Flipping in Florida’s Fertile Waters
The warming temperatures in the deep south signal the end of the spawn season, and for avid anglers on the Kissimmee Chain, it’s time to start flipping.
This long-standing technique has been the go-to method for catching trophy bags and monster bass all year round. As the types of cover and water depths change, so does the way you should approach flipping.
In this guide, we’ll explore one effective technique to locate and catch those elusive big bass.
The Power of the Outside Edge
As bass finish spawning, they often seek refuge in shallow, heavily vegetated areas for the next couple of months.
This provides them with a cool place to rest and recover while they feed on the shad spawn and panfish, such as bluegill and shellcracker. On lakes like Lake Toho, the vast expanse of vegetation can be overwhelming, but focusing on the “outside edge” is a great starting point.
This refers to the border where Kissimmee grass meets the deepest water it can grow in. Bass love to stack up along this edge, patrolling for easy meals and shade.
Target Prime Locations: Bluegill Spawning Areas
Round reed patches or “buggy whips,” as the locals call them, are the preferred spawning grounds for bluegill.
These patches can be found along the outer grass edge, making them prime locations for hungry bass.
To effectively target these areas, flip to any little grass point, reed patch, or hole that looks promising while slowly working your way along the edge.
Selecting the Perfect Bait
The best flipping baits can vary throughout the year, but a few consistent performers include the 1oz BnB Jigs Flipping Jig with a dark-colored trailer, like a Rage Tail Rage Chunk, a 3/4 oz Hawgtech tungsten with a Rage Tail Rage Craw, and a 1/2 oz Hawgtech tungsten with a CPF Lures 5.5 Stickler Pro in Junebug Blue Tail.
During a shad spawn, a small beaver-style bait, such as the Rage Tail Menace grub, can also be highly effective.
Mastering the Rate of Fall
Keeping three different sized flipping setups on deck allows you to adjust the rate of fall throughout the day, which can be crucial during post-spawn periods or when shad are spawning in the morning.
Paying attention to bait size profile and rate of fall can make a significant difference in your success.
The Importance of Proper Gear
Flipping may be a simple technique, but using the right gear is essential for handling large fish in heavy cover.
A heavy 7’6″ or longer flipping rod, a fast gear ratio reel with adequate drag power, and heavy braided line are must-haves. A recommended setup is the Dobyns Champion 766 Flip paired with an Abu Garcia Revo Rocket or SX Rocket, spooled with CPF Lures NineX 45 lb braided line.
This combination can handle a variety of baits, from a 1 oz jig to a 1/2 oz soft plastic, and allows for hours of flipping with minimal fatigue.
Embrace the Challenge for Big Rewards
While flipping heavy cover may not be the easiest or most relaxing way to fish, the thrill of battling a big bass in thick vegetation with heavy gear is well worth the effort. Mastering the post-spawn bite on the Kissimmee Chain can lead to some of the most exhilarating bass fishing experiences you’ve ever had. So, gear up, embrace the challenge, and enjoy the rewards of flipping for big bass in Florida’s fertile waters.
Tips from Capt. Erik Tilson
Capt. Erik Tilson, an experienced boat Captain, shares some additional insights for successful flipping on the Kissimmee Chain:
Stay patient: Flipping can be a time-consuming technique, but patience is key. Keep working the areas methodically, and eventually, you’ll find success.
Look for subtle changes: Sometimes, the slightest variations in vegetation can make a difference. Keep an eye out for subtle changes in the grass or reed patches, as these can be prime spots for big bass.
Stay adaptable: Conditions can change throughout the day, so be prepared to switch up your bait selection, rate of fall, or target areas accordingly.
Practice your presentation: A well-executed flip can make all the difference in enticing a strike from a big bass. Spend time perfecting your flipping technique to maximize your chances of success.
By following these tips and honing your flipping skills, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the post-spawn bite on the Kissimmee Chain and reeling in some truly impressive bass. Happy fishing!