UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Flipping the Mats

Flipping the Mats

A great pattern this time of year is flipping for bass that are feeding on bluegills in grass mats along shorelines. The bluegills are there because they’re eating some kind of tiny bugs that are at the top of the mats. This is a pattern you have to commit to all day; I put every rod and reel I’ve got in the rod box and just have two flipping outfits on the deck. You start at point A and just keep flipping until you get on fish. I don’t know why it is, but bass tend to school or congregate under the grass. When you catch one, you can be sure that there are others in the immediate area.

 

Where to fish

The first thing is to find the bluegills. Listen for them popping those insects. When it’s really good, they make so much popping that it’s almost deafening. That doesn’t guarantee that there are any bass around, but usually there are.

If you can find a ditch cutting through a grass mat, or a depression, or any kind of migration route in and out of the grass, that’s a good place to start. Also, if you’re fishing main-channel grass, you need to fish where the current is washing through that grass. But otherwise, you just fish along at a good clip until you get on some fish, then slow down and work the area thoroughly.

 

Tackling up

By late summer the grass is pretty thick, so I use a 1-ounce Reins tungsten sinker for flipping. If that grass isn’t so thick, I might go to a ¾-ounce weight, but I have gone to a 2-ounce sinker at times when the grass was really crisscrossed in there.

My hook is a Trokar TK 130, 4/0 or 5/0, depending on the size of the bait, and I tie it on with a snell knot. This causes the hook to cam around into the fish’s mouth when you set the hook. Also, I put a sinker stopper about 1/16th of an inch up above the sinker so it stays with the hook. That way, when the bait is falling through the grass, it won’t get separated from the weight and will go all the way down.

My favorite baits are a Zoom Z-Hog, Z-Craw and Speed Craw, and I go for colors that look like bluegills. In order of preference, that’s California 420, green pumpkin and sprayed grass. About 90 percent of the time, a fish will hit the bait just as it’s falling through the mat. If I don’t get bit, I might yo-yo it up and down a time or two, bring it up to the top and give it a shake. Otherwise, I just keep flipping and moving along at a steady pace.

My flipping rig is a Max 3D 795 Powell (7 feet, 9 inches) and 65-pound-test braid on a Lew’s Lite baitcaster. Usually, when you get on fish, they’re good ones and you need something stout enough to haul them out of there.

Tags: flipping  punching  summer  wesley-strader  pro-tips-weekly 

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

How to Fish Offshore Grass in Florida

In recent years, fishing a lipless bait, a spinnerbait or a vibrating jig in offshore grass in Florida has lit up the leaderboard in many tournaments. Tyler Woolcott, a second-year pro from Port Orange, Fla., has plenty of experience tracking the bass in offshore grass throughout the seasons, and you might be able to learn a thing or two from him. READ MORE »

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Cash in on the Florida Prespawn

Growing up on Lake Okeechobee, Jared McMillan loves to flip for big fish when the opportunity presents itself, but he’ll be the first to tell you that mid-November can be one of the best times to be on the water. READ MORE »

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

When FLW pro Alex Davis isn’t hunting trophy bucks in the fall, he spends a lot of days fishing for big bass that are binging on shad in the reservoirs of north Alabama. In particular, fall is a killer time to fish jerkbaits with high-speed, aggressive tactics in clear-water reservoirs for spotted bass – for both size and numbers. READ MORE »

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

While there’s almost no bad time of year to find a dock pattern, early fall is a prime season for it. The catch is that as shad transition throughout a reservoir in the fall, some bass go on the move with them. So dialing in a key stretch of docks or a dock pattern can at times be challenging, particularly on lakes with a lot of docks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Patterns from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta featured all the typical Delta tactics. Punching, vibrating jigs, finesse and even a frog made an appearance in the top 10. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

Top 10 Baits from the Cal Delta

The Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta had a lot of punching as usual, but it was far from the only thing going. Due to the lush grass and windy and touch conditions, vibrating jigs and finesse played a big role as well. READ MORE »

Dyer Weighs 20+ Again

Dyer Weighs 20+ Again

Backing up his monster 27-pound, 3-ounce bag from day one, Blake Dyer added 20-2 to for a 47-5 total to pad his lead in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Power-Pole on the California Delta. In second, Austin Wilson also managed to break the 20-pound barrier again and moved up from fifth place with a 21-14 bag and a total of 42 pounds. READ MORE »

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

As we’ve seen pretty much every year in the FLW Cup, which is usually held in the South, going way up creeks to find slightly cooler water is a productive pattern in the heat of late summer. The same strategy can pay off on tidal fisheries such as the Potomac River and James River as well, albeit with some tweaks for the situation. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

The top 10 fished a little of everything, but mostly stuck to areas within a few miles of the 147 bridge. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

In terms of fish caught, tournament leader Kris Wilson had a tougher morning today than on day one. But a behemoth bass that will probably push the 8-pound mark has him in prime position to maintain his lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Montgomery, Texas, pro Kris Wilson caught a big-time stringer of more than 26 pounds to take the day-one lead at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury at Sam Rayburn. Wilson says he fished some of the flooded cover that’s lining Rayburn’s shorelines, but the bulk of his catch came from a series of offshore areas where bass are starting to pile up. The rest of the top five fished a mix of patterns, but their results indicate that the offshore pattern could wind up being the most consistent as the tournament goes on.  READ MORE »

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

One of the biggest aftermarket purchases a kayak angler can make is a fish finder. At the start of the kayak-fishing boom, many laughed at the idea of putting a graph on a kayak. Now, it seems almost standard practice, especially for the avid kayak angler. READ MORE »

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes

Allen Boyd’s spinnerbait tactics are featured in the Spring 2019 issue of FLW Bass Fishing magazine. Here’s his advice on choosing and using swim jigs in flooded woody cover. READ MORE »

How Buddy Rigs a Hollow Swimbait

How Buddy Rigs a Hollow Swimbait

Gross has been fishing hollow-body swimbaits for a long time, and for most of that time, he’s also cut the belly of those swimbaits to allow for better hook penetration. It’s a simple concept a lot of anglers either don’t think about or wouldn’t consider if they did think about it, due to durability concerns. READ MORE »

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

Reaction Innovations got the name right when it created the Trixie Shark. The soft-plastic topwater bait has a literal shark-shaped body with side “wings” and two flapping rear legs similar to what you find on a traditional topwater toad, yet with enough differences to make the bait unique. READ MORE »

Registration Open for 2019 Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp

Registration Open for 2019 Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp

BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in partnership with Costa Sunglasses, announced today the second annual Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp, scheduled for July 24-27 on the Murray State University campus, with daily activities on the shores of Kentucky Lake – the South’s Great Lake. The all-inclusive three-day camp is designed for serious high... READ MORE »

Catch Your Personal Best from a Kayak

Catch Your Personal Best from a Kayak

Eric Jackson, owner and co-founder of Jackson Kayak and three-year FLW Tour pro, has contributed a great deal to the booming kayak market, not to mention the popularity of the sport itself. Gone are the days of kayak manufacturers catering to a niche market of anglers who don’t own a bass boat. READ MORE »