Flip Grass like Chris Lane

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Most anglers are known for a particular technique or style. McClelland – football jig, KVD – Crankbaits, Reese – Power Fishing, Velvick – Swimbaits, Monroe – shallow water, Brauer – Flippin’, Rowland – Topwater, and the list goes on.

Chris Lane is all about the grass.

The native Floridian, who transplanted to Guntersville, Ala., feels right at home when the water he has his boat in is inundated with aquatic grass. To Lane, grass means bass, and when the right factors are there; it means the right kind of bass. Grass provides ambush points, it provides oxygen, shade and temperature variations to the bass, and Lane knows it means more and bigger bites to him.

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What that means is that his boat can sometimes look like someone has spent a half of a day weed eating around his parked vessel, but it also means that he has a comfort zone that he can call home in a tournament. “If there’s good grass in a lake, you can bet I’ll be there,” said Lane. “I know if the grass is right and the mat is alive with activity, then I have a chance to do well.”

While he has become known for tossing his signature Snag Proof Guntersville Frog around grass mats, his go-to technique involves a Flippin’ Stick, 65-pound braided line and stout hooks. “I love frog fishing, but my workhorse technique for grass is Flippin’,” he said. “I can catch them Flippin’ in grass year-round, and I know it.”

The Right Grass
While it may seem to the average angler that every grass mat will hold bass; that’s not always the case. All types of grasses will hold grass, but Lane feels that the right grass is defined by what the bass need at the moment.

“I don’t know what makes them move, but they do sometimes,” he said. “I’ve been Flippin’ hydrilla one day, then return to find the bass are not there the next day. Then move a little ways away and find that same school has moved to a floating hyacinth mat. For whatever reason, they moved.”

He speculates that whatever causes that occurrence is either that the baitfish moved, or that the grass stopped producing as much oxygen. But, whatever the cause, Lane suggests anglers keep an open mind and stay flexible. “You just have to pay attention to what the fish are telling you,” he said. “But, to narrow it down, if I find a good grass mat with bugs fling around and bream and baitfish popping the surface; its’ probably a good mat.”

He suggested anglers look for a difference in the matted vegetation to start their fishing. “Grass are drawn to combinations of cover,” he said. “If I find two or more mixed grasses in an mat that’s alive with activity – I’m starting there.”

Let it Drop
Lane keeps his technique fairly consistent throughout the year when he is using a heavy weight to penetrate the grass. He usually starts with a Gambler BB Cricket in a black and blue color, he matches it with a 3/4 to 1.5 -ounce Gambler tungsten weight depending on the thickness of the cover. his approach is to pitch the lure into the cover and allow the weight to push through the cover. he does not pitch the rig high into the air and let it splash down because he doesn’t want to spook fish.

Once the lure enters the water, he allows the lure to fall in free spool until it hits bottom, then he pumps the lure a couple of times before repeating the procedure a few inches away. “Most of the strikes occur as the lure breaks through the surface,” he said. “I don’t let it sit for too long, I keep picking it up and putting it down.”

Flip Gear
Lane uses a 7’6″ All Star Series Flippin’ rod, which he pairs with an Abu Garcia Revo SX in 6.4:1 that he spools with 65-pound-test Stren Sonic Braid. He uses a 4/0 to 6/0 Gambler KO Flippin’ Hook depending on the size of the bait, and he typically uses the BB Cricket, but if he feel like he needs a bigger profile; he will switch to a Gambler Ugly Otter.

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Most of the time he leans towards flipping dark colors and his first choice is called Bowen’s Silver, a black and blue laminate color with silver flake in it. “What that color gives me is a dark bait, but I also have the silver flash to mimic shad,” he said. “I also do a little something with my weights to add to the attractiveness depending on the predominate forage.”

That trick is to change the color of his sinker. “If the bass are eating bream, then I will go with a black weight,” he said. “But, if I see a lot of baitfish activity around the mats, then I will put the unfinished silver weight on my line. That gives me a little flash to help mimic the look of a shad.”