(dramatic music) - [Narrator] Welcome to this episode of The Cabela's Fisherman's Handbook On today's show, we offer fishing tips on various techniques, including flipping, pitching, and crankbaits All of the content in this show is designed to help you catch more fish Let's get out on the water with Wade and talk about one of his favorite ways to fish - Flipping and pitching, they're basically short line applications that anglers use in and around a variety of cover It's been related to hand-to-hand combat, full on fight, two heavyweights going at it However you wanna look at it, it is a battle between you and the fish, and the battle can be as simple as trying to figure out how to get a bite, and then what to do with it afterwards, and then how to recreate that all over And for me, flipping and pitching, it's an addiction It's been an obsession my entire life when it comes to bass fishing It's, without question, one of my top three favorite ways to go fishing for largemouth bass Oh, he got strong at the boat He came in pretty easy until he got to the boat When you start looking at the techniques of flipping and pitching, and there are differences in them, but for the sake of this little piece we're doing right here, we're just gonna kinda lump them together We're gonna talk about those presentations where you're making an underhand cast, letting the bait pendulum out in your hand into a variety of cover, and the gear needed to be successful in those types of situations And there are a lot of different factors that relate to that type of fishing to help you determine the bait, the color of bait, the size of the weight, little additions you may add to it such as punching skirts or no punching skirts, baits that are big, baits that are small, the appendages, the actions of each bait Then, you can take it down into the size of line, the type of line, fluorocarbon, monofilament, braided line, the actual pound test of each one of them, as well as the rod and reel combos themselves All of those will have a direct result in your success or failures Now granted, you could use anything we're gonna talk about in any fishing situation, and you're gonna be successful to a certain extent But when when you match the right pieces of gear altogether and that bite's going on, you can have some of the best bass fishing you're ever gonna experience There he is That's a good one (splashing) (Wade mumbles) (fish splashing) Come here, buddy Boy, these fish are fat, healthy, look good I've only got two different samples of soft plastics right here They would work for a flipping and pitching type of scenario (laughs) There's probably a thousand different ones out there that somebody could hook onto their hook and find success with, and what I've tried to do is really, a lot of times in today's world, is simplify some of my bait presentations You know, you look at this bait right here from Big Bite Baits, it's a bait that's gonna be designed It's very compact in nature, yet it still has some great appendages on there, as I call them, to give it action once it goes down into the strike zone But it's still compact enough when you're trying to pick apart heavy cover that it's gonna flip in there So many times, you'll see certain baits with too many loose pieces on them As you're flipping into that cover, with a light weight especially, it will hang on the cover, and deflect it, and knock it off line where it's not gonna be able to go right into the intended location where you feel the fish is That's why a lot of these style baits are so very successful in that type of a flipping and pitching situation because you can punch it right in there, everything's nice and compact, but you've still got some great action, swimming action, especially when the bait is coming into the water and out of the water, and it's got a very good profile, much like a lot of your bluegill or crawfish that are gonna be up in those areas So, when it comes to picking your profiles, comes to picking your colors and styles of bait, don't overthink it Keep it very simple Pick some of the most basic colors like your neon black red when you're in those muddy water situations, green pumpkins, watermelon reds, your Okeechobee craw, some of that when you're in more clear water or lightly stained water, and you're gonna find success Good one Get out of the tree (fish splashing) (grunts) Finky little guy He hit it swimming it out of that bush Come here (mumbles) got you coming that way Little fat fish there When it comes to choosing line for this type of a flipping and pitching application, there are a lot of different choices that are gonna be available out there to you A couple things that I like to keep in mind in that "keep it simple" motto when I go fishing is, let's just say I've got semi-clear water with a little bit of a stain to it, 20-pound fluorocarbon That's probably gonna be my go-to Next scenario up, maybe it's got a little more stain to it, it's a little dirtier, or the cover is a little bit heavier, I may go to 25 or 30-pound fluorocarbon or maybe even go to a 25, 30-pound class type braid in that type of situation The next scenario up, I'm going all out with the biggest gear and guns that I can get out of my Sunline I'm gonna get up in the 60-pound plus braided line, and I'm gonna go with a big heavy weight, trying to get that reaction strike, and that's gonna be in those situations where I'm dropping it into hydrilla, coontail, deep timber, or I'm dealing with really off-color water where I think I can get away with it No matter which way you go, no matter what your choices are, spend some time experimenting If the bite turns off one way or the other, maybe they're a little line sensitive or a little line shy, and you're not getting the action you're looking at, so downsize If you're losing some fish, you can't winch them out of that big cover, gun it up a little bit Go big and don't give up Keep flipping and pitching in there, set the hook hard, and winch those big guys out - Now, that fish was definitely in that thicker patch Look how dark he is on his back Pretty fish, though (upbeat music) (fish splashing) - [Narrator] When we come back, we've got more tips on catching fish when flipping and pitching And later in the show, the action continues as Wade shares insight on crankbait fishing and how you can use these baits to catch more fish The Fisherman's Handbook is brought to you in part by Bass Pro shops, your