I’ve fished with a lot of soft plastic craw baits over the years that have lacked the necessary properties to become reliable fish catchers. Many of them look like a crawfish when you take them out of the package, but will quickly turn lifeless when submerged in the water on a Texas rig. Believe it or not, designing a lifelike soft plastic craw bait is fairly intricate stuff.
For the past year or so, it seems I’ve been using the Yamamoto Large Flappin’ Hog more and more when I need to get a bite. Whether it’s a tournament situation or I need to put a guide client on fish, I’ve found myself relying on this bait quite a bit.
The following characteristics make it one of my major confidence baits.
Excellent actionVersatileVery well-weighted
Outstanding action without much work
I touched on it earlier, but it’s important enough that I’ll mention it again— I’m not just looking for a crawfish soft plastic that’s cut-out in the shape of a crawfish. I want it to act like one as well. Unfortunately, finding a bait that meets that criteria can be tough.
The Yamamoto Large Flappin’ Hog, however, looks absolutely gorgeous in the water. That’s a strange way to describe a soft plastic, but it’s true. The four “legs” located on the backside of the bait paddle wildly as the bait falls while the midsection of the body demonstrates a small amount of undulation. This slow, waving action isn’t quite as pronounced as the famous Senko but I believe it to be a good thing; especially on bluebird sky days when the bite is super tough.
At rest, a Texas-rigged Large Flappin’ Hog sits with its pincers and antennae at an approximate 45-degree angle. This position perfectly emulates the natural defensive posture of a threatened crawfish which is often known as their “last stand” before a big bass makes an easy meal of them.
I really like the fact that it doesn’t take a lot of rod movement to bring life to the Large Flappin’ Hog. I’m a very thorough and deliberate angler in shallow water, so when I pitch and flip I tend to fish very slowly. The softness and well-placed appendages on this bait allow me to utilize a slow, natural approach without overpowering the bass or taking it from the strike zone too soon.
The versatility has been excellent
I always preach about versatility, especially when we’re talking about soft plastics. One of the biggest reasons I use the Large Flappin’ Hog so frequently is due to—you guessed it—its impressive versatility.
Texas rig— Yea, I know. It’s kind of a “duh!” thing to say, but this is a seriously sexy-looking bait when Texas-rigged. It sits perfectly, it creates a lot of movement on the fall and while worked along the bottom and its compact profile allows you to dissect very specific, small openings in super-heavy cover. Definitely one of my favorite ways to use this bait.
Weightless Texas rig— I don’t know how many people have thought to try this rigging technique with the Large Flappin’ Hog, but it’s an outstanding way to catch bass when most anglers can barely get a bite. I won’t hesitate to use it around any type of vertical cover on which bass will suspend during days with high barometric pressure such as lily pad stems, dock posts, deeper seawalls and even irregularities in riprap.
Jig trailer— The Large Flappin’ Hog also makes a great jig trailer on both football and flipping jigs. I’ll usually bite about an inch from the back of the bait and thread it on the hook. If you’re more of a “chunk” type of person, you can do that as well with this bait. Just like on the Texas rig, this thing looks awesome as a jig trailer.
It’s heavy— in a good way
The Yamamoto Large Flappin’ Hog measures 4.5 inches and it’s a pretty beefy soft plastic. When you first take one from the pack you’ll probably be a bit surprised by its heavy feel, but I’ve grown to love it.
Although its heavy, the Large Flappin’ Hog has a fairly slow fall to it which has resulted in a lot of “on-the-fall” bites for me. There have been countless times I’ve pitched it to a piece of cover and never made contact with the bottom before a bass took off with it. It’s also not necessary to use a big ol’ flippin’ weight with this bait, either. The smaller, the better.
The heaviness of this bait also makes it ridiculously easy to skip underneath docks with casting gear. I see a lot of folks who struggle with skipping lightweight soft plastics— it takes some time to learn. But I’ve put the Large Flappin’ Hog in the hands of many novice anglers and have noticed immediate and sizeable improvement in both their skipping distance and accuracy.
If you like to drag, pitch, flip and skip shallow cover, I definitely recommend the Yamamoto Large Flappin’ Hog. They may not be the most durable bait due to their excellent softness and action, but they can be worth their weight in gold when you need to get bites.