Dean Rojas Flips For Big Fish
Dean Rojas is an Arizona fisherman who is nationally known. He makes his home in Lake Havasu City, and he fishes tournaments all over the nation. He has fished 220 Bassmaster Tournaments, and has been in the money 150 times! That’s an amazing feat, and it’s because he’s a very well-rounded and versatile angler. He’s an amazing guy, and in spite of his success and fame on the major circuits, he’s a super nice guy.
One of the techniques that Rojas excels at is flipping. This technique was invented by a California fisherman named Dee Thomas years ago. It’s a technique that enables you to drop a plastic lure right down next to a stump, into the center of a bush, or into a hole in the weeds — you can literally put a lure whereever your rod can reach, and that lure will enter the water silently if you wish. Sometimes a splash gets their attention, though.
When you’re flipping, you let out line to approximately the depth you would like your lure to drop, turn the reel to lock it, then pull the line away from the rod with your non-dominant hand. Put the lure directly over the spot, then simply lower it into the water by moving your hand closer and closer to the rod.
You can control the rate of fall easily, and you can feel any bites as well as feel the lure bump into branches, rocks, etc. If it stops before you’ve run out of line or reached the bottom, set the hook! A long, very stout rod is ideal for this technique, and almost every company has rods marketed specifically as “flippin’ sticks”. It’s a fantastic technique almost any time of year.
Practice At Home
Rojas says you should practice flipping at home in your yard. Use paper plates for targets. As you get further away and have to swing the bait out before letting it drop, the technique is called “pitching”. Practice this at home in your yard, aiming at the paper plates.
Accuracy is often vital, since if you miss you might be dropping right into a tangle. He says to pretend you’re in a boat — walk around the yard pitching and flipping to targets, and get practice hitting the targets while you’re moving toward them, just like you would in a boat.
Flip right to the heart of the target first most of the time, he says, always thinking about how you’re going to get a fish out once you get bit. If getting a fish out of the middle seems impossible, hit the outer edges first instead.
Line, Reel, And Bait
He recommends 65-pound braided line – it makes hooksets easy, especially with just a little line out, and it’s almost imperative in grass: braid slices right through it. A high-speed reel helps you turn a big fish and get him to the boat. Use a big Gamakatsu hook with no gap in the eye. He ties a snell knot.
Rojas’s bait choice depends on the time of year and the water clarity. In dirty water or spring he uses dark craws, in summer brown and green, and in fall green and blue. If you’re fishing the back of the boat, use a different bait. That way even if you fish the same spot you’ll be showing them something they might like better — try something smaller than the guy up front is using.
When it’s windy, the fish will come out after a bait, says Rojas, and in dead-calm weather, they’ll be right in the middle of the thick stuff. Flipping is a technique that probably won’t get you a lot of bites, but you have a better probability of getting bigger fish. You’ve got to keep trying. Give it a shot next time you’re on the water.