In a nutshell, largemouth bass are simply ambush feeders, lurking in the shadows while waiting for an opportunity to pounce on an unsuspecting baitfish or tasty morsel.
To ambush their prey, bass will often snuggle up next to or even bury themselves in dark, foreboding places containing flooded timber, low light conditions and dense vegetation.
Especially during the hot, dog days of summertime.
While those places may be great hiding spots for a bass hoping to snag an easy aquatic “Happy Meal,” they’re usually not the easiest places for an angler to fish effectively.
Unless you flip out, that is.
By using a long graphite flipping rod and a heavy-duty baitcasting reel, a Texas angler can underhandedly “flip” (or pitch) a jig-and-pig combination, a tube jig or a Texas-rigged soft plastic bait up nice and cozy to a largemouth bass hiding.
As noted above, the technique can be particularly effective even during the broiling heat of summer that often grips Texas during the month of August.
How can you flip for a heat-wave summertime bass?
By listening to the advice of two great bass angling pros, one being Flint, Texas angler Kelly Jordon.
KJ, a master at flipping heavy cover, dense vegetation and the shadowy recesses that lurk under a surface mat of green stuff, says that the weight of your rig is often a huge key.
And that’s true whether he opts to use a Texas-rigged plastic worm or a jig on a favored big bass water like his home lake, Lake Fork.
“The weight depends on the depth,” Jordon once told me. “I’ll use anywhere from a ½ ounce to ¾ ounce to even a one ounce jig (depending on the circumstances).”
Those circumstances can include the type of lake being fished, the depth of water being fished, and even the mood of the bass on that particular day.
“(A lot of times, it) depends on what the fish want,” added Jordon. “Sometimes the fish want a slow fall and sometimes they want a fast fall.
“Sometimes they want a ¼ ounce (jig) in 30-feet of water and it takes an hour to fall and hit the bottom, but that’s what they want and (then) they’ll hit it.
Another angler to pay close attention to on this subject is bass catching legend Larry Nixon, the 1983 Bassmaster Classic champ from Bee Branch, Ark.
Known affectionately to many as “The General,” Nixon — who will fish in next week’s FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup championship event at the age 66 — certainly has mastered the art of flipping for bass over his long and storied career, one that has seen him capture 18 combined wins in B.A.S.S. and FLW Tour competition, not to mention two B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles.
If the rate of fall is one key, then another is exactly where you flip and/or pitch a soft plastic lure or a jig.
“(I like using) jigs and worms when you can start looking into the water and see your ambush point with your eye,” Nixon once told me during an interview a few years back. “That’s where you’re pitching jigs and worms into holes, onto little points, next to objects, and just about any place you can visualize a bass sitting there. You can drop your bait right in front of them, they get excited, and you get a reaction strike.”
Even on a broiling hot day in August, a day when a bass angler’s best ploy might be to flip out a little bit.
With a slow, pinpoint late summer presentation that can often produce a big smile thanks to an even bigger bass, no matter how much sweat is pouring down an angler’s brow.