Detailed Early Spring Flipping And Pitching | How To

Spring Bass Fishing
Flipping and pitching for bass in early spring from MLF Tour pro Jeremy Lawyer. Everything you need to know!

Lures & Gear

Freedom Tackle Structure Jig --  

Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon -  

Denali Lithium baitcasting rod -  

Zoom Critter Craw --

Zoom Super Chunk --

Zoom Salty Pro Chunk --


Hi, I'm Jeremy Lawyer. I'm here with BassResource. I wanna talk to you a little bit today about flipping in the early spring, before the spawn and everything.

When you're coming out of those winter months, and you're just kind of thinking about the fish moving up on the bank, start thinking about moving around. They're still eating crawdads, but this is the first time the crawdads are just coming out, and the warm weather's coming on, and spring is on our mind.

And I'm gonna do that with more of a flipping stick that's kind of downsized. I'm gonna do a lot more flipping to the bank, flipping to wood, flipping behind the dock, but really, not really concentrating on the dock itself. Fish like to get up there and set in the sunshine. They still want to have a little bit of cover. This is when that water's, say, 50 or below or maybe just 52 or 53. It's just that first warm spell we've had, warm trend.

And that's when I really like to utilize a jig. This is a 3/8 ounce model. I've got it on a 20-pound Sunline, and this is a 7' 6" Denali Flippin' stick. I like to use a 7' 6" model because I'm gonna be actually doing more roll casting and more fishing around rather than actually flipping. But the masts are gonna be up there on structure, so there'll still gonna be considered a lot of flipping.

When you consider your jig, it kind of depends on what weights you want to throw in my opinion. Now, this is the new Freedom Structure Jig. Works really good to flip around cover, boat docks, rock, anything you might wanna do. And this is a 3/8 model. I like to use the lightest one I can get away with, lets it fall really slow, that springtime presentation. Nothing's really moving that fast.

So what I like to do is start off with either something like a Zoom Critter Craw with just crawdad appendages or some sort of a creature bait that doesn't have a lot of movement to it. When you put this on there, all you're gonna do is downsize it just a little bit, whether it's a critter craw or a beaver style bait or whatever, a Super Chunk, a Salty Chunk, whatever it might be, and just thread that on there. Now, what that's gonna do is give that bait a little bit of a profile of a crawdad. But it's not gonna get a lot of flapping. It's not gonna get a lot of movement. Your jig's actually gonna be imparted lots more of the movement by your rod tip, by different criteria, rather than the trailer. This is something you want to be a little bit lazy because of the fact that everything's a little bit lazy in the spring. It hasn't got warm yet.

Something I really like to do is just a quick little change in your bait during the spring when the water's really cold, a lot of the crawdads are a little bit smaller. So if I'm having a day where they've been biting a little bit, and I'm just not getting the bites and stuff like that, whether the pressures got to them or whatever it might be, is I'll take this full Freedom Structure Jig, and I'll take it and actually cut it down a little bit. And in order to do that, I'll just take and separate the two strands of skirts. And so that right there is your bottom half. That right there is your top half. And I'll grab it up here on top pretty tight. Get me a pair of scissors, and I'll just cut that neck off like that. And what that does is you can see it's really gonna give you a smaller, smaller profile. Now, with that the way it is, I'll even take and get that down there a lot smaller around the bottom. So my profile has really went from this right here to this right here. And that makes a world of difference a lot of times in high-pressure situations. Maybe it's been cloudy. They've been biting the big Structure Jig great, turned off, high skies, had a little cold front, whatever that might be. Don't be afraid to play around with that a little bit and really tighten up your bait.

You know, something else you're gonna do with that right there is you're gonna downsize your weed guard to fit that application as well. Then you're gonna downsize your bait. You're just gonna have a lot smaller profile, go into a lot smaller crawdad, whatever it might be. And that's definitely has a lot potential to get you those bites on days where they really just don't want to bite, and you've gotta kind of force-feed them. All right?

Now, in this springtime, when that water's in that 50 degrees, maybe 52, but not much warmer than that, might be 45, keep in mind that this isn't gonna be something you're gonna throw out there and really work fast and work it back. It's gonna be something that when you flip it into a laydown, you're gonna let it set there for a second. Crawdads are kind of lazy. You might just shake it a little bit, drag it really slow. It's not a fast presentation. If you get on a rip rap bank or a bluff end, it's gonna be one of those that you just drag. I don't really like to hop it a bunch. They're not full of energy. They're cold. And so, it's something I like to drag. And then when you pull it to the edge of something, possibly it'll just fall off of that, kind of in that lazy. So think slow, think lazy no matter where you're fishing it. In that application, you just don't wanna overwork the bait, overpower it, because it's just...everything's a little bit lazy that time of year.

But this is something that's pretty simple to utilize. You can utilize it all over the South and the Midwest, and it's just pretty simple to do. Simple springtime, just fish and shallow for bass around wood and boat docks. This is something you can throw on rip rap. You can throw it on bluff ends, little cuts, little sunny banks, behind boat docks. There's just a lot of way to utilize it when the fish first move up.

But don't plan to catch a lot of bass in a day's time. Depending on any given lake that you're on, this is gonna be something where you're gonna utilize that seven, eight, ten bites, opportunity to catch a really big one is there. And then the pre-spawners are super fast. So a lot of times at a weigh-in line, if you're a tournament angler, this is something that really gets you five good bites that'll get you in the check line or possibly even win. So give this a shot. Best of luck to you.