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Make a Difference in Your Flipping

Nowadays, most bass fishermen have things pretty figured out. With all the advancements in electronics, rods, line and lures, even newcomers to the sport are in the right place at the right time more often. There's really no secrets; heavy fishing pressure is here to stay.

For that reason, it's important to do things a little different than the rest. That could mean a different lure, a more efficient fishing approach, or both.

In my case, a few years ago I started relying more on the Z-Man Palmetto BugZ for dissecting shallow cover, and I was blown away by how it increased my catch. Durability was a key, like in any ElaZtech product, but there was more to it than that.

Time after time, when fishing around other anglers using similar-style baits, I was able to catch more fish than my competitors. The light bulb really went off when I watched another accomplished fishermen dissect a boat dock - hitting all the shaded dock pilings - to no avail. Yet, when I moved in behind him with my Palmetto BugZ, I caught several fish on the exact same spots.

The difference lies in the posture of the bait. You see, when a Palmetto BugZ is flipped to, say, a dock piling, it hits the bottom and stands up. This is very important. I don't think a lot of anglers realize that most baits they're flipping hit bottom and fall flat on their side; that's the downfall of traditional, heavy-salted plastics. They don't offer anything laying on the bottom.

But ElaZtech is incredibly buoyant, so when my bait hits bottom, it offers a true defensive posture, just like a crawfish. The legs and tails stand out, quivering with the slightest water movement. In fact, many strikes on the Palmetto BugZ occur when the bait is sitting on the bottom, dead-still, without any rod movement on my part.

The Palmetto BugZ is the perfect size, too; it's actually a little meatier than traditional baits in the same category. This allows me to use a great big hook, but it also helps the bait glide on the fall. This gliding, as we've come to learn, is really a key to this style of lure. To aid in this seductive maneuver, I never separate the "claws" on my Palmetto BugZ when flipping.

I mentioned durability to start - and that's another overlooked key to flipping. You see, when a good flipping bite is happening, it's not uncommon to go through four or five packages of traditional plastics in the course of a day. That's upwards of 25 lures. With an ElaZtech product like the Palmetto BugZ, you'll drop that number down to three or four individual baits.

Sure, that equates to about a $20 savings, but it's more than that. A big part of flipping is efficiency. The more accurate flips you make, the more fish you catch - it's that easy. But there's a lot stacked against you when flipping: grass on the sinker, hitting a dock post, the lure sliding down the hook. Worse yet, as soon as a traditional plastic bait gets a big hole in it, it's snags everything.

ElaZtech adds so much to my efficiency when flipping, it's responsible for much higher catch rates by that factor alone. I just spend so much more time flipping, and so much less rigging and re-rigging my bait.

As I hinted to, a big hook is the way to go. I rig a Palmetto BugZ on a 5/0 straight-shank Trokar for close-quarters combat. That hook has a sizable keeper up top, and by sliding my Palmetto BugZ all the way above it, I rarely have a bait slide down.

California Craw is my favorite color, hands down, with Black / Blue Flake playing a part in darker water. I flip a 3/8 ounce weight more than anything, provided it penetrates the cover I'm fishing.

The choice of weight brings up a good point: when fishing ElaZtech lures - especially the big, meaty Palmetto BugZ, go one size higher than what you normally would choose. For instance, sub in a 3/8 when you'd normally choose a 1/4. These lures are just so buoyant, that extra sinker weight helps them fish correctly. It also aids in your ability to pitch them further, and more accurately, and allows the bait to better penetrate cover without falling like a rock.

If you find yourself running the same routine as everyone else - pitching plastics to shallow cover - try a Palmetto BugZ. You may find you're a much better fisherman than you thought.

-Rob Jordan

Z-Man Fishing Pro-Staff

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