Flipping Is Most Productive Technique For Third Straight Year

December 06, 2004

For the third year in a row, BassFan.com staff took a look at the "winningest" techniques on the Bassmaster and FLW professional bass fishing tours (this time including the Bassmaster Elite 50s) for the year, and guess what: flipping dominated once again.

Actually, that's flipping and pitching jigs and soft-plastics, which was involved in almost 30 percent of both wins and high finishes (2nd through 5th place) this year. Cranking, mostly in shallow water, climbed back into the second-most-productive spot after being displaced in the cool 2003 season by spinnerbaits.

Senko-type baits, which really came into their own in 2003, were bumped down a notch this year (to the fifth-most-productive technique) by finesse techniques, including dropshotting and shakey-heading.

The early "spring-loaded" tour schedules, particularly on the Bassmaster Tour, also seem to have contributed to a rise in the productivity of coldwater techniques like jerkbaits, tube-dragging and deep-jigging. And sight-fishing wasn't much of a factor at all.

This proves several things:

> Power techniques – including shallow cranking – still rule on tour.

> Most tour events are still won on bass living in shallow water no matter how cold or warm the water is.

> If BASS continues to load its Tour events into the early spring, proficiency in colder-water techniques is a must.

The Stats

Here's a quick look at how the stats break down:

> Flipping and pitching were involved in 28 percent of wins and a remarkably consistent 28 percent of high finishes. That's about where flipping was last year.

> Cranking was involved in 17 percent of wins (about the same as last year) and 24 percent of high finishes (three times more than last year).

> Spinnerbaits were at 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively, as compared to 16 percent and 17 percent during last year's cloudy tour season.

Also:

-Seven (58%) of 12 tour events were pre-spawn

- Add in the four tournaments where bass were in all phases of the spawn, and 92 percent of tour events had pre-spawn fish

- Only one tournament (8.3 percent) was smack on the spawn, but add in the four all-phases events and that climbs to 42 percent of tour events with spawning fish

- One of the E50 events was on the spawn and three were post-spawn

- Both championships, held in July and August, were of course post-spawn

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