The birth of pitching

Editor's note: 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of B.A.S.S. As part of our celebration we’re publishing stories, videos and photos about the history of the sport, including the one below. 

Any bass angler who strives to compete at the highest level has no choice but to learn the pitching presentation. Today, the term flipping generally lumps pitching and flipping together. Pitching, an offshoot of flipping, allows for pinpoint accuracy and a soft lure entry that rivals the flip-cast but at greater distances.

Oklahoma angler Tommy Biffle deserves credit for refining and popularizing pitching. Soon after he got wind of the newfangled flipping method in the mid 1970s, he mail-ordered one of the original 7-foot, 6-inch, brown fiberglass Fenwick Flippin’ Sticks.

“It weighed a ton and was as stiff as a pool cue,” Biffle said.

He taught himself the flip-cast and was soon catching loads of tournament bass with the method. One day Biffle lifted his jig out of the water to make a flip and “just kind of swung it out there.” It was a eureka moment.

“It worked so much better than what I had been doing because I could stay farther back from the fish and the cover,” he said.