– You know, two of my veryfavorite ways to fish,are topwater and flipping. Topwater, you have gotto get a bass to commitsomething that’s above him. It’s an exciting way tofish,a nd you can also catchsome really big ones. And then, flipping,hand-to-hand combat. Short line, yougotta get in there,in the vista and get ’em out. Today’s show is gonna showoff both of these techniques,give you some differenttips on each one. I think it’s gonnabe a great show. Thanks for joining us. This is Fishing & Hunting Texas. – FromMexico to Louisiana,the Red River, downto the Laguna Madre,Texas is one big playground. Join professionalbass fisherman,and three-time FLW Angler ofthe Year, Clark Wendlandt,as he takes you on some ofthe best outdoor adventuresthe Lone StarState has to offer. This is Fishing & Hunting Texas. – You know, topwater’severybody’s favoriteway to fish. Today we’re gonnatake an in-depth lookat topwater fishing. First off, we’re gonnastart with your rod. – You know, one of thecritical components to workingtopwater well, is youractual rod selection. And there’s so many differentclasses of topwater baits,I actually use severaldifferent rods. My very favorite rodthat I’ve got is aCabela’s XML jerkbaittopwater Rod. You can see that right there,it says jerkbait topwater. This is a rod that’snot real long. You know, the tendencyin rods these days,is to go really, really long. Well, this one’s not real long. And the reason is, is becausewhen you’re working a popper,or maybe a Sexy Dawg, somethingthat goes back and forth,you’re actually jerkingit a whole lotta times. You’re jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk. You don’t want something towear out your wrist, your elbow. Because if you gotta longrod, you’re not gonna be ableto do it nearly as well. And so, this rod to me, actuallyfeels absolutely perfect. It’s a rod, that when I jerkit, it’s just real light,real easy to work the bait. Here they come. That’s a good one. I can see him coming. Oh, gosh darn, that istoo much fun, right there. When you can catch abig fish on topwater,what can be better than that? Oh! I caught that onthe Sexy Dawg Jr. And so, that’s the rod thatI probably use the most. I use it on poppers, Iuse it on walking baits. For a buzzbait, though, Iuse a totally different rod. And on this rodright here, I usea spinnerbaitswim jig rod. The reason is, abuzzbait is pretty closeto a spinnerbait. So it seems like kindof a natural fit. This rod right here has alittle bit more backbone,and all I’m doing with thebuzzbait is I’m just reeling. I’m just makingcasts, reeling it in. Making a cast, reeling it in. So the spinnerbait swim jigrod works really good for that. And then the other rod I’vegot for topwater baits,is a Frog. And this actually here,is a Popping Perch,made by Strike King. This rod is actuallylabeled a Frog Rod. It’s got a lot of backbone,but also enough tipto work that bait. If you’ve ever seena frog in open water,it’ll actually work backand forth, back and forth,back and forth. And so, you want a rod that hasa little bit of a limber tipbut a ton of backbone inthe middle of the rod. Hey, the rod is criticalwhen you’re topwater fishing. You want something that isnot gonna wear your arm outall day. Cabela’s XML, try ’em. Now hey, that’s a look at rods. The next thing to consideris, is line choice. And really, it’s allabout personal preference. You know, one of the thingsyou gotta think aboutwhen you’re topwater fishing is,is what your linesetup’s gonna be. There’s several differentways you can go,and a lot of times, it’sactually personal preferenceas to which one’s the best. You gotta get outthere and fish it. I’m gonna talk about thedifferent ways you can do it. First of all, you cango just pure mono. That’s what’s on this rig;I’ve got a Sexy Dawg on here. This is Sunline Shooter Defier. This is 17-pound test, andthe cool thing about mono is,is mono floats. So when you’re actuallyfishing this bait,it will not sink the bait. You can’t fish fluorocarbonwith topwater very well. Because it’ll actually sinkthe bait down in the water. But mono works pretty good. But there’s somedrawbacks to mono. There’s a lot of stretch to it,sometimes if you makea really long cast,it won’t work the baitquite as effectively,because there is alittle bit of bend. The good things about itis, is obviously it floats. You can get it inthis green color,which looks really, really good. And, the other thing is, isthat when you’re working it,or when you’re making areally long cast with it,and you’re hurrying to get tosomething like schooling fish,the loops won’t createloops in your spool,and actually have a backlash. It’s a little bitmore forgiving