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Improve Your Pitch Count For Bass

A good pitcher has a diverse arsenal of delivery methods. From fastballs to sliders, you have to keep the game dynamic, but that’s only beneficial when strategically designed.

The same is true for the pitching technique that bass anglers employ. A form of power fishing used to cover a large amount of habitat, pitching also allows for the precise presentations needed to pick apart promising cover.

For clarity, you may see anglers loosely holding a bait in the hand opposite their rod and gently releasing it as they rotate the rod tip from a downward posture to a forward swing. Other times, anglers may use a one-arm technique to simply generate momentum by swinging the bait backward on the downstroke and then releasing it when they raise the rod tip forward.

The general thought holds that the two-hand technique is helpful for targeting precise spots or threading the bait through tight lanes. The other method is more time-efficient and, therefore, the preference for covering broad, open areas.

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Bait selection: Flipping jigs, whether store-bought or handmade, with a Mustad Skippy Grass/Flipping Hook are known big-fish baits. When paired with a craw, chunk, or creature bait, the impressive profile mimics the outsized meals big fish seek.

Weed guards help minimize hangups, but thicker, more snaggy targets call for Texas-rigged baits. ICAST 2023 saw the introduction of a new lineup of Mustad Bass hooks featuring AlphaPoint 4.8 technology. The newest in the Opti-Angle family, this process yields the slimmest point Mustad has ever made and ensures maximum penetration.

For the pitching technique, your creature baits, craw, and stick worms fit perfectly on the Mustad Alpha-Grip Flipping Hook. Send your favorite plastic into duty with an appropriately sized Mustad Tungsten TitanX Flipping Weight  and know that you’ll securely hook and hold whatever bites.

Productive pitching targets are many.

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Laydowns: When trees fall into the water, their structure of limbs, large and small present bass with shady, protective habitat that allows them ideal ambush feeding positions. A tree with all but its trunk submerged offers the most opportunity, but as long as a laydown lies in at least a foot or so of water, it’s a viable target.

Grass: From native aquatics like eel grass to non-natives like hydrilla, grass equals bass. A long stretch of vegetated shoreline may hold a lot of fish, but most of the opportunity will be concentrated in key spots such as points, cuts, holes, and areas where multiple vegetation species merge.

Cypress Trees: The species most commonly targeted by bass anglers, the bald cypress, features vast root systems with emergent “knees” extending several feet from the tree. Pitching baits to the trunks of cypress trees and working progressively outward through the knees will tempt whoever’s living there.

Note: When the surrounding bottom is too muddy to support spawning, bass will often spawn on submerged section of cypress roots.

Flooded Bushes: From buck brush to other low-growing plants lining lake shores, rising water presents adventurous bass with vast feeding opportunities. Fish will loosen their positioning in low light conditions, but sunny times find them tucked close to the center of shading bushes. 

Hard Structure: Rip rap (points, out-fallen rocks, bridge corners), natural rock, seawall points, boat ramp drop-offs; bass like the solid stuff, so probe the sweet spots and look for replicable patterns.

Wherever you pitch your bait, vary the “soak time” — how long it sits in place — until you dial in the pattern the fish are looking for.

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