Glenn Walker – Using the correct gear is vital anytime you go head-to-head with big largemouth that have buried themselves in the thickest and nastiest cover out there, otherwise your big catch will just end up being a big fish story. There isn’t just one key item you need to have when fishing like this, all the pieces of the puzzle come together to create the best setup to hook and land big bass out of heavy cover.
There is no messing around with these bass and no skimping on the fishing line you spool your reel with. Using a braided line is the only option in my opinion, for several reasons. First, there is no stretch, so when you set the hook you are getting a solid hook set and two, as you set the hook, that braided line will actually cut through the vegetation and keep that bass from tangling up in the thick cover. I’ll spool my Victory reel up with 65 lb test Seaguar Smackdown braid. As the braided line begins to lose its green color, I’ll take a black permanent marker and darken up the first several yards of line.
Using a heavy action flipping stick will help you drive that hook through the fish’s mouth and turn them right away so they don’t further bury themselves in the cover. Having a stout rod is important, but you still need to have a sensitive and lite weight rod, so you can flip all day and feel those bites. I rely on the Wright & McGill Tessera Series Micro Guide Heavy Cover rod which is 7’6”, paired up with a Wright & McGill Victory baitcast reel. I’ll use the high speed gear ratio reel, so I can quickly bring my bait up out of the cover if I don’t get bit on that initial fall.
When I’m flipping a Texas-rig around heavy cover, I rely on a very strong, sharp and dependable Lazer TroKar TK130 Flippin hook. This hook is super sharp, so you’ll stick a bass with ease and the TroKar barb near the hook eye, will keep your plastic in place as it gets brought through that cover. Keeping your bait as low profile as possible will help it ease through the cover and not get hung up, so using a tungsten weight allows me to use the large weight needed to get through the cover, but keep its size small. I’ll use an Tungsten weight that ranges between ½ and 1 ½ oz depending on how thick the cover is I’m trying to get through.
When it comes to bait selection, keeping it low profile again is key. So using baits with the fewest number of appendages will keep it from getting hung up on the way through the cover and let it get down to the bottom quickly. Two of my favorites are the Zoom Super Hog and the Zoom Super Speed Craw, any of these baits will be in some color hue of black and blue or green pumpkin.
If I’m not flipping a Texas-rig, I’ll be flipping a jig in the heavy cover. Which I chose will depend on the cover I’m flipping, the body of water and what preference the bass have shown me that they want. For jigs, I’ll use between a ½ oz and 1 ½ oz jig. They key when selecting jigs, is having a line tie that will not catch vegetation as it is brought through it. You also want to make sure the jig has a sharp and strong hook in it, so it won’t bend on a hook set. Using a trailer that keeps the bait compact and low profile is again important in having a natural looking presentation.
Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River. Glenn’s sponsors include: Bass Boat Technologies, Ducky Products, Humminbird, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Simms, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Witch Doctor Tackle, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.