Persistence and attention to detail have led Fletcher Shryock to the top of the pack when it comes to flipping and pitching grass. And when many look deeper in the fall, he targets abundant and overlooked bass relating to food-rich matted grass where the pitching technique reigns supreme. Shryock discusses why shallow grass excels in the fall and his go-to tackle and rod setup for braid and breaking down the cover and sticking and boating bass buried in the thick stuff.
TACKLED USED (retail links)
- PLASTIC – Yamamoto Yama Craw, 4″, Green Pumpkin: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- HOOK – Lazer Trokar Monster Flippin Hook, 5/0: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- ROD – Favorite Fishing 7’11” Hvy, Mod-Fast (Prototype)
- Favorite Fishing Casting Rods: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- REEL – Shimano Curado K 200 casting Reel, 8.5:1: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- LINE – Vicious Fishing No Fade Braid, 40-pound, Moss Green: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- WEIGHT – Reins Tungsten Heavy Weight, 1.2-ounce: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- PUNCH STOP – Decoy Heavy Lock Peg: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
As days shorten, grass mats start to break down and thin. Good remaining patches serve as magnets for shad, bluegills, and bass. While frog fishing can produce, Shyrock has more consistent success punching mats with a traditional flipping setup. Staying off the cover, he makes pitches to good-looking spots. Once he contacts a few fish, he starts piecing together a location pattern he can take to other spots on the lake.
Regarding plastics, Shryock discusses the advantages of action-packed yet durable plastics for holding up and hooking fish. This is flipping hook country, with beefy 5/0 TroKar Monster Flippin’ Hook pairing perfectly with the 4-inch Yamamoto Yama Craw. A pegged 1.2-ounce flipping weight gets through the cover in almost all circumstances.
Attention to detail is critical, and Shryock doesn’t skimp on his gear rundown. Having designed his signature flipping and pitching rod, he delves into his specific rod, reel, and line preferences and what makes them ideal.
Offshore fishing and chasing bass with forward-facing sonar seem to be getting all the attention, which plays well to Shryock’s shallow water strengths. Sure, punching mats is a lot of work, but it’s fun to go into instinct mode and construct a tournament-winning pattern with a flipping rod in hand and an observational eye. And the fun doesn’t end in the fall – punching grass can excel for winter bass too. And chances are, you’ll run across some less-pressured and cooperative bass.