“It’s a reaction bite, so they’re not going to sit there and look at a bait for an hour,” he said. “Generally, I don’t hop it more than one time, because they’ll get it on the fall 90 percent of the time.
“The only time I fish the holes in the hydrilla is in the morning with a frog or a topwater. But once the sun gets up, all you see in the holes is baitfish; the bass are tucked inside the hydrilla.”
Make it happen
Tacoronte’s formula for dog days flipping combines equal parts diligence, perseverance and confidence. It’s nice when you find that loaded spot early, but more often than not, success comes at the end of a prolonged search.
“The grass bite is very sporadic, so you just have to figure it out throughout the day,” he said. “I have been in tournaments where I picked up that flipping stick for five, six, seven hours and covered three miles without getting a bite, but in 50 yards, I’ve put 35 pounds of fish in the boat. That’s how fast it can happen. It’s one of those bites you can’t quit on.”
As he explained, the dog days typically find the biggest fish extremely hesitant to participate until that perfect alignment of conditions spurs them to quickly fill their bellies. Predicting these furious feeds is crystal ball stuff, and the fish’s propensity to relocate often complicates matters. Still the payoff is worth the reward.
“When you’re driving down the highway, if you’re not hungry, you don’t look at any exit signs, you don’t look at restaurants, you don’t look at anything,” Tacoronte said. “But as soon as your stomach says ‘feed me!’ you notice everything. ‘Hey, where are we going to eat? Look at that, look at that.’
“It’s the same with any other animal, so unless you get a reaction bite, they’re just letting the bait go by them. You might go by an area and not get a bite, but come back and hour later and wreck ‘em in the same 20 yards.”