Mastering the skip and slide - Major League Fishing

Mastering the skip and slide

July 12, 2001 • Darl Black • Archives

Skipping a lure across the surface is somewhat like skipping a stone. The more splats and “pity-patters” it makes, the further it goes. With intense practice, most anglers can pick up the basics in an afternoon. But then comes the finer points of controlled direction, distance and accuracy. That takes much more practice.

Watching Rob Genter of Tidioute, Pa., kneel, bend and lean as he works his magic, you might believe he is practicing to be contortionist. “The lower to the water you are, the easier it is to skip,” states Genter. “Every target is different and you must analyze each situation. You can slam the bait on the water and get one jump over a rope, or you can direct a more glancing skip so the bait trickles a long distance across the surface like a pebble.”

Before releasing line, Genter loads the rod to his side and whips it parallel to the water’s surface with a slight downward angle. He can skip forehand or backhand and from either side of the boat. That’s not something the novice can learn in a few minutes of practice.

Skipping with a baitcaster is a particularly neat feat. Dave Lefebre side-arms a 7 1/2-foot flipping stick and free-spool reel, making a low trajectory cast that sends the bait skipping across the surface while line flows unimpeded by a brake. “I can’t describe how I accomplish it, but it’s sort of like an underhand cast,” he says. “I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s automatic, simply an extension of my arm.”

Lefebre also employs a power pitch to slide a jig on the surface. He says this is particularly effective for getting a heavy jig way back under a pontoon boat. Rod pick here is a 7-foot pitching stick.

To begin the power pitch, Lefebre holds the reel above his head with one hand so the rod tip is pointing straight down at the water. The jig is held lightly in his other hand. He then executes a forceful outward pitch as he straightens out his arm and points the rod tip toward the target. As the lure hits the water, he starts lifting the rod tip thereby controlling the jig so it slides on the surface up to 30 feet.