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How to Rig a Gambler Flapp’n Shad

Pass a Florida Rig screw on weight size 1/64 or 1/32 through line - tie on  hook.
Run hook completely through bait until it reaches the top of the slit which is on the bottom of the bait.
Pull bait out.
Rotate hook turning it towards the top section of the Flapp'n Shad
(which is the flat section)

Bend bait between eye of hook and point of hook at 90° and pass hook completely through bait.
Lay point of hook on top of bait and then just skim the point of the hook back into the bait.


My favorite year round technique:
You must realize that I fish where you can catch topwater bass 12 months out of the year. This will work anywhere once the water gets to 65 degrees or so, in any type of heavy cover. Here I fish it on extremely
thick matted vegetation such as topped out hydrilla.

BUZZING THE MATS: To rig the 6 inch size bait I use a 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu hook. All 5/0 hooks are not the same size nor do they have the same size bite. You want a hook this size. Before tying on the hook, slide on a 1/16 oz. Florida Rig sinker.  In heavy vegetation with truly large bass, do not leave off the weight. Without it, it will have a tendency to bounce across very thick mats. The bass under this thick grass cannot track the bait as well with no weight. Also, the weight actually increases hookups on large bass. When a bass hits this bait it flares its gills just as it does when a bait is sitting still. Without the weight, this bait is so light it is often forced upwards and out of their mouth. Next you must cut the tail, but only with certain techniques, this being one of them. The cut must be perfect to get the optimum action and sound. To make this cut, place a Shad in front of you on a table to get the hang of it. This cut MUST BE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE TAIL! Lay the bait flat on the table with the head pointing to your left, and the bottom of the bait, where the slit is located, toward you. There is a seam running the length of the bait right down the center. Make sure the tail is not twisted by making sure the seam is straight from head to tail.
The easiest way to make sure the cut is right is to use a hole punch that is used on paper to punch a hole dead center in the tail. Now make a single cut starting 1/16 of an inch below where the tail first begins to flatten out, to the very center of the hole you punched. This means the cut will be angled upward very slightly. Just make sure it is always on the bottom of the tail. If you do not have a punch, just make this exact cut, BUT STOP 1/16 OF AN INCH BEFORE YOU GET TO THE CENTER OF THE TAIL. If you cut to the center of the tail or farther, you lose the action and the sound. I make these cuts in my boat with a single edge razor blade or scissors. A blade works best. Rig the bait Texposed stlye with the point of the hook exiting right where the head of the bait stops and the slit begins. This puts the offset of the hook snug against the back end of the head portion of the bait. You are now ready to fish this bait as you would a buzzbait. The one exception, and the reason this bait catches larger bass than a buzzbait is that you throw it everywhere you cannot throw a buzzbait or any other bait! It is deadly when cast far back onto very thick grass mats and buzzed off. If the bass are coming up thru the grass to strike the bait, they will often miss or spook the other bass under there is they do get hooked. I've found that I can pull the entire school of bass out from under the mats before they strike by buzzing the bait very fast, too fast for them to strike at it. Slow it down a foot or so before it clears the edge of the mat. Be ready for the largest explosion in bass fishing on this bait or the Horny Toad, which is fished the same way. Use a 3/0 Gammy with the Toad. I have caught as many as 30 bass on onsecutive casts from 3-10 lbs. from the same mat using this technique. When the bass are in sparse vegetation, and often when the lake is calm, a 4 inch bait rigged with a 1/0 hook can be the ticket. TWITCHING UP PRE-SPAWNERS: I have caught more bass over 7 lbs. on this technique than with any other. That's really saying something when you consider this. I have only been fishing this bait for 12 years. I caught a lot of bass over 7 lbs. way before that. What's even more is that I only fish this technique from Jan. thru March. This really says a heck of a lot about it. The reason for the short time span is that I am only targeting LARGE pre-spawn females with this technique. It will catch bass anytime, but I use the best technique with any bait depending on the time of year. Big pre-spawn females can't resist it. For this you want the smaller 4 inch version of the Shad. Rig it weightless on a 1/0 hook. The best hook I have found for this is an EWG X-Point hook. It simply hooks more of the fish that strike. A Gammy works well also. DO NOT CUT THE TAIL! If you guys do this when the spawn first rolls around next spring, I will almost assure you of catching your largest bass ever. Well, maybe not if your largest is already 13 lbs. It's extremely simple. You must make sure of one thing. This is that you are fishing an area of the lake that the bass use heavily as a spawning area. I have a 200 yard stretch for this that you guys would kill to have near where you live. Simply cast the bait toward the horeline when the bass aren't actually locked on the beds. If you see beds offshore, fish it there also.Big females have a tendency to feed within 10 yards of a shallow shoreline just before going on the bed. Weightless, this bait sinks very slowly. Slow is the key here. You will want a white or light colored bait so you can see it in the water. Cast the bait and let it sink 1-2 feet, or about 1/2 way to the bottom if it's shallower. Once it reaches this depth, give the bait one slight twitch. Just enough to make the tail move slightly, and let it fall back. The bass will strike on this pause when it is falling back down. Just continue this one twitch method for a few casts. If nothing happens after a few casts, you have two things you need to do. First, let the bait drop a little deeper before you twitch it. If the water you're in has decent visibility, keep letting it fall deeper as you fish until you get a strike. I always keep the bait in sight. In the water I fish, this will be down to at least 4 feet, if the water is that deep. Just make the point where the bait is ready to go out of sight the deepest you fish and this will work. If you've dropped down and still nothing, there's a good chance there are no bass there. LOL

