Apr 20,2007 00:00
If a bass could build its ideal habitat, the specs would be something like this: shallow water, in or near heavy cover with quick access to deep water nearby. While the nearby deep-water access is good news for anglers (you need some place to float your boat), pulling bass out of water in or near heavy cover can pose some access problems.
Pitching is the same technique that anglers have employed for centuries when they tied lengths of line to the end of cane poles. It allowed them to guide the bait to a desired location. They did this without the high-tech rods and reels we now have at our disposal. It worked then and it works even better today. Whether it's getting your bait in a small opening near heavy cover, under low-hanging limbs or around boat docks, being a proficient pitcher can make your days on the water much more successful.
Ideal for using in off-color or muddy water (as most lakes tend to be this time of year as they are stirred up by the wind and hard rain), pitching is best for targets between 10 and 30 feet away and provides a very quiet lure entry. Standard equipment for me is 25-pound test Berkley Big Game line and a 7-foot-6-inch Fenwick Techna AV Flippin'Stik (at least 7 feet in length is a must for a casting rod). It's a heavy rod with plenty of backbone to wrestle big fish out of cover with a moderate action for easier strike detection.
Pitching has been a go-to technique for anglers for years. But it takes practice. Set up some drills in the backyard or anywhere else you have room. Even if you can't be on the water, you can still be sharpening your skills to make the next trip a success. Learn to make accurate, quiet casts and pitching will likely become one of your favorite ways to target big fish.