adventure starts here Garmin, fight your fish, not your fish finder And by Yamaha Marine, reliability starts here - I wish I could say there was just one thing that you needed to go grab or buy that would make you a better flipper or pitcher Number one, spent time on the water Number two, try to get equipment that is designed for that That could be your rod type scenario I've got the Cabela's XML rod series here that is designed for flipping It's a great all-around flipping rod You know, it's gonna allow you good sensitivity, feel, all the way down to the quality of the blanks where you're gonna find success and be able to catch fish in a lot of different situations But I'll be the first to tell you, there are times where I need a heavier action rod even than what this one is For instance, if I'm dropping one ounce and a half, two-ounce jigs in heavy hydrilla, basically I want something with more backbone than this rod's even gonna give me because that bite is such a reaction bite and I've gotta winch them out of that grass Not to say I can't do it with this rod because I can, but a lot of times in that type of situation there, I need a very specialized rod Same situation applies to choosing the bait, and the hooks, and the style while you're trying to figure that out What might work in flipping in that one to three foot of water like what Clark Wendlandt and I did on Lake Somerville a couple years back, the fish were up in the shallow cover, lots of little beanie bushes, little lightweight bushes that had just recently got flooded, we didn't need the heaviest gear in that type of situation Fluorocarbon line like a 20-pound Sunline, a quarter ounce or maybe a little heavier weight with just a nice soft plastic packaged up together flipping in that cover produced all the bites that we needed (mumbles) better bass there (fish splashing) Golly (fish splashing) Get up here - (mumbles) look at the belly on that guy (Wade laughs) - When you get on a good flipping bite, that's just so hard to not enjoy, isn't it? - I love it because it's like, it's hands-on combat is kinda the way I see it is You know, you've gotta make good pitches and a lot of them It's not one cast every once in a while It's actively making a good presentation to get a bite - Another situation to look at is a very similar scenario, except in totally different conditions, high, high winds, winds blowing 25 miles an hour I found myself up on Lake Fairfield struggling to get a lot of bites Knew the fish would be shallow, knew they were up there getting ready to spawn or already spawning, and what I finally had to do was take a compact scenario but use a big, big weight, number one, so that I could make a presentation With the high winds, a light weight, I couldn't feel it falling, my bait was getting hung up in the top of the vegetation before it even get into the strike zone, so I upsized I went to that one ounce weight or three-quarter ounce weight, took a bait like a YoMama from Big Bite Baits, it has a great kicking action, and put a skirt on there, punching skirt, flipped it in there all as one compact unit If I didn't get a bite right away on the first drop, I'd kinda hop it and swim it back out of there, and begin to tear the fish up by using that technique So, that's going totally the opposite way, but using very similar equipment Got one swimming that one up there That's two bites now I've had swimming I need to put a swim jig on Work it out of this cover You know, I've got my trailer on this is that swimming craw, and it's got great action like what we're doing right here When it's coming through, they're putting off a lot of vibration, and we were at the back end of a pocket now when that one there bit, so I caught him I mean, I flipped in, hopped it twice, and then swam it out, and about the second rod pump while I was swimming it, I saw the line jump, watched the swirl, and set the hook Now, you can see the bulk or the width, I should say Even better are those claws right there, and when they're come through the water, they're turning, and twisting, and constantly putting off a lot of vibration, and it looks like a bait fish or a crawfish trying to get away, and that's what we're trying to mimic while we're up in here - [Narrator] Coming up next on The Fisherman's Handbook, crankbaits can be one of the most effective ways to catch a large number of fish Stay tuned as Wade shares his thoughts on crankbait fishing The Fisherman's Handbook is brought to you in part by Cabela's, it's in your nature Ranger Boats, still building legends one at a time Engel coolers, a legend in reliability And by Big Bite Baits, designed to bring the big bite to your line (upbeat music) - Yeah, I'd love to know how many different crankbaits there are in the world I mean, it would be an astronomical number, and the reason there are so many of them is crankbaits catch fish 12 months out of the year every day in a certain situation, and as a fisherman, you've gotta obviously determine what that situation is, and how to catch them, and the color, the action, the depth as well as the gear used to fish the crankbait You know, it's not just something that you tie on, and go out, and catch fish after fish Yes, you could probably tie any crankbait on that exists, and you're eventually gonna get a bite on any given day, but there's times when you can pick the right crankbait, the right color, the right retrieve, and mix it all up with the right gear and find great success - Oh yeah (laughs) Look at that one right there, boys and girls - When you start really dissecting crankbait fishing as far as what a guy likes in choosing a fishing rod, that, a lot of times, becomes a personal preference a lot of times I look back to those fiberglass crankbait rods They had a lot of give to them I mean, when you hooked up a fish, they'd be about that big around at the base, and I mean, (laughs) it would bend from about a foot and a half up the rod all the way down But that was very forgiving, and that allowed a lot of guys to be able to fight those fish What it didn't allow you to do a lot of times was have control over that fish The fish, more often than not, was in control of the fight And when you look at a lot of people's choices now, they want a rod that probably has, and you can start to see it in this rod here where it flexes and where it gives, and it's more in the middle of the rod right in here And this is designed as a crankbait