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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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That’s a quality white crappie Kelly, congrats!

When they are not feeding on top that's what I go to. I enjoy looking into other boxes, too.

Thanks for sharing all this info Jeff stuff like this takes years of experience very detailed well put thanks again.

I use a lot of red jigs too especially crappie fishing. I have a few stingers I am going to try under a float with some of your suggestions.

Do you find that crappies seem to prefer colors every few years?

Thanks Bruce…….crappie can change while you’re fishing…..take today for example, I caught 20 on a tomato seed jig then it slowed down, went back through the productive area with pink and caught 25 more……I tie 6 standard colors on and try them quickly once I locate fish to determine what will work best on a given day…it changes often….Jeffrey

I always meant to thank you for posting "Jig Fishing Under a Float." were you ever able to post the discussion on tipping?

No problem Bruce and thanks…...after helping several hundred people learn and employ this technique locally, I found this site during a winter storm back in 2010…..after I began to post many anglers reached out and suggested I do a narrative discussion and I’ve had great feedback over the years….recently a few active members have also expressed an interest in the “tipping” part of it….I’m planning to add that to this discussion later this year Bruce ….that way it’s easy to find…..

Yes many thanks Jeffrey for this Blog and look forward to more from you!

Thanks Kelly…..

Several  weeks ago I caught a mess of crappie and kept some for dinner. When I cleaned them I saw they had some Pogy Shad in their stomach…..I found a close artificial called the Berkley Two Inch Pogy Swim bait.  I didn’t use it as a swim bait, I promptly tied it on under my float and started casting around shallow wood…….the float method allowed me to pop the bait for reaction strikes which is how the crappie wanted it…..that free falling paddle tail was a killer….

Great info Jeffrey, Thank you for sharing. And sounds Like the fishes like it too...Congrats.

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