line. So muchfun right there. When you watch ’em like that. I’ve never, I mean, it’slike fish in slow motion. When they bite likethat, they come upand it’s like, you know,they’re coming, they’re coming,and it’s just likethey’re in slow-motion. So much fun. Yeah, there’s nothing likecatching bass on topwater. The other way to go is, isjust with straight braid. On this right here,I’ve got 35-pound BX2. This is just straightbraid right here. And I tied, actually,to the bait. Now, when you tie tothis bait right here,it lets the bait worka little bit easier. I like the way the bait workswith just straight braid. The drawbacks to straight braidare, every once in a while,your hooks are gonna hookedup just a little bit more. The other drawback, maybe,is if you’re really triyng towing a cast out therefast, maybe a fish bus,or schooling fish, and youget that loop in there,it’ll backlash. So always, there’skinda give and take. You gotta personally doit and actually figure outwhich one’s the best. I personally like braidif I can get away with it. The other rig I’ve got here,is actually a Popping Perch. And on this Popping Perch,I always fish braid. I love a braid with anykinda frog-style bait. Maybe even a toad-stylebait, something that buzzeson the top. I like braid with a buzzbaita lot of the times, also. So you can go anydifferent direction. Figure out what’s the bestfor you, see if it works. Feel what a fish is like onthere and then go to that. Oh that’s a good one. The cool thing about itis, they’re all good. Man, that’s a pretty fish. – Well, it’snow time for a break. But stay tuned, as Clarkshares more secretsabout topwater fishing, andhow to catch a lot of bass. Right here, on Fishing& Hunting Texas. Fishing & Hunting Texasis brought to you byBass Pro Shops, youradventure starts here. Ranger Boats, still buildinglegends one at a time. And by Garmin, fight yourfish, not your fish-finder. Welcome back to this episodeof Fishing & Hunting Texas. Now, on today’s show, hostClark Wendlandt is discussingtwo of his favoriteways to fish. Topwater and flipping. Now, so far, we’ve shown youthe various rods and linesneeded to effectivelyfish topwater techniques. Now, we turn ourfocus to the lures,as Clark breaks downone of his go-to baits,the topwater popper. – You know, one of my veryfavorite baits is a popper. This bait right here,Strike King KVD Splash,they also make a Splash Jr,which is a little bit smaller. You know, one thingI do on my setup is,is the first thing I do, is Igo in and change up my hooks. I’ve got Owner ST-36s,they’ve got treblesthat actually gotfeathers on it. I got a little bit ofblue color in there. As far as the rest of my setupgoes, I like braided lines. The line I’ve got is BX2,I like about 35-pound test. Now the reason Ilike braided line,braided line can be alittle bit more cantankerouswhen you’re trying to cast it. The reason I like it is, iswhen you’re working that bait,I feel like it worksjust a little bit betterwith braided line. You can go with mono also. You don’t want to gowith fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon willactually sink the bait. So either mono or braid,or you can fish braidto a mono leader. Any of those will work well. You just have tofigure out personally,which one works best for you. As far as my rodand reel setup goes,I use a Cabela’s XMLjerkbait topwater rod. The jerkbait topwater rodis a fairly light rod,that’s not real long. I can sit there andtwitch it; I can pop it. And when you see the baitworking in the water,it kinda pops, it loops, itsplashes, it goes side to side. It does just a littlebit of everything. It makes some really goodnoises that fish really like. It’s a bait you canfish really fast,skipping across the water, oryou can fish it pretty slow. Either way will actually work. As far as the reel goes,I use a Cabela’s Arachnid. I don’t like a realfast reel for a popper. This one here is actuallysix point three to one. You know, think about apopper when you’re outtopwater fishing. You’ve got all kindsof different baits,but a popper can get yousome really big bites. That’s a good one. I’m working that baitalong, and all of a suddenI start skipping it. And that’s the cool thing aboutwhen you’re fishing a popper,this bait right here, KVD Flash, and all of a suddenI start skipping it. There we go, lookat that, KVD Splash. I just picked that bait up. And actually thesun’s getting up,but sometimes they justlike topwater the best. That’s pretty goodfish right there. You know I lovethrowing a popper,but one of my very favoritetopwaters to throw,is an old-school buzzbait. Buzzbaits today, we’re puttingdifferent trailers on ’em. It’s not always