rod on the Cabela's XML series Where I look back at some of those flexible old-school fiberglass rods, they would flex all the way down to right in here, and you would kinda lose control a lot of times Now, good and bad in that situation Hang a big fish going on runs at the boat or maybe didn't necessarily get the bait as good as you hoped it would, so some of that forgiveness was great, but you lose control a lot of times when that fish is making tremendous runs and you wanna steer him away from cover, so there's a trade-off there But at the end of the day, my best piece of advice when choosing a crankbait rod is find one that's designed specifically for crankbait fishing It's got some of the attributes there that you're looking for And find one with a good moderate taper in it, not too forgiving, but not so forgiving you're out of control a lot of times And that'll be a great rod for the average guy's crankbait needs, that four to 10, 12 foot depth where he'll be able to fish effectively, have control of his baits, be able to feel the baits, be able to feel what they're doing, as well as manage the fish Got him that time He crushed it, too He's hooked outside the mouth You can see the fight You can watch that rod as it goes down, and it's just so important when it comes to, he's only got, now he's got two hooks in him He only had one Now, he's back to one You know, that helps provide, it's a shock absorber, basically, when you're fighting fish Oh, you've got one hook, buddy Gotcha Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha Alright, I'll let him go back We talk about rods and the selection there, you can see it in evidence in that fight right there Every time that fish would kinda go, he'd dig, he'd dig, and he'd pull, and you could see that taper, see that bend in there, and that's what you want in a crankbait rod (suspenseful music) - [Narrator] It's time for a break, but when we return, we break down the different actions in crankbaits and how these actions can trigger a fish to bite, right here on The Fisherman's Handbook The Fisherman's Handbook is brought to you in part by Sawyer Products, we keep you outdoors Engel Coolers, a legend in reliability And by Spro, sports professionals (upbeat music) - There's one right there Yeah, you can see him on the grass down there, coming up He's getting ready to jump He's gonna jump (laughs) You can watch him actually go up and jump Now, he's going back down under the boat He choked on that rock crawler Look at that Look where he's got that bait in his mouth (mumbles) that's a good one right there That's a good one Wow You know, crankbait fishing in its most common form is a reaction bite You know, a lot of times, I look back when I was younger and had a three little tier tackle box and everything I'd just throw it out there, and I'd just reel, and I wasn't even throwing at anything And then, as I got older, I began to realize that yes, it's a reaction bite, but boy, there's a way to really pick apart specific cover, especially when you understand all the different variances in baits that are out there and what each one of them's designed for There he is He's right there at the boat There is a drop off I can see it on my sonar right there Had my Panoptix out there It was kinda doubled up You're still seeing drops - [Narrator] As is evident from the fish catches so far in this show, crankbaits can be used to catch fish all across the nation One more key to cracking the code of crankbait fishing is understanding what style of crankbait to use for each situation - [Wade] You look at the rocks that we're fishing right now, I mean, I'm sitting in five and half, six foot of water They roll out and eventually drop off in 10 feet, and I want a bait that I can throw up on these rocks and parallel it, and it's gonna hit like six, seven feet and bounce into these rocks Well, when I was younger, I might've come up here with a bait that would go 20 feet It would be hung all the time Or I'd come up with a square bill type bait and just, zoom, right across the top of these fish and never get where they were setting up as an ambush point So keep it in mind, that yes, this is a great reaction bite, and yeah, you can tie it on as a kid or an adult and just go wind it You'll eventually catch one, but picking the right crankbait for the right situation is so key in getting these reaction strikes, whether it's this type of cover or any other cover Oh, there's one right there, buddy Oh, feels like a good one, too, but boy, they all feel good when they're first (mumbles) He hasn't jumped Boy, he just (groans) Get out of those rocks Man, not bad, not bad Let's go this side with you, fish Get away from those rocks He's got it all the way down in there (fish splashing) (Wade humming) Boy, he ate it It's there, right there, fish Yeah (laughs) He has a mouth full of treble hooks right there When you start talking about the actions of crankbaits, boy, there's a lot of them out there, and you've really gotta kinda dial it in based on the time of the year A couple of things I like to keep in mind When the water's very cold, I've always felt like a very tight wiggle is a key, key action that a guy wants And conversely, when the water temperature warms up, especially past the spawn, something with a big wide wobble I always use the analogy when it comes to looking at crankbaits, think about how cold it is outside when you walk out and how you're kinda bundled up Everything's kinda tight You're not as excited to be out there, and you kinda, you're very tight in your walk Now, think about the summertime You're down on the beach, and you're strutting, and wiggling, and walking around Bait action's the same thing Warm weather, big wobbling action baits are some of my favorites When it gets cold, I like those narrower, tighter actions a lot of times (fish splashing) Ooh, he choked it That's what you're looking for - [Narrator] That wraps up this episode of the Cabela's Fisherman's Handbook This show featured a wide range of fishing tips intended to make you a better fisherman as well as help you catch more fish on your next trip To learn more tips like those featured in today's episode and to stay up-to-date with everything we're doing, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or watch our videos on YouTube Just search for The Fisherman's Handbook on any of those platforms Thanks for watching, and we'll see you on the water again soon