By Josh Duke
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. In this article I will share some of my tips and tricks that I have learned from flippin’ from a 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.
THE RIGHT KAYAK
The most important element in flippin’ is the stability of your kayak. It is important that you feel stable while flippin’ both standing and sitting. Yes, sitting I have hooked up with huge bass while sitting and believe me you need a kayak that has the stability to keep you centered while you fight the fish.
Perhaps the most important factor 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 in the high position are the perfect height in the high position to flip and pitch while sitting.
I think the perfect flippin’ 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 flippin’.
If you are looking for a kayak that will be suitable for flippin’ 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 in the Cruise.
Don’t be fooled by price or that if the kayak doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles. In flippin’ less is more, and the Cruise will for sure meet your needs.
THE RIGHT GEAR
Flippin’ is a bit of an oxymoron: you are fishing with heavy equipment yet you want a finesse presentation from 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 (flippin’ stick).
My baseline flippin’ rod is a 7′ 5″ Heavy G. Loomis Mossback Flipping Rod, and I never have anything on my reel less than 65-pound 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
Flippin’ 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. That is, if multiple 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 I know most people only fish 1/2-ounce-plus weights, 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 flippin’ is to make sure that you have an anchor pole on your yak. I use my YakAttack ParkNPole constantly. Where I fish an anchor pole is must-have, especially if the wind is blowing that day. You can get by, though, by wedging your kayak in the grass if you do not have a pole or if you happen to forget it that day.
Flippin’ is my favorite technique because of its high risk and high reward nature. Flippin’ requires a lot of patience, heartbreak, and persistence. But when it all comes together and that big bass erupts on the other end of the line there is nothing like it! I hope these few tips and tricks make the difference on your on your next flippin’ adventure!