By Austin Spain
You hear people say it all the time. When flipping heavy cover, use big line, crawdad baits and a super heavy rod. Well, I am going to share my experience that proves this technique wrong. Okay, maybe not wrong, but I can show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Recently, I was pre-fishing with a pretty good Indiana stick. We were flipping bushes and fishing heavy cover on Indiana's largest lake and the fish were spawning, or just coming off the nest and relating to cover. So he pulled out his 25lb. test, a Sweet Beaver, and his 7'6" heavy action rod - I did the opposite. I started fishing with my 6'9" MH RPM Custom spinning rod with 10lb. test and a Yamamoto Senko.
While he flipped deep into the flooded bushes, I targeted the outside edges of the bushes and open pockets between bushes. I used a very simple technique; cast, let it sink, and move on to the next pocket. I was able to cover a lot of water and quickly I had a fish in the boat, then a second, and before my friend landed a single fish, I had a limit that probably would have went 13-14lbs.
This continued throughout the day, and I would have culled up to have 18-19lbs. in my best five. So why did I use this tactic? It’s just my way of fishing. We were fishing a deep, stained lake in southern Indiana and I am used to fishing the shallow, clear lakes of northern Indiana. While most would have hunkered down and went deep into the cover, I did what I had confidence in, and that is finesse fishing. I went back to the same lake the next weekend, pulled out the same tactics and fished the same way for a small club event. I fished light and finesse while the locals went big. I won the club event with 16.10lbs., while 2nd place had 6.8lbs.
It doesn't matter what lake you’re on, which state, or the weather conditions. If you’re not fishing your strengths, then you’re not fishing to your full potential. That is not to say that you can’t learn new techniques or new ways to catch fish. But during a tournament, I would suggest always doing what you have the most confidence in, even if it goes against the grain of what everyone else might be doing.