By Jason Christie

From California to Florida and lakes North to South, bass fishermen win tournaments flipping and pitching jigs and plastic baits. Take these tools and techniques out of the game, and bass fishing just wouldn't be the same.

Over the years, I have flipped and pitched enough lures to know what works for me. Today I am pretty much dialed in on the qualities I am looking for in a flipping lure.

Here are my three favorite flipping baits and how and when I use them.

Booyah Boo Jig with Yum Craw Chunk
Any time I know I can catch bass flipping a jig during a tournament, I know I have an opportunity to win. Jigs just seem to catch bigger fish.
My favorite combination is a half-ounce Booyah Boo Jig with a Yum Craw Chunk trailer, and my favorite color combination is black and blue.

The Boo Jig has a thick Bio-Flex silicone skirt with a keeper on the hook shank to hold the plastic trailer in place. It was designed to work through the heavy jungle where bass thrive, and only a man with a flipping stick can get them. The head shape enables it to crawl though cover, and it has that plastic bristle weedguard to protect it from most hang-ups.

The Yum Craw Chunk body matches up well with the Boo Jig, but it's those flapping craw claws that bring the jig to life and draw strikes. You can catch fish on a jig throughout the season. Still, for me, the jig is deadliest when the water temperature is below 70 degrees.

This jig/craw combination really catches them during the prespawn period when bass are moving shallow and feeding. I'll continue to use it right through the spawn.

This jig and trailer becomes a go-to combination again in the fall when water temperatures dip below 70 degrees.

Conditions might call for an adjustment in jig size and color at times, but that 1/2-ounce model is my workhorse.
YUM Christie Critter
Once I think the fish have spawned, which is usually as water temperatures reach 70 degrees, the jig-and-craw yields to my favorite soft plastic baits. The reasoning is not based on science, and it’s not superstition. Experience just tells me that my success rate will improve if I make the shift to plastics at this time.

My first choice is the YUM Christie Critter, named after…well, you know. It is a creature-style bait available in five colors that catch lots of fish -- watermelon seed, black neon, watermelon/red flake, green pumpkin/purple flake, black/blue flake. My personal favorite is green pumpkin/purple flake.

I flip this bait into bushes, around docks, seawalls, stumps, deadfall, vegetation – anywhere that flipping comes into play.

I Texas-rig it using a 5/0 Flippin’ Hook. About 90 percent of the time, I am using a ½ ounce slip sinker, and I always peg it or use a bobber stop to keep the weight snug to the nose of the bait.
My tackle for fishing all three of my favorite flipping lures is the same: 25-lb fluorocarbon, a 7-foot-3-inch Falcon Swimbait/Flipping Rod (7 power), and a Lew’s Tournament MB Speed Spool 7.5:1 reel.

YUM Bad Mamma
I also love to pitch a 4-1/2-inch YUM Bad Mamma. This is a beaver-style bait that is perfect for flipping holes and bushes and pad stems. I can use it over deep cover and on prime structure, too.

I rig it with the same 5/0 hook and, most of the time, the ½-ounce pegged slip sinker that I use on the Christie Critter.

Why does this bait work so well? I think it’s the “finesse” of it. The Bad Mamma has a compact body. It doesn’t have big flapping limbs that hang or pick up debris. This is important when you are working cover. Still, it has those short twin flappers and a dual blade tail, which I can either split or fish as a large single tail.

Either way, it has the action of a living creature. We made this bait right, adding plastic to the body so that it doesn’t wear out after a few casts. It will hold its position and profile on the hook longer than other similar baits.

My favorite colors are black with blue flake and green pumpkin with purple flake. The others are good colors, too, but these are my favorites.

The target areas for the Bad Mamma are pretty much the same as the areas I flip the Christie Critter. I just like to have these two contrasting bait types as my options. Sometimes the fish just need to see a different look!

Much of the season, you will find flipping rods with two or even all three of these baits tied on and ready to work...I am just waiting for the fish to tell me which bait they prefer.