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Game Of Throws
Bass anglers try flipping, pitching, the wrist roll, fly fishermen employ the double haul, there’s even a bow and arrow cast for shooting under docks, all of these and more are used to describe casting techniques. In the “game of throws” it determines how many presentations you can make during your fishing trip. If you are the average angler you make at least two casts a minute. If between paddling and pitching you spend five hours on the water actually fishing the calculation would be you made 600 casts. In my case I keep the bait moving and cast at least four times a minute, same amount of time yields 1200 casts to the bass.

As a dedicated kayak angler I prefer short range pitching for almost every technique I use in the pursuit of any fish. I do on occasion back off and launch crankbaits to deep water fish but I like to make a house call and get up close and personal. My pitches are most likely from a distance of 20-40 feet. I put a premium on accuracy because of the true strike zone of most fish species. The closer you get it to them the more likely they are to hit. When faced with a tight target area the underhand pitching technique allows for a pinpoint presentation and minimal splash and noise. For even closer encounters the flipping technique used with a small section of line and a pendulum motion to fish in and around heavy cover and quick repeated presentations to the fish hugging submerged wood, weeds, docks and any other potential hideout.

After years of doing casting demonstrations at outdoor shows I have realized there are a few factors that make anyone good at casting. Like any other endeavor practice is important. If you’ve mastered the baitcasting reel the next thing is to work on your mechanics. Do the same thing, the same way each time and you will find that your results are repeatable. You don’t have to sacrifice distance for accuracy. For any type of casting equipment know that if your goal is longer casts you can leave extra line with the bait dangling off six to ten inches of line at the rod tip. This allows you to “load” the rod with energy that sends the bait a greater distance. For short range accuracy reel the lure up to within an in inch or two of the tip. This gives you a bit more control. For the pitching and flipping techniques you have a longer length of line, a rods length for pitching and flipping generally you have a longer length of line in your hand that you allow to flow out as the bait heads to you target. The efficiency of both these short range techniques logically allows for several more casts / presentations per minute. Longer rods (7-7 ½ feet) allow for distance, some additional control and a degree of accuracy. For a consistent feel and uninterrupted accuracy I try to use the same length rod and the same weight lure when at all possible.

Side arm casts create less splash than overhead casts and can be used to work under docks and overhanging tree branches. In ultra-clear water longer casts will help you to catch a few more of the wary fish already spooky because of the water clarity. In dirty water generally bass retreat to shallow water sloppy casting and presentations are less likely to shut bass down.
Wind is the bane of the bass angler and even more so when working from a kayak. Casting large profile or light baits in the wind can be disastrous for those handing baitcasting equipment. An educated thumb and a little common sense rule in breezy conditions.

I pride myself on my ability to cover a lot of water and make hundreds of casts. It starts with accuracy and the ability to gauge the retrieve speed necessary to fool the fish. I’ve even worked to improve my casting from my off hand (in my case my left hand) so I can work cover from every angle and if fatigue sets in I can go to the alternate side.
Does all this seem extreme? Not when you’re trying to win at the GAME OF THROWS.