

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This is the fun part: once you have a fish on you have to get its head towards you and pull! This means you can't afford to give the fish any leeway. If it turns it head and starts swimming, then unfortunately 50lb braid is not strong enough: kiss that fish goodbye! Pull hard from the word go, if all goes as planned you should be able to pull the fish through an opening and over the cover. If you are snagged then just hold the fish there, keeping the pressure on until the fish stops thrashing. Once the fish is tired, either you or preferably your fishing partner should dig it out. But never try and pull the line with your hand, no matter how close you are to the fish. Grab the fish by the lip or use lip grips.

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I hope this encourages you to go out and invade a Lunker's privacy. And if you are already doing it, then you know what I'm talking about and you will know the adrenaline rush that comes from hooking a wild Largie in what seems like an impossible situation.

Article written by Jonni Wills

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