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Flippin` Out for Largemouth Bass

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Flippin` Out for Largemouth Bass

• Credit: Karl Kalonka

Using flip tube jigs to fish for bass

This is one of the most exciting and dynamic ways to fish for bass.

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When anglers hear the phrase 'fishing for bass with tube jigs,' they envision dragging a tube jig in deep water for smallmouth bass, light line, and a medium action spinning rod.

Sounds like a boring way to fish for bass.

You may as well be dragging live bait—it’s the same concept, only with artificial bait instead of meat.

My version of fishing for bass with tube jigs involves heavy action St. Croix casting rods, 20-pound fluorocarbon lines or braid, thick, heavy gauge, wide gap hooks and the tube jig of choice is the Strike King Flip Tube. A slighter, larger profile bait than the traditional 4-inch version most anglers use when fishing for smallmouth bass.

Strike King Flip Tube

Flipping and pitching tube jigs for largemouth bass is one of the most exciting and dynamic ways to fish for bass that are positioned near heavy structure elements like submerged trees, weed beds, heavy brush, or man-made structures.

Personally, I like using flip tubes for bass because the bait is so versatile in its profile. And it's rigged onto a screw-lock hook that features a cork-like attachment at the head, which allows anglers to twist the top of the tube jig onto the hook and insert the point of the hook into the middle portion of the tube jig then, slightly pushing the thin plastic over the exposed hook point, the bait is virtually weedless and falls with a natural spiral decent that entices bites from the most dormant bass.

Gamma Torque Braid

Using a weighted twist lock hook (where the hook has a small lead core wrapped around the hook shaft) in sizes that range from 1/16 to 3/16 ounces, the hook can be tied directly to the main line and is as light as a feather. This results in less terminal tackle and a slower free-falling spiral decent through the water column that is deadly for bass. Soft biting bass are no match for this presentation.

Weighted Wide Gap Hook

With virtually no added weight to the bait except the hook, and the weight of the flip tube, any light bite or strike is signaled immediately to the angler.

This is not the case when using heavier baits or presentations in heavy cover.

This flip tube set up works best around heavy cover that has open holes in or around the structure you are fishing—like deep fallen trees, flooded brush with dark holes between the branches, thick weed beds with open spots or deep boat docks with dark shadows and dock support systems.

Making accurate pitches—or flips—into these “dangerous” locations with a weighted hook tube jig stays in the strike zone a little longer and entices bass to investigate an easy meal that fell into its hiding spot.

When your fishing heavy cover, you have to use heavy gear—it's that simple.

My choice is a St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass or Avid X 7-foot 4-inch heavy action casting rod, rigged with 20-pound Gamma Edge fluorocarbon, tied directly to the weighted hook. Simple, yet lethal.

St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass

Gamma Fluorocarbon Line

Choose a casting reel that offers a quality ball bearing system—this allows easy pitches to those small, obscure locations where bass like to hide.

Is the flip tube the answer to all of your bass fishing efforts? Of course not. It is yet another deadly tool to add to your arsenal when you're fishing public or heavy pressured lakes, where the bass have seen so many spinner baits and big bulky soft plastics that they turn a blind eye.

You can pick up some flip tubes at your favourite tackle shop, along with some weighted wide-gap hooks, and rig them onto a heavy action casting rod. Then head to the thickest, nastiest cover you can find on your favourite lakes this year and flip out for some of the best largemouth bass fishing of your life.

(All photo credits: Karl Kalonka)

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