Give me the choice to stock only one largemouth bass bait in my box and the flipping jig wins hands-down.
I've tossed a lot of baits to bass over the last 25-plus years. Most work, some are duds, while others seem to produce greater results time and time again. We all have a favorite go-to lure for largemouth bass - for myself, it's the flipping jig.
The flipping jig is a simplistic bait. Comprised of a jig head and stout 4/0 or 5/0 hook, a living rubber skirt is attached to make up the body of the lure. A weed guard is attached to the head of the bait and rattles are an option.
Simply add a plastic trailer - be it a craw, chunk, or creature bait - and it's ready to work some underwater magic.
So what makes this bait so awesome? A few reasons come to mind. The flipping jig is a realistic looking bait when worked underwater. Whether you slowly swim it back to the boat or jig it, it mimics a crawfish or frog perfectly - which happen to make up the bulk of a bass' diet.
A flipping jig also offers the bass a large, bulky target that is relatively slow-moving in the water column. Add to the fact that it is primarily a vertical presentation - which means more time in the strike zone of a fish - and you've got a winning bait on your hands.
What to Choose
My preference is for a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce jig. Those two sizes should cover the majority of the bases. Rattles are an attractive feature, as they help call in fish when working heavy and thick cover. In terms of color, a few of my favorites are brown/black, blue/black, and black/red. Partner your jig up with a 3- or 4-inch plastic trailer - craws, chunks, and creature baits all produce well.
Where to Toss
Flipping jigs can be thrown anywhere largemouth bass lurk. Due to the weedless properties of this bait, they excel in heavy cover - weed clumps, slop, pads, and laydowns - as well as boat docks and undercut banks.
Utilizing an underhanded flipping or pitching cast, work over water in a deliberate and structured manner.
There really is no wrong way to fishing a flipping jig. Jigged slowly in place adjacent to cover is a tried-and-true tactic (bass will often strike the bait on the fall) or swimming the bait slowly back to the boat when working open water will also produce.
Keep things slow and don't be afraid to work your bait in a productive area for an extended period of time.
Stout gear is the name of the game when flipping or pitching. Choose a flipping stick and pair it up with a high-speed baitcast reel. Braided line is a necessity - choose 65-pound test.
Give the flipping jig a go this bass season. I can almost guarantee that it will become your number one go-to bait.
Photos: Justin Hoffman