Flipping Again Tops Winning Techniques

Diehard tournament anglers or anglers just looking to catch more and bigger fish, take note: A BassFan.com analysis showed that over the 2003 tour season, flipping soft-plastics accounted for more wins and high finishes (2nd through 5th place) than any other technique. Fishing lipped crankbaits and spinnerbaits tied as the next-winningest techniques, followed by Senko-type baits, and then jigs and buzzbaits (tied for 4th).

You could argue that last spring's bearish weather had something to do with those stats, and you'd probably be right. But consider that over the 2001-02 season, which had more variable conditions, flipping soft-plastics also dominated, followed by cranking and spinnerbaiting.

So this again proves several things:

Power techniques rule on tour.

No matter how tough the conditions, someone will find a way to catch bigger bass with power techniques -- usually shallow.

Denny Brauer tops the BASS all-time money list for a reason.

--The Stats--

Here's an overview of how the stats break down:

Flipping/pitching soft-plastics played a part in 24 percent of tour wins this year, and 19 percent of 2nd- to 5th-place finishes.

Add in jigs and those percentages rise to 32 percent and 31 percent.

Spinnerbaits, the technique that probably benefited most from the lousy weather, figured in 16 percent of wins and 17 percent of high finishes.

Crankbaits also helped in 16 percent of the wins, but were a factor in just 8 percent of anglers who placed 2nd through 5th. Still, crankbaits were the most consistent factor in high finishes (see Table II below).

Senko-type baits helped in 11 percent of the wins and 9 percent of high finishes.

--Table I: Best Techniques By Type--

Technique Win Place

Flip 24% 19%

Spinnerbait 16% 17%

Crankbait 16% 8%

Senko 11% 9%

Jig 8% 12%

Buzzbait 8% 3%

Lizard 5% 2%

Carolina Rig 3% 4%

Lipless 3% 4%

Wacky Worm 3% 3%

Topwater 3% 2%

Paddletail 3% --

Worm -- 5%

Dropshot -- 3%

Fluke -- 3%

Finesse Worm -- 2%

Jerkbait -- 2%

Sight-Fish -- 2%

Jig-Worm -- 1%

Swimbait -- 1%

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Notes:

Place = 2nd through 5th places

Flip = Flip/pitch soft-plastics

Senko = All Senko-type baits fished every way except dropshotting

Jig = Flip/pitch a jig

Lizard = Flip/pitch, cast or Carolina rig

Lipless = Lipless crankbait

Paddletail = Paddletail worm (sole use was Mike Iaconelli's Classic win)

Dropshot = All baits

Fluke = Zoom Fluke and other soft-jerkbaits

Jerkbait = Hard jerkbait

Every time a technique was mentioned it was counted, regardless of whether an angler used one or five techniques for his high finish.

--Table II: Best Techniques By Month--

Technique Jan-Feb Mar Apr May-Jun Champs

Flip 55% (30%) 0 (17%) 50% (17%) 10% (6%) 0 (33%)

Spinnerbait 9% (21%) 43% (39%) 0 (6%) 10% (9%) 20% (8%)

Crankbait 9% (0) 29% (17%) 25% (6%) 10% (9%) 20% (17%)

Senko 0 (9%) 0 (11%) 25% (28%) 20% (0) 20% (0)

Jig 0 (6%) 0 (6%) 0 (6%) 20% (21%) 20% (25%)

Buzzbait 9% (0) 13% (0) 0 (0) 10% (6%) 0 (8%)

Lizard 0 (3%) 29% (0) 0 (0) 0 (3%) 0 (0)

Carolina Rig 9% (3%) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (12%) 0 (0)

Lipless 9% (12%) 0 (6%) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Wacky Worm 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 10% (6%) 0 (8%)

Topwater 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 10% (6%) 0 (0)

Paddletail 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 20% (0)

Worm 0 (3%) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (12%) 0 (0)

Dropshot 0 (9%) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Fluke 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (0)

Finesse Worm 0 (3%) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Jerkbait 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (3%) 0 (0)

Sight-Fish 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (11%) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Jig-Worm 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Swimbait 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (6%) 0 (0) 0 (0)

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Notes:

Same notes apply as in Table I

Percent refers to percent of time technique mentioned in that timeframe (columns add to 100, not rows)

Percentage mentioned in wins is listed first, followed by place mentions in parentheses

Champs = Bassmaster Classic and FLW Tour Championship

In addition to time of year, type of lake and location also had something to do with what techniques were most productive.


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