by Josh Holley
Every year new baits come on the market that are supposed to be the next best thing, however they tend catch more fisherman than fish. Not long ago the Flip N Bird was introduced into the fish industry. And believe me, it’s an eye catcher.
I usually do not succumb to always buying the latest gear I tend to stick with what I know works. However after seeing this and reading reviews on it I just had to get my hands one! I had caught a fish before that had a bird in its mouth so I figured it would be a great concept.
When my Bird first came in the mail and I opened it my first reaction was “What the heck!?” Needless to say it’s not a very traditional bait and not what most of us are used to you. Me myself was 50/50 on whether the bait would catch fish or Knot. My home waters are Lake Jordan and The Alabama River and I love fishing frogs in the grass and backwaters. I had see thousands of fish eat live frogs buy my mission was to set out and see if they wanted to eat some birds too.
I set up my Denali Froggin Rod and Lews Tournament Pro Speed Spool with 30 pound braid and tied on the Blackbird Flip N Bird. My first time I used it was on Lake Jordan. I had a spot where there was a shallow grass flat and a large stand of Cattails where hundreds of Blackbirds made themselves at home. I cast the bird about 20 times on the edge of the grass flat with no takers whatsoever. Then I moved to the stand of cattails and cast in a small pocket that cut into them. I let it sit there perfectly still as long as I could stand it and just started to move it… “Boom!!” one of the most bone crushing strikes I have ever seen came on that bird. I let her take and slammed into her with authority and a few jumps later had a 4 pound largemouth in my hands.
It was true fish will eat birds…
From then on I fished the bird very regularly and was surprised that it kept putting fish in my boat. The biggest perk to me was the fact I wasn’t catching anything under 3 pounds on the Bird they were all Kicker fish. I could catch more fish on a regular frog but the Bird was a big fish topwater bait. I used varying retrieves while using it, from walking it to just letting it sit and twitching it. I caught fish both ways but where it really shined was letting it sit for a long time and barely twitching it. It’s a bait your able to work in the same place for a long time and stays in that sweet spot.
Soon the time came where I was confident enough in it to fish a tournament with it. I was fishing a small afternoon tournament against some close friends on the Alabama River. I had found some good fish in a backwater keying on shallow brush and grass. When the sun started to set I broke out the bird and started chunking away. The day was really tough and I had only 3 small fish. I needed a big fish…BAD. On my first cast with it I missed what seemed like a decent one and then went for 30 minutes without a strike. About 30 minutes before weigh I finally got my shot.
I was absolutely discouraged by this time and did not know what to do. I decided the keep throwing it just for hopes of getting that big bite. I made a cast where there was a half submerged small tree in a big patch of grass. I let it sit for a few seconds, twitched it, let it sit, twitched it again, and Pow! Big girl was trying to tear my bird in half. I Set the hook, horsed her in and had my fish I needed. At our weigh in I knew I didn’t have a chance for a total 5 fish weight and only weighed in my big one. At 4 pounds and 5 ounces I won big fish! It beat the next biggest by over pound and everyone was wondering what I was using. And admittedly I didn’t have the courage to say it was a bird, and told them a frog…
After finding confidence in this bait I found 3 things that really boost my recommendation for it. First off, as said before it catches big fish. Its not a numbers bait but in a tournament the last thing I care about is numbers, I want the 5 biggest fish in the lake in my livewell. Second, the hookup ratio is phenomenal! Yes I missed fish on it but I’m pretty sure those were user errors. If you let the fish have it for a second then slam back really hard it’s pretty hard to miss a fish. My favorite feature of the bait was its durability, all the times I went fishing with this bird I only had one, I still only own one. Ive caught many fish on it and have never had to do any type of repairs on the bait.
All in all I have to say, In spite of my doubts…Fish ate the Bird…