just a skirt. Lot of times we’reputting a toad. You can catch somehuge fish on ’em. You know, one of thegreat baits to fishin the fall ofyear, is a buzzbait. This bait right here,is actually a StrikeKing Sugar Buzz. The reason I like itis because it actuallymakes a loud clacking sound. You heard that baitwhen it came in. The reason it makes that is,is because the actual bladeactually hits the head. So when it goes around,it’s ka-ka-ka-ka. You can also bend the bladeout just a little bit,and it won’t makethat noise at all. Oh, Sugar Buzz bass. Instead of a skirt,I changed and I puta Super Toad on there. Now, buzzbait colors arenot something that I getall that worried about. It’s on top of the water,it’s kinda frothing the water. I either fish white,I fish chartreuse,I might fish greenpumpkin, or I fish black. There’s really only fourdifferent colors I fish. This is a big fishcatching bait. And the reason they bite itis because of the sound of it. – God! Nothing better. Mm, short-liner too. Oh, there you go, awesome. Whoo, man!- That was a biter out there. – I watched him come upand eat it, I go, oh no. – I was looking totallythis way, and I mean,it was like, I knewthat would have bit. – With that much line out, Inever turned the reel handle,I don’t think. – So when you’re fishingit, you gotta figure outwhat they want. Do they want areally fast retrieve?Do they want a littlebit slower retrieve?Do they want somethingthat basically gurgles?Or do they want something that,where this is actuallyhitting the headand making a clacking sound. All of that is justpurely trial and error. As far as your rod goes, I throwan XML spinnerbaitand swim jig rod. Which is basically the samerod that I throw a swim jigor a spinnerbait on. It’s a rod that’s gotsome backbone to it. Because a lot of times,just like I’m fishing here,you’ll fish it in some cover. It’ll get you a lot of bites. It’s old-school, a little bit. The only thing a littlebit different is,we gotta toad on thereinstead of a skirt. But it can catch a lot of fish. There he is. You got it, dude. There’s just absolutelynothing like the excitementof catching one on a buzzbait. – It really is. – I mean, it’s a hookup bait. Now, we’ve hooked great today. – It’s pretty fantastic. – It’s unbelievable. – Well, comingup after the break,we continue discussinghow to catch shallow bass. This time, when usinga flipping setup. So stay tuned for that and more. Here, on Fishing& Hunting Texas. This portion ofFishing & Hunting Texasis brought to you, in part by,Cabela’s, it’s in your nature. By Strike King. Sawyer, we keep you outdoors. And by TH Marine. Now, as we’ve seen sofar in today’s episode,topwater can be agreat technique totarget shallow bass. Another way to get a goodnumber of bites while fishingshallow cover, is by flipping. We now join host,Clark Wendlandt,as he shares one of hisfavorite flipping setups. – I love flipping. First of all, it’shand-to-hand combat. Short line, and you neverknow what’s gonna happen. Second of all, you can catchsome giant bass flipping. Here’s one of my veryfavorite flipping setups. You know, one of the bsetways to catch big fish,or to catch fish in general,is vertical flipping. And a lot of times we get stuckwanting to topwater over it,or crank over it,or spinnerbait over,you know, grass, maybefish on the outside edge. And sometimes that’swhere the fish are. But sometimes they getright in the centerof all that thick stuff, andthe only way you can get to ’emis with a totallyvertical presentation. When you’re doing that,the one thing I’d say is,is go to braid. Because braid is gonnacut through that,whatever kinda cover it is,whether it’s matted on top,whether it’s vertical deepgrass that you’re flipping. When you set thehook on the fish,you got the bestchance to get him out. Before braided lines,say, 20 years ago,a lot of times we’d reallystruggle to get those fish out. With braid, a lot of timesyou can actually put leverageon those fish and get ’em out. I like Sunline FX2,it’s probably myfavorite flipping line. If I’m gonna be flipping,usually 60-pound test. I know I’m not gonna haveany problems with it. It’s still a reallysmall diameter,so I know that the fisharen’t gonna see it,they’re not gonna react to it. Very sensitive line,it’ll absolutely,when you set the hook with it,basically you’ve got the fish. I mean, it’s like deadon there immediately. And so, that’s whatI really like to do. As far as my rodand reel setup, man,XML Bass, made byCabela’s, flipping stick. Flipping stick is perfect forany of those applications. When you havebraided line on thereand that big flippingstick, you’re gonna be ableto get those fishout of heavy cover. And