Flippin’ Jigs from a Kayak: How to Jig for Bass
By Wesley Littlefield
Flipping a jig when standing or sitting in a kayak takes some additional practice compared to standing on the bank or deck of a bass boat. After nearly two decades of bass fishing, I have learned a few helpful tricks for jigging for bass from a kayak.
Those that learn the skill of flippin’ a jig from a kayak have an advantage over those that choose not to devote their time to mastering the art of fishing. Flipping is not the same as pitching, though you are trying to get a similar result.
I know you’re like me if you’re reading this article. You devote hours studying new techniques and skills to give you every advantage possible over our pea-sized brain opponents, bass.
Luckily, in this article you will find out what gear you need, how to flip a jig from a kayak, where, and when to use a jig to catch bass, so you don’t waste your time or money.
Your Flippin’ Gear
The most crucial aspect of flippin’ a jig from a kayak is safety. Kayaks are known to be much less stable than bass boats. This makes owning a quality fishing life jacket essential if you fall out of your kayak while fishing.
To be successful flippin’ for bass, you need to start with a fishing kayak you can afford. Once you have purchased a stable kayak and a good paddle, you are well on your way to catching bass with a jig.
Next, you will need a medium heavy fast action 7ft+ rod. The longer rod is excellent when you can stand in your kayak but makes it more difficult to flip from the seated position. You will have to find the length that works best for you.
You will want a braided 20lbs+ test line for grass and a 20lbs fluorocarbon test line for wood. The braid will give you the ability to manhandle the fish out of grassy cover, and the fluorocarbon is less likely to get snagged around wood.
It’s now time to pick your jig. Your water conditions will determine the colors. The weight of the jig is determined by the cover you are flippin’. A flipping jig is what you will want to purchase for flipping. Adding a trailer to the jig will help it look like a baitfish or crawfish.
How to Flip without Flipping Over
Learning to flip a jig from an unstable platform or a seated position will take many hours of practice. Start small and work your way too flippin’ further from the kayak. The goal of flipping is to make as little splash as possible with your jig.
Flippin’ while standing in a kayak is similar to flippin’ while standing in a bass boat. The kayak is less stable, so you must have a better balance.
- Let out 8-9ft of line. This is why a longer rod is better.
- Set your brake.
- With your non-dominant hand, pull the line that is above the reel while pointing your rod downwards.
- Use the momentum of the jig to swing it out as far as you are able.
- To avoid making a big splash, keep the jig as close to the water as possible.
The concept is the same while sitting in a kayak as standing. You do have to adjust your casting motion.
- Let out 8-9ft of line.
- Turn your handle to set your brake.
- With your non-dominant hand, pull the line above the reel while pointing as far down as possible. It will likely be more sideways or straight out than down.
- Use the jigs momentum to flip it into your target.
Start Flippin’ Here and Now
You can flip for bass anywhere, but a few locations are the best to use this skill.
1. When you encounter a thick vegetation mat try flipping the edges first, and then try punching through the mat for the bass hiding in the middle of the cover.
2. Another scenario to flip a jig is around docks. Hit the edges and try to get as far under the dock as possible. Try not to hit the dock. Doing so can spook the fish.
3. The last scenario I will discuss in this article is flippin’ around wood. This includes partially submerged brush piles, laydowns, and standing timber. Flippin’ a jig next to flooded willow tree trunks is tremendous fun.
Flippin’ a jig works best early spring-fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch bass year-round flipping cover. During the spring months, bass are beginning to move shallow, flip into laydowns and brush piles. The summer months are when you will flip docks and grass mats. The heat will force the fish into cooler shaded water. Early fall bass will stay around the grass that is still green, so flip your jig near that grass.
- Practice flipping into a cup on land. You will develop a deadly aim to bring with you onto the water.
- Start close and work your way further from you.
- Make a game of flippin’. Invite a couple of bass fishing buddies over and see who can be the most accurate with their flips.
- If your kayak allows it, practice standing up in your kayak.
Meet the Author
Wesley Littlefield is an outdoor writer, a lover of kayak bass fishing, husband, and father. When he is not writing, he is spending his time outdoors making lasting memories with his family. Kayaking down a trout stream is one of Wesley’s favorite pastimes.