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Mastering the Art of Flipping for Bass with Kyle Welcher

“If there was one way that I could fish every single tournament and have confidence that I’m gonna get paid and have a shot to win, it’s gotta be flipping.” Words of wisdom from the 2023 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Title, Kyle Welcher. He shares his philosophy on flipping for bass (technically pitching) and why it’s the best method to catch bass across a varied playing field.

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Welcher delves into the intricacies of the flipping and pitching technique. While many associate flipping with grass, log jams, or laydowns, Welcher showcases its versatility. As he says, “It’s not situational.” It’s all about putting a bait on a good-looking target with speed and precision.

For Welcher, flipping is a reaction technique. He uses a heavier-than-average weight to trigger strikes, then gives it just a few seconds before moving on. Because of this, he can cover lots of water in a hurry, which is not usually associated with flipping and pitching. He’ll only soak a bait longer in super-heavy cover and deeper water. The underlying theme? Adaptability.

When many anglers prefer fishing moving baits such as weedless swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and bladed and swim jigs, flipping offers alternate routes to success. There are usually some bass that are unwilling to chase down a bait. For this reason, Welcher relies on flipping presentations to fish behind other anglers or even circle back through an area he’s fished. Vertically presented lures are ideal when targeting bass waiting in ambush adjacent to cover; they also excel around cover in current situations where you cannot get another bait.

While the best bass fishing rods is highly subjective, Welcher has refined his flipping setup to a proven winner. He details his setup, opting for an 8.3:1 casting reel spooled with a smooth premium fluorocarbon line. A high-speed reel facilitates more casts and maintains tension when bass rocket toward you. The cornerstone is a balanced, heavy-power, fast-action rod that delivers both bite detection and backbone for controlling the fight.

Lastly, Welcher prefers a half-ounce tungsten weight most of the time, but upsizes based on the cover. A stout 5/0 straight shank flipping hook paired with your favorite plastic rounds out the presentation.