Based on what part of the country you fish in, flippin’ might be something you do all the time or not at all. Living in Florida there are certain times of the year I only bring flipping sticks with me on the kayak. Flipping can be a somewhat of a difficult technique in and of itself, then add the element of standing from a kayak while you hang on for dear life… oh yeah, and watch out for that gator. In this article I will share some of my tips and tricks that I have learned from flippin’ from a kayak.
THE RIGHT KAYAK
The most important element in flipping is the stability of your kayak. It is important that you feel stable while flipping both while standing and sitting. I have hooked up with huge bass while sitting and you need a kayak that has the stability to keep you centered while you fight the fish. I think the perfect flipping kayak is around 12 feet long and wide enough for you to stand and feel comfortable while doing so. If your kayak is too long you lose maneuverability and this can really hurt you when you need to move laterally. There are many factors that contribute to someone feeling comfortable standing in a kayak, especially while flipping. Perhaps the most important piece is that your seat is high enough for you to do an underhand swinging motion into the grass. I fish out of Jackson Kayak products and their seats have been the perfect height in the high position to flip and pitch while sitting. If you are looking for a kayak that will be suitable for flipping I think the Coosa HD is the best option out there. It is extremely stable and maneuverable and is an easy platform to stand in. If you want something more budget-friendly I would look closely at the Cruise Angler 12. I have been using a Cruise for the past few months and have been very impressed with its fishability. Though it is not as stable, I have had no issues fighting fish while standing. Don’t be fooled at the price or that it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles. In flipping more is less, and the Cruise will for sure meet your needs.
THE RIGHT GEAR
Flipping is a bit of an oxymoron: you are fishing with heavy equipment yet you want a finesse presentation in your bait and entrance into the water. You want a rod that is STOUT and sensitive. Don’t bring a knife (a spinning rod) to a gun fight (flipping stick). My baseline flipping rod is a 7’5 Heavy G. Loomis Mossback Flipping Rod, and I never have anything on less than 65lb braid. Other key equipment includes a good hook (I use a 3/0 Gamakatsu), tungsten weights in multiple sizes, and peg stoppers. It is also important to have a wide variety of creature baits in different colors on hand. And if the bite gets tough I will scale it down even more and flip a senko or trick worm.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Flipping can be daunting. You pull up to a section of grass and you know big fish are there, you just don’t know where to begin. I always start where I see grass intersecting. If multiples types of grass are present I always start where they are next to each other or where they overlap. For instance, let’s say you pull up to a section of reeds and you see some spots with Kissimmee grass blended in. Go straight to those areas. When bass are relating only to grass a break up or mixture can create a better ambush point for them, so it’s important to start with what looks different. In terms of tungsten weight selection I always have a rod with a 3/8 ounce weight rigged on. The reason for this is because I know most people only fish 1/2 ounce + sizes, and I like the slower presentation that a 3/8 provides. There are for sure times I have heavy weights on but if i can get away with it I always use a smaller weight. The last tip to be successful is to make sure that you have an anchor pole on your yak. I use my YakAttack ParkNPole constantly. For where I fish it’s a must-have, especially if the wind is blowing that day. You can get by though by lodging yourself in the grass if you do not have a pole or if you happen to forget it that day.
Flipping is my favorite technique because of its high risk and high reward results. It requires a lot of patience, heartbreak, and persistence. But when it all comes together, there is nothing like it! I hope these few tips and tricks make the difference on your on your next flippin’ adventure!