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Flipping, Pitching and Skipping Presentation Basics

When we are fishing real brushy areas, or when the fish are quite inactive,we try to put our worms, Gitzits, or jigs-and-pigs softly within inches of each target. We do this with a casting technique called flipping.

For flipping we use 15 to 25 pound test line, a seven-foot, heavy action rod, and we let out as much line as we can handle without cranking.
We hold the rod in one hand, several feet of slack line in the other hand, then we gently pendulum the lure to the target, letting out line as it goes through the air.
Done right the bait never gets more than 12 inches above the water and it enters the water with a gentle kiss. As the lure sinks we pull off line as necessary to keep the lure falling straight down.
When the lure hits the bottom we let it rest for a second or two, then we twitch it, and a second rest follows the twitch. After the second rest, we start hopping the lure back to the boat. We like to flip into the middle of a tree, into bushes, brush piles and the like. Because we are using heavy line and heavy equipment we will flip a lure into cover that we would not dream of casting into.
And when we get a bite, we set the hook with a vengeance and we try to get the bass out of thatcover before he knows what is going on. With other fishing techniques we frequently play a fish before landing it. When flipping we play with the fish only after we have it in the boat.

Pitching is an intermediate presentation technique that is between flipping and casting. Pitching is an underhand casting technique that begins with the rod in one hand, the lure in the other and the reel in free-spin.
The pitch begins with the rod tip pointed at the target. We then swing the tip upward with a smooth underhand motion, releasing the lure from the other hand. Line spins off the reel as the lure flies olong a low trajectory to the target. Thumb pressure controls the line speed as it comes off the reel.
Pitching accuracy is height and range. When pitching, getting the arch for height right is easy. Thumb pressure controls the range and prevents backlashes. The secret to pitching is deft control of the reel with thumb pressure. Flipping and pitching are finesse, accuracy bait casting techniques that are much more accurate than casting. But accuracy is not the only advantage obtained from these presentation techniques.
You can get a lure into spots by flipping or pitching that would be otherwise impossible to reach. And it is precisely these kinds of spots that hold fish. The drawback of either technique is limited range. One can flip a lure ten yards, pitch it twenty yards, and over-hand cast it thirty or forty yards.

Since flipping and pitching are short-range presentation techniques, it goes without saying that one must be quiet and stealthy when flipping or pitching. Skipping is a presentation method that gets lures underneath boat docks or under cables that are used to anchor boat docks. Skipping is a descriptive name for the technique. It is accomplished by skipping the lure off the water one to three skips before it sinks. Ninety percent of fishermen who skip lures use spinning gear because it is simpler. But, is not easy to skip a lure with spinning gear, and it is next to impossible with casting gear. For this reason your authors gave up on skipping with casting gear several years ago.

We skip four lures: jigs-and-pigs, worms, Gitzits, and Slugo's. The cast begins with a sharp, side-arm cast that speeds the lure along a flat trajectory that is just above the water. Done correctly the lure lands at the edge of the boat dock then skips several feet underneath the dock before beginning its fall to the bottom.

As soon as the lure begins to sink we give slack and watch the line. The bite will come during the fall. If flipping, pitching and skipping are not techniques you have mastered, it is time these shortcoming were overcome. Why? Because there are many times when these are the only presentation techniques that will get lures into productive water. And without the lure being in productive water you are wasting your time.

Flipping and pitching are easy to learn. Most fishermen learn these two techniques in their backyards throwing at paper plates. One can practice skipping in the backyard, but only to a limited extent. Skipping is a technique that is mastered on the water.

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