July 20, 2009
Merwin: Flip It Like Brauer
By John Merwin
Fabled bass pro Denny Brauer isn’t known as a musician, but he does have perfect pitch. That just means he’s the widely acknowledged master at pitching and flipping various baits for largemouth bass. I ran into Brauer at the recent ICAST fishing-tackle trade show, where we had a long talk and where I asked him for three specific tips that would help readers here perfect their pitching technique.
Remember that pitching is an underhanded pendulum-style cast done with baitcasting gear to deliver a bass jig or other weighted soft- plastic with a very soft presentation at fairly close range. It’s usually done in thick cover and is a great technique for big fish. Here’s what Brauer had to say.
“Use enough weight. I’m most often pitching a half-ounce; sometimes as much as three-quarter-ounce if the bass seem to want a faster fall. I might go lighter than one-half to get a really slow fall once the lure hits the water, but not often.” (I’ll add here that controlling a pendulum cast with weights less than one-half ounce is very difficult.)
“Use the right line length. For underhanded pitching, the line should extend from the rod tip down to the lure, which should be even with the reel. Grab the lure with your left hand behind the hook, and then let it swing outward. Remember the swing. Some people think they should just be throwing it, which is wrong.”
“Use heavy line. I’m fishing either heavy braid or 25-pound fluorocarbon, tied to the jig with a palomar knot in either case. This is a big-fish technique, usually in thick cover, so using lighter line is just counter-productive.”
So there you have it. Mastering this technique might not get you on the front of a Wheaties box--Brauer was the first angler ever to be featured in that way--but it will very definitely get you more and larger bass.