The Whole Flippin’ Story

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 1 of 5.

I will readily admit, I am a Dee Thomas groupie. I give all the credit to him for the flipping technique and concept, amidst the hate mails I get from others who say he didn’t invent it. I’ve taken a lot of time on this site to write pieces pertaining to the subject because I feel the whole story, although it’s been written and told over the years, hasn’t been told in a long time and needs to be consolidated in one place – preferably here at the Bass Fishing Archives.

On this site you’ve undoubtedly seen and hopefully read; Controlled Structure Fishing, Flippin’: A Concept 1, Flippin’: A Concept 2, Flippin’: A Concept 3, The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 1 and The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik 2. As I said, we’ve devoted a lot of space here to the subject.

TWFS 2

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 2 of 5.

What I’ve always been missing, though, was the original tri-fold pamphlet published by Fenwick in 1976 called The Whole Flippin’ Story.

The Whole Flippin’ Story was written to teach anglers interesting in learning to flip, how to do it. Printed on an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of glossy brown and white paper were renderings and words describing the basics of the technique and concepts of the method. Although the renderings of the presentation led a lot to be desired, it provided a platform for someone to at least gain the basic knowledge.

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 3 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 3 of 5.

Since starting this site over two years ago I have been looking for a copy of the original pamphlet high and low. I’ve scoured the auctions and asked all of my close friends who were around at the time and had some connection with Thomas if they had a copy. I’ve even asked Thomas himself – no luck. It’s one of those pieces of bass fishing history that, in my eye, is priceless (there, I just priced myself out of the market).

Low and behold as I was reading through a bunch of old American Bass Fisherman magazines the last couple weeks for some other pieces, I happened across a familiar piece. It’s not the original 8-1/2 x 11 gloss brown and white piece of paper but from what I can tell, it’s original in every way other than that. The same renderings, the same words. It was in my hands all along.

So, for your historical reading pleasure, I present to you, Fenwick’s The Whole Flippin’ Story.

 

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 4 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 4 of 5.

 

The Whole Flippin' Story as written in Fenwick's 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 5 of 5.

The Whole Flippin’ Story as written in Fenwick’s 1976 tri-fold pamphlet. Printed in the March/April 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman. Page 5 of 5.

  • Harold Sharp

    Dee Thomas was the first to make a big splash at BASS Tournaments with a method that he called “Flipping” .But long before Bass Tournaments were invented a group of Bass anglers fished Dale Hollow and Watts Bar Lakes with a long pole and a short line, they called it Dabbling or Doodling, these lake were full of stumps that were left when they were impounded. These angles would paddle close to the stump and reach out with the long pole and lower a lure down beside the stump and it worked very well. We also had anglers in Florida that carried yard rakes in their boats to rake a hole in the floating vegetation around trees in the water, then they lowered a plastic worm down beside the tree, some called this “Doodle-Socking”. In 1972 Ray Scott and I fished with some Texas BASS Club members who used a long pole with a length of line same length as the pole to place a lure under a dock or near brush, they called it “Pitching”. This method of presenting a lure has been around long before Bass Tournaments were invented, it just had many different names.

  • fish_food

    As Harold Sharp points out above, various short line, long pole techniques have been around a long time and predate what was eventually dubbed “flippin’.”

    To give Dee Thomas’ technique credit, it does involve the additional steps of drawing out line with the offhand then penduluming/releasing the bait to the intended target–it’s a little more evolved over the “doodle sockin” and “cane dipping” techniques others have described. Were there parallel existences of Dee’s technique? Maybe.

    Anyway, it’s great seeing a reprint of the original Fenwick brochure’s content. I’ve been wanting to see it for a long time!

  • Bruce W.

    We all had read about dabbling, doodle-socking, etc. in our old Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and the few other information sources available at the time.

    But most of us never knew anyone that had actually fished that way, let alone seen someone use that technique.

    In my mind, heavily influenced by Bassmaster Magazines, Dee Thomas was the “inventor” of flipping, along with Dave Gleibe, Gary Klein, and then sealed by
    by good ol’ southern boy Hank Parkers Classic Win with a borrowed Flippen Stik.

    To me this is the point, most of us thought, I oughta get me one of them things, maybe it will work for me too.

    And work it did, for everyone, clear water, muddy water, no difference, we all made it part of our arsenal, due to Dee Thomas.
    thanks
    Bruce W.

    • fish_food

      I’m in complete agreement with Bruce!