The Deadly Punch Rig For Bass
Without a doubt flipping and pitching are two of the most often discussed techniques in all of bass fishing. But it wasn’t until the past decade or so that punching, which is essentially a sub technique of flipping, became a mainstream term.
The premise is simple using an exceptionally large weight, with a smaller and streamline soft plastic worm, to punch through dense or matted vegetation.
Where Does The Punch Rig Work?
Punching is only relevant on grass lakes, of course, but to get more specific, it’s only relevant on lakes with vegetation that tops out and mats at the surface, such as hydrilla or hyacinth.
It offers shade for bass and shelter for pray. But that shelter comes with a cost because dense vegetation can also starve out oxygen, which is one of the reasons bass position differently within matted vegetation throughout the day and throughout the year.
Bass maybe up near the surface feeding or hunting oxygen, or they may be near the bottom, roaming or lying in wait to ambush.
Time Of Year Matters
On lakes like Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and lake seminol the pre spawn bass will get up in those mats because that’s where some of the warmer water is. And when there done spawning, they get back in there in the lake.
During the summer like right now in August it becomes a really strong pattern because a lot of fish will actually live in there, since that’s where the food is, where all the crawfish and baitfish live.
Special Rods For Punchin'
Punching can be a debilitating technique, because the angler must continually lift and flip weights of an ounce or more. It takes endurance and can be also dangerous.
Fishing injuries are a fact of life in today’s sport and with flipping, pitching and punching, there’s the chronic danger of repetitive stress injury and fatigue injury.
When anglers arm becomes tired, injuries to elbows and rotor cuffs become more likely.
Specially designed punching rods and more specifically the Titan HD that takes a lot of the work out of it. This as a counterweight system for fishing with weights up to 3 ounces and it’s one thing that can definitely say is an advantage.
With the counterweight I could flip a 1 oz and a 1 and half oz bait all day long and not get fatigued like I would with an everyday flipping stick. It’s a really big deal. Click Here To See Special Punch Rod.
Colors For Punch Rigs
At times I will put on punching skirt. I let the bass tell me what they prefer. If the bass are feeding on crayfish, I’ll use a craw with some red or orange. If they’re feeding on bluegill, I will throw a black and blue or a June bug. I steer away from green pumpkin in Florida the waters to tanic.
Where To Fish A Punch Rig
I practice a simple solution to dialing a punching bite. Essentially, I hunt out a trio of vegetation types. Sure, fish might be scattered everywhere under matted vegetation in there may be a few around a combination of 2 different types of weeds. But what i’m looking for is something much better in diverse.
It generally takes 3 of something together maybe Lily pads hydrilla, coontail , or even pencil reeds and pads diversity of 3 different types of vegetation is what i’m looking for.
When you can find all 3, in good clean water then it’s generally lights out.
The other is to look for subtle differences in depth. You and everyone else will be looking at a lot of the obvious stuff, but sometimes it can be the subtle difference, like when you’re moving across to flat and its solid hyacinths in penny warts, then suddenly they’ll be a little 6 inch drop.
In Florida a drop of 6 inches is a lot. In that little change in depth can be the difference between catching 8 pounder versus 3 pounders.
The difference can be as subtle as vegetation that’s a little greener than the surrounding weeds. It could be an area that’s not quite as thick as the stuff around it, or maybe a set of penny work within solid hydrilla with 6 fish sitting in there .
It could also be as simple as riding around and looking for blooming flowers because the fish will get on the stem and root systems of those Flowers. When you look for subtle things like that you can usually find a pattern and catch more fish.
Punch Rig Patterns
The fish can be at any depth underneath the mat. Sometimes they’re up at or near the top of the mat, sometimes there on the bottom, other times are in between.
It’s a process of elimination to find out where they are. If they hit as soon as you flip in, you know they’re probably just beneath the surface. If the roaming around the bottom you’re going to have to dead stick it on the bottom and maybe hop it 5 or 6 times.
As soon as you get a bite doing something you need to repeat what you were doing because there’s a reason why it worked .
You see a lot I see a lot of guys punching through, hop at once, then move on. You need to dial in a pattern by trying different things like multiple hops or dead sticking to find out what the fish really want.
Using process of elimination to work out the pattern will catch more fish on a punching rig.