The next thing you want to do is go to 2 twitches before you let the bait drop. These are the only adjustments you have to make for this bait to work on prespawners. You always want to watch the bait to detect a strike. Many times, since this bait is weightless, the only way you can detect a strike is the bait disappears instantly. If you cannot see the bait, watch your line closely but, it is always best to watch the bait. Do this and you will see most of the bass flash when it sucks in the bait. When you see a strike, DO NOT SET THE HOOK IMMEDIATELY! If you do, you will hook less than 10% of these fish. When you see the flash or the bait is just gone in an instant, immediatly start counting by 1,000's, to at least 1004. At this point quickly make sure you reel up all the slack  line. Most all truly big bass will swim away from the shore. With the slack reeled up, point the rod tip at the fish and set the hook by putting as much speed in the rod tip as possible. The best way to do this is to snap your hands against your chest as fast as you can by simply bending your elbows. If you miss the fish, wait a second longer. I have caught literally hundreds of big bass like this and have never had a single one swallow this bait. This is one thing that I do not know why. Waiting this long with other soft plastics is only killing fish. If one should happen to swallow the hook, only wait half as long next time. If you were here with me in the winter and wanted to specifically fish for a double digit bass, this is one technique we would use everywhere I know there are big fish. It's that good. If you have heavy aquatic vegetation in the water you fish, this technique will catch some large post spawn bass when the wind is really blowing across the grassbeds. Rig it the same way except with a 6 inch bait and 5/0 hook.

