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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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Hey Craig........I personally only like one weight on my rig if required depending on the wind I keep a variety of weights available starting with micro size..............When fishing at depth I will up size the float to support a larger weight to help get the rig down to the desired depth.........I have spider rigged but I prefer to stay in contact with my baits so it's less appealing to me............I have done well trolling but I only use the jig by itself for that the waters begin to cool down in the Fall I start doodle socking jigs...........All I do is put a tiny float in line with the jig at three to four feet and set it up for a slow fall in water up to five to six feet.... The jig will take this micro float under and all I'm doing is watching that float for quick erratic movements that indicate a strike with this method..........catch a lot of panfish in the fall this way using a telescopic pole for quick hook sets.............Good luck out there Craig

Thanks Jeffery, I'm new to the boat world and getting into chasing strictly bluegills

It's been another great year with jigs under a float........several repeat performers and quite a few new ones from the members of to all for allowing me the opportunity to fish your creationa on the beloved Albemarle........


I agree, I'm learning a lot and will be testing some new to me methods today. Got to make a good breakfast of biscuits and gravy first. Might swing over and grab some foam clip floats to play with today. With the long rods I can see the advantage to fixed floats over slip floating. Though slip floats will still have their place I can see some testing to come.

Long rods make for easier hooksets, especially with slip-floats!  Especially when casting long distances!

I played with fixed floats today, next trip I'll test some slip floats. Had a hard time detecting bites today they were light and teh fixed floats weren't very sensitive even though they were tiny they were super thin like my others.

How deep were you fishing today Craig?

3-6' deep

Thanks Craig.......I like a quill or just an indicator on the line over five feet but I don't fish much deep water until water temps turn over late Fall or early winter.......good luck slip floating when you get back out.......

I haven't been on here much recently but I agree with Carl, this is a very informative and interesting topic / discussion, as are many that Jeffrey starts or participates in. Thanks for sharing so freely with us what has taken you many years learn and master. And thanks to everyone else who share their knowledge, this site is such a great resource. After several setbacks, I hope to finally be able to purchase a boat in the not too distant future and employ some of the wealth of knowledge that is shared here. 



It has been another great year for jig fishing on the the coming weeks I will document a few things that contributed to my sustained success............


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