Some folks say that all the big fish are caught flipping the river when the weather is warm. Well, I have to disagree about the river current being the only place to get fish to win. What you do have to do is figure the best time and place and be there for that time and then move on.
I have definitely caught some good fish out flipping the main channel, but I have yet to win a tournament out there. (That’s a hint for folks who might remember I have gotten a check or two) Not saying its not the best thing for some folks, I’m just saying tournament time is not the best time to be trying to figure it out. Fish the areas you have confidence in and move on.
In a tournament you go with what you know, and then try something else if it ain’t working. When you are fun fishing you should be trying to learn new stuff and new ways to catch fish in the area.
If you want to learn to flip the current there are two things you needs tons of practice with.
Flipping and pitching.
You can practice this right in your living room, or back yard, or swimming pool. Just pitch and flip over and over and over and over and over and over ond over and over to a handful of targets that are at different distances from where you are standing. Do it until you can hit any target in your range 18 or 19 times out of 20. Then set a folding chair over top of your targets and try to hit them again by shooting the bait up under the chair and laying your bait on the target. Something the size of a paper plate is a decent target to start with.
Now you have to figure out how to handle your boat with the trolling motor to hold it dead still relative to the bank when you are in a rushing current.
Personally I believe that if you have enough trolling motor the easiest way to flip in the main river is to pull up the bank against the current, but lots of folks don’t have a huge TM so they have to learn to backslide. That’s where you let the boat drift down current and you use the TM to slow the back drift so you have time to fish the spots, and work your bait so it falls all the way down through the trash.
Once you have decent flipping skills and decent boat control skills then you can worry about which banks to flip. Also, which banks will flip best for you. Dave and I have pulled a bank before fishing behind another angler and caught fish. We even continued to catch fish after they slowed down and started working every side of every twig ahead of us. That particular day the way we were fishing was more effective than the way they were fishing.
So, you have your skills worked out, now its time to find some banks to flip. I’m not going to tell you exactly what works, because I am not a really strong flipping angler. I’ll offer some things you can observe though to try and build your own set of confidence conditions. Here are some things to think about. Are fish likely to be moving in and out of the lakes at the time you are out there? Does the bank you are fishing flow through to a back water? Does it have a hard stop like a rock face? Are there deep areas along it? How deep? Are there any transitions from one type of bottom, brush, depth, current speed, etc to another.
Now when you catch a fish iimmediately stop and think about exactly what you were doing when he bit, and what season, weather, and water conditions may have been a factor in that exact spot at that exact time of day, and time of year.