SUMMER LIFE SAVER: Any of you who make the right move in summer and get off the shorelines and fish offshore structure, have had your fish turn off due to weather. I'm talking about when you have located a large school of bass you know you can catch anytime simply by being there when they turn on. This type of summer bass stays put all summer. Heavy rain, or down here when the flood gates open wide, the water gets stirred up and dingy. Often, down here everytime, these bass you've been catching right on the bottom with a Carolina rig or deep diving crankbait suddenly stop biting. They didn't move anywhere other than up. They suspend off the bottom a few feet and can be nearly impossible to catch. When this happens, one of the two sizes will catch   them. Stay with a Carolina rig only decrease your weight by 1/2, and increase your leader by doubling the length you usually catch them on. After the weight hits bottom, wait a few seconds. This bait, combined with the long leader will take a few seconds to sink after the weight hits bottom. At some point it will drift down very slowly right thru these suspended bass. If nothing hits then, move the bait by sweeping the rod tip upward to 12:00 and let the bait fall back thru the bass. These bass are so difficult to catch that I do not even fool with them other than with this technique. Most days, it actually makes them easy. I learned this while fishing a tournament and on the verge of being embarrassed. I have a friend who is a very good inshore saltwater angler. In fact, he fishes 2 of the redfish circuits you now see televised. Fish Fishburn does the weigh-in for one of them. He is the one who first took me to the southern tip of the Everglades and showed me the unreal tarpon, snook and redfish down there. The deal was I had to take him bass fishing. Well, the tarpon fishing was so good, I knew I had to show him some special bass fishing. It probably ruined him forever on bass fishing but, I took him in my airboat to one of Rolands private orange grove lakes. There are more bass per acre in this place than I have ever seen or even dreamed of. This is a very shallow lake filled to the brim with grass, and is surrounded by a deeper canal that circles the entire place. Running across the shallow inner lake portion in an airboat, looking straight down over the side, you will not see a 3 foot square anywhere without having at least one bass in it. I'm talking millions of them. It was summer and he caught bass on topwater nearly every cast for 4 hours until dark. I didn't think about it at the time but, not being a bass angler, that gave him the impression it is always like that. That you can go anywhere and catch 100 in 4 hours throwing any bait you want. About a week later he started bugging me to take him out and fish a bass tournament. Finally I gave in. About 3 weeks prior to this tournament I got on the absolute best school of bass I've ever been on. There were thousands of them about 100 yards offshore in one of the lakes here where I live, which is where the tournament was going to be. They were in 12-15 feet of water and I caught them there guiding for 16 straight days after finding them. For 16 straight days I caught the first bass on this spot on the very first cast. You caught them at will everyday regardless of what time you pulled up to the spot. All you had to do was cast in the direction I pointed with a Carolina rig. The bait or color made no difference. That's how many bass were down there. I had it made. All of these fish were over 2 lbs. and most were over 3. My clients caught at least 3 bass over 5 lbs. for 16 straight days. What's even better was there was not one other person on these fish. It was too easy and the tips were rolling in. I could sit there and catch them non-stop for 8 solid hours. I told my buddy something I know you should never say. That was about how many bass I was on, how big they were, and how all he had to do was show up and then count the money. I had never done that before or since. It was just that good. I actually laid off the spot just in case for 3 days prior to the tournament. Like I was going to hurt it with that many bass in there. As I was heading in with my client the evening before the tournament, I pulled up just to make a couple of casts on the spot. You know, just to make sure. Like clockwork both my client and I caught 4 pounders the first cast. We caught 2 more each on consecutive casts and I took off. The next morning I was never so sure of winning a tournament in my life. It was going to be like nobody else showed up. We would be culling 3 pounders on the 6th cast. I ran the half hour to the spot and nearly fell out of the boat when I didn't get a fish the first cast. Neither did my partner. Normally, if I were guiding, I would have known what was going on well before leaving the house. The only time I break my morning routine is on the days I do not have a guide trip and this was one of them. That, combined with how easy those automatic fish had been for more than 2 weeks, had caused me to not even turn on the weather radio or the Weather Channel on tv. As soon as I reeled in my line after that first cast I realized what was going on. Until we arrived at this wide open bay, I had not felt any wind at all because we had been protected from it. It was blowing between 10 and 15 out of the north. I hadn't fished this spot on a north wind because the wind never blows from the north during the summer. A front had blown in during the night and I found out later it had rained as much as 3 inches the night before in some areas. It hadn't rained a drop at my house and the parking lot where we launched was barely wet. That's just the way it is in Florida. I looked at the water and thought it looked a little dirty but you just can't tell that early in the morning. I sure could tell when the sun peeked over the trees. The flood gates had to be wide open and the water was the dirtiest I had seen it on this spot. My partner was letting me have it after 10 minutes with no fish. After all I had been telling him about these fish, combined with the fact his one bass fishing trip had been to bass heaven, what should I expect. I went into overdrive and in 90 minutes had thrown nearly everything in the boat without the first strike. I was one more bait away from leaving a spot with thousands of bass, and I was still getting it from the back of the boat. I thought for a while and came up with the rig I just described. The weight hadn't touched bottom the
first cast when my line got heavy. That first fish was over 6 pounds. I handed my rod to John so I could tie another one on his rod. His first cast produced a twin of mine. We didn't even cull a bass. The first 5 we caught were way more than enough to lap the field. After the fifth bass I picked up the rig I had been throwing and catching these same fish on and made several casts without a strike. This same setup has worked for me everytime my fish have suspended since that day. If I had blanked that day, I would have never lived it down.

These are just 3 of many ways I fish these baits. You will see all sorts of different uses for them the first time you throw one.

You simply can't fish them wrong.

By Ranger Rob

Originally Posted by Ranger Rob
 

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Alright already, Flappin Shads are probably the only thing I don't own. I have so much "stuff" that I haven't even opened yet. Well I went ahead and ordered 2 pks tonight and by golly I got some Aarrons Magic Robo Worms coming to (ole school). Anything else??
 

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I got a box full of different sizes, and colors, and forgot that I had them, Its been that long since I have thrown these baits, I'm ashamed of myself. oohhh well, time to break them out again, in mid may, if not earlier. :thumbup01:
 
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