Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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 I have fished a slip float for as long as I can remember but the other day I was fishing in about 20 feet of water and had run out of 'Bobber Stops'. I could have tied one of my own but couldn't be bothered. So just for the heck of it, I kept my set up the same and tried fishing without the bobber stop.

I would cast out and let my weight (two BB sized shot set about 6 inches above the hook) hit bottom. The float would rise to the surface and lay flat. I slowly tightened my line so I could barely feel the weight and the float would cock at about a 45 degree angle. The results were simply amazing, I could see the slightest tap. 

Try it... Worked great for me...

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Interesting

Rob, didn't the float try and work it's way back to you? Without a stop to prevent the line from passing through the float, it seems like it would move up the line every time you raised the weights off bottom.

yes it did - this is an unbalanced form of float ledgering

I've been fishing a slip float that way for over twenty years.  I read an article in a fishing magazine years ago about managing private ponds for big bluegill, and the author used slip floats this way.  It's my main live-bait technique in the spring.  

Hi Tony...

No I had no issues with the float trying to work it's way toward me. I guess the conditions were just perfect. The wind was from my back towards the float, but there wasn't very much wind in any case. I've tried to think this through and it seems to me that provided you keep your line tight and your rod slightly raised, there would be no issue. I am certainly going to try this method again next time I go out. I must admit I was pretty much fishing the same spot, (not moving the float around too much) fishing about 2 feet in front of a bunch of some large emergent bullrushes, in a very quiet bay, the water was perfectly calm and very little boat traffic. I suppose if the conditions hadn't been that way I could have encountered a few issues. But... I'm going to play with this method a lot more. Just a wonderful way to fish, hook up rate was almost 90 percent. I went to bed that night and all I could see was my float laying flat and then gliding away, reminded me of when I was a boy. What a wonderful way to spend a day.

I've seen this as a way to keep your line out of snags, those between you and deeper water. The weight is sufficient to carry the bait to the bