Last year around this time we went flipping and punching on Lake Rousseau with Glenn Browne to shoot an OG challenge fishing video. Of course the master of flipping beat me and Chris from 44 Tackle! So on my way back home I stopped at the bait shop and headed out to Lake Rousseau to pay homage to the master of punching who is sadly no longer with us with a good buddy and mentor of mine Sean Blucher. Sean is a big fish master himself and loves to flip and punch heavy cover as much as I do for bass! Sadly what we found is the FWC had done some environmental herbicide treatments and destroyed the bass ecosystem just as it was beginning to thrive.
Punching for bass is a way of life when it comes to Florida fishing! Let’s talk baits and fishing tips for flipping, pitching, and targeting heavy cover to catch more bass. We’ll be running through a review of break down for the best fishing lures and colors to use for various tips of flipping in a range of circumstances. The Gambler Lures Flipping Crazy gives those of us that live the punch life a nice mix of bait styles and the most viable colors in just about any situation. I run through how I fish them here in Florida, how to rig them up, and various other fishing tips and techniques for catching bass in heavy grass!
Punching heavy cover flipping mats on Lake Kissimmee fishing for bass. This is winter fishing in Florida as bass move to stage and spawn while it’s snowing in the rest of the country. Thick grass like hydrilla, hyacinth, and pennywort attract huge bass this time of year and I love using the fishing technique of punching to target them on lakes like Kissimeee, Lake Okeechobee, and other shallow Florida natural lakes. This is part 2 of a crazy day catching a lot of fish including a near 7lbs bass even though fish seemed to be in a negative mood.
Weather was partly sunny lows in the 60’s highs in the mid 70’s. Fish are in a winter staging pattern moving up to spawn when the moon and the weather get right.
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When you’re fishing for bass flipping mats and punching heavy cover the results are usually epic! Not many bites during this fishing trip on Lake Kissimmee but we caught a trophy fish in heavy cover using one of my favorite fishing techniques. Punching mats is a great way to fish for bass this time of year throughout Florida with fish moving in to spawn throughout the winter and getting stuck due to cold fronts or even using heavy cover such as hydrilla and hyacinth as stopping points before heading to the bed. My standard setup is a 1.5oz tungsten weight, a straight shank hook, and a compact creature bait. Terminal tackle is 65lbs braided line, a high speed decent quality reel, and fishing rod usually longer than 7’6″. Below are all the specifics on the fishing gear and cameras used in the video.
Punching for Florida strain bass out on Lake Kissimee. One of my favorite ways to fish for bass and it’s becoming the time of year where that seasonal pattern can be key to finding staging and pre spawn fish moving in. I spent the day out on the Kissimee Chain and focused on Lake Kissimee targeting hydrill and chop grass mats in lily pads with a 1.5 oz Reins Tungsten weight and baits like a Gambler Why Not and Crawdaddy. The water is high and it’s the early part of the season, thus the reason fish are spread out and and we’re seeing so many male bass in the mats. It’s probably one of the most fun ways to fish down here in Florida and the bite should only get better as the temperature cool and fish move in to spawn.
Weather: just a few clouds, highs in the mid 80’s, no wind until the end of the day when a storm rolled up. Water temps still in the low 80’s with high water levels due to heavy rain.
Fishing for bass using the technique of punching thick grass is an epic technique. High intensity one on one fishing combat! Probably one of my favorite fishing patterns, using heavy weights, big flipping stick fishing rods, and heavy braid makes for one of the best bites on Lake Okeechobee any time of the year. Catching well over 20lbs on a day that was truelly a grind!
Weather was partly cloudy, warm with a slight easterly breeze.
Want to learn more about the baits, fishing rods, and equipment in the vid – links are all below.
Got out to Lake Okeechobee for a quick punching session and as the water is falling there’s alot of super skinny water to access. I was kicking up dirt with the trolling motor in this vid. Fishing was post frontal on a cold winter day in Florida. Late in the day I headed in to punch some mats with a Gambler BB Cricket and found one big 5lbs fish that was looking to eat.
flipping mats and punching for bass is not a one stop shop. there are a lot of variations and nuances depending on such factors as fishing pressure as well as water temp. if you have finicky bass in the mats and they just don’t seem to bite your standard 1.5oz tungsten and big creature bait, here are some tips to taking more of a finesse approach to punching.