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By Bob Stickles-Big Bob’s Bait & Tackle
Flippin is a small town in Arkansas and a great method of catching bass, and big bass at that. Flippin’ (gently tossing) a soft plastic into holes in the brush with a heavy rod and heavy line in currently a technique that is working on both Bull Shoals and Norfork.
Lizards, Brush Hogs, worms and the new Strike King Smokin Rooster all make good flippin’ baits. Most flippin’ fishing is done in depths of 2 to 6 feet. Carolina rigged lizards and the 4-inch Deadringer worm are also good baits for this time of year. Due to the early spring the top water bite has started early and several large fish were caught on top water last week.
Crappie should start moving to the spawning areas and can be caught on Swimming Minnows or small chrome head jigs. Catfish have been active and quite a few cats are being caught in both lakes. Live worms or small bluegills make great baits for cats. Walleye are being caught on worm harnesses and Flicker Shad crankbaits trolled as deep as 30 feet. The Flicker Shad crankbait is best trolled behind a bottom bouncer to get it deeper than it would run without the added weight. These little baits can also be cast, and they catch both walleye and bass.
White bass had a very short run this year and most have gone deep in both lakes. White bass fishing was very good until the big rain we had a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to see if they reenter the river system this spring or if they stay deeper out in the lakes.