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Jig Fishing Under A Float.....Things to Consider and Other Recommendations

Here's just a couple jigs I like to fish. Some micro and some regular sizes.

Just one of my Panfish Boxes.....Various jigs, floats and weights.

I've had several inquiries in recent weeks about fishing jigs under a float so I thought I would post a discussion with my suggestions and then others could add their questions and/or suggestions as they feel necessary.

I've been fishing jigs under a FIXED float for many years and it has become one of my favorite techniques to pursue Gills. Just like any and all fishing it takes calculated decisions to generate strikes and optimize the strikes that you get. The three most important factors in my decisions regarding jig fishing are as follows:

1. Water TEMPERATURE: This will dictate the size of the jig I select along with the float and weight. The colder the water gets the smaller I go. The natural tendency of the fish in these conditions will be to softly approach a bait, this would often remain undetected by larger gear. In ideal water temperatures above 62 degrees I go all the way to a 1/32 ounce jig with up to a 2" soft plastic. This approach is proven and in no way is to large for Bluegill fishing. Each angler will have his/her favorite and they should follow their instincts. But for my time and money, bigger gills will take the larger presentations more readily and hopefully cutting down your battles with the "tird" tappers......I just want folks to leave this discussion ready to try some things that they may not have before or may not have considered......

2. Water DEPTH: If the fish are shallow, how can I get my bait to them with the least amount of disruption from the bait entering the water. Smaller gear would create less disturbance entering the water but perhaps you can throw past the strike zone and retrieve your bait to the zone. Perhaps a telescopic pole would be better to just lower the bait into the zone without the accompanied splash and commotion. Again, deeper fish will be impacted less than fish in three feet of water or less. This is a very important consideration that is often overlooked. My belief is that in areas holding catchable fish, an angler can improve quality and numbers with this approach.

3. Water CLARITY: I for one use heavier line with zero negative impact because my waters are dark with very limited visibility. Many anglers will prefer smaller line and I totally understand and would follow the same advice given similar environments. Fish you can see are often easier to spook from surrounding movement. The dark waters provide me an advantage but I still fail very conservative.....If the winds are low, can I remove or down size my weight or float and still catch fish. All things to consider when heading out for gills with your favorite jig.

I will go into more detail in the weeks ahead but feel free to ask any questions you may have. I will discuss weight placement and tipping recommendations in the next couple posts. Good luck and please ask if you have any questions, whether general or specific....Maybe all it will be for you is a subtle change to increase your quality or numbers. I'm not the only successful jig angler on Bigbluegill and I know collectively, we probably have the answer to just about any question you may have......

 

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Jeffrey, you may have answered this and I just failed to pick up on it. When fishing under a float with a naked jig what kind of retrieve do you prefer to use?

Now over 21,000 views and I was just trying to help a couple anglers a few years ago when they asked me a few questions........the power of the internet........

Yes, and we all owe you a big Thank You! Without your sharing this with the rest of us many would never know what others use. Like me, I would have never know about using live bait, tipped jigs under floats nor really long poles. Likewise that Thanks goes for everyone else here on BBG who freely share their successes.

Think I will have to try this jig and float and try tipping with some crickets. Dang now I need some jigs...

Almost 23,000 views now for this discussion........crazy!

Hi Frank,

Many of the members here have had this, or similar, discussions before.  I'm pretty sure that Jeff will tell you that he has done enough testing with untipped jigs, plain live bait, and tipped jigs (bait and plastic/hair/feather), and his results are that tipped jigs will outfish either of the other two choices.  Mainly because the color/action of the materials draws the fish in, and the protein seals the deal, making the fish hang on longer than they would an untipped jig, giving the angler just a little more time to set the hook.

The way I understand how Jeff fishes, is that he's "dapping"; dropping a tipped jig into pockets in the Cypress knees in the swamps.  Usually the take is pretty quick, no time to impart action.  Sometimes Jeff will drift bait on the flats away from cover.  During the winter, he targets deeper areas where the fish congregate.

i like the look of a well worn float after a couple seasons on a rig.

Any other tips Jeffery, I started playing with jig and float today. I'll have to reread through this thread again as well.

Use the lightest-weight float you can, one that just barely holds the jig up.  This way, "slow" or "soft" bites are easily detected.  I've got a few floats what will just bounce and jiggle, but won't go under.  I try to use those when targeting bigger fish.  But, if I'm after gills, I stick with a Thill TG Waggler.  Balsa, so it's not quite as bouyant as styrofoam, and slips under the surface easily when a fish takes the bait.

Comal-brand weighted cigar floats, 1 1/4" (the small size) are also nice, but they tend to "bounce back" a little too quick for my taste.

Thanks sir. Guess that's what makes this fun is the playing around.

Let us know if you have any other questions Craig.....hope the information helps!

Jeffery - How often do you find you have to add extra weight past what the jig weighs to keep the float down or to get down faster? Do you do any trolling with your jigs, say spider rigging? I see you had an old forum post with pictures of a spider rig setup. I've got some long rods that I'm going to play with jigs and plastics and various floats.

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