all of a sudden,I make another castback into that clump. See all that grasswrapped around him? That’s what we’refishing for, there. The reason you gotta have abig weight and a heavy baitto get down in that stuff,is because a lot of timesthose fish will verticallysit down right on the bottom,in the middle of all that grass. They can swim throughit real easily,but our baits can’tget to it real easily. You’ve gotta have your baitdrop straight down to ’emand then when you get a bite,you jerk and you catch himand you bring himstraight back out. Hey, flipping heavy grassis a way you can catcha ton of good fish. So there’s one greatflipping setup. But whatever youuse, a lot of times,is just personal preference. You can use different line,different rod, different bait. Here’s another greatflipping setup. You know, in thesummer, late summer,fishing can be pretty tough. And one way to combat that,to catch really good fish,is to actually flip. And here, I’m actuallyflipping bushes with a jig,but you can flip soft plasticbaits with a heavyweight,or you can fish a jig. Either one of themwill work equally well. But the reason that that bait,you know, thosefish, a lot of times,when they move outof that deep waterthey’re gonna moveinto shallow coverand they’re just gonnaget in the thickest stuffthat they can get. So what I’m basically doingis, is I’m taking this bait,I’m flipping it inthe very middle of it. The bait I’m throwing right hereis a half ounce, HackAttack heavy cover jig. Green pumpkin, witha Rage Craw trailer. When you look at thatbait right there,the trailer actuallyflaps all the way down. It’s got a reallygood weed guard. And it’s got a really good hook. Heavy cover jig,something you can flipin the heaviest cover you want,and very rarelyare gonna get hung. Any bait gets hung a little bit. But this one right here, isnot gonna get hung very often. As far as line goes, Ipersonally like fluorocarbonmost of the time. This is 20-pound SniperFluorocarbon, Sunline. I also would use braid ifthe bush is heavy enoughand I feel like I need itto get him outta there. Then I’ll go to braid,but for the most part,20 or 25-poundSniper Fluorocarbon. – And next, hereon Fishing & Hunting Texas,well, Clark breaks downanother variety of flippinghe likes to do. This time, around the docks. Hey, stick around to learn moreon Fishing & Hunting Texas. This portion ofFishing & Hunting Texasis brought to you in part byEngel Coolers, alegend in reliability. Owner, perfection in hooks. And by Power-Pole,swift, silent, secure. – You know, one of my veryfavorite ways to fish,pre-spawn during February,kinda leading up to the spawn,on lakes that gotstationary docks on them,either mill orwood, is with a jig. This is a Strike Kingskipping jig, half-ounce. I’ve got a Rage,a Menace trailer,both of ’em in green pumpkin. The reason I like it somuch, is those big fishwill get around those docks. They’ll get up under the docks. Sometimes they’ll beon the shallow parts,sometimes they’ll beon the deep parts. But those docks are placesthat they actually stagebefore they’re gonna go spawn. Now that one was way up shallow. The first couple we caughtwere out deeper on the dock. That one was right. Get in here. See a little bit ofgrass right here,but that fish was wayup under that dock. And every fish is justa little bit different. Good, healthy lookingfish up under that dock. There’s my jig. I love the skipping jig,because I can actually slide itway up under that dock,skip it way up under thereand work every bit of the dock. You gotta have alittle bit of room. I need about that muchto really skip well. If it’s only that far, a lotof times the skip will hit,and it’ll still hit the dock. But if you’ve gotthat much room,you can slide it up under there. Sometimes they’re onthe outside poles,sometimes they’reat the very back. But fishing stationary docks,leading up to the spawn,is a way you can catchsome huge bags of fish. Look at this fat, footballof a fish, right here. Get in here. Look at that fish, thatis so pretty right there. Man. Now, I was actually workingthat bait pretty slow. I had skipped wayup under that dock. And that’s one thing wefound on these docks today,you gotta be way up under there. One thing you gotta realize is,is that, you know, next daythey may be on the outside. You may be fishingsomething fast,but today it’s gotta beflipping or skipping,pitching somethingup under the dock. That fish, beautiful fish. Hey, we enjoyed bringingyou today’s show. If you get the opportunity,check out our website,like us on our Facebook page. Message us, let us knowwhere you’d like to see us goall around this great state. We’d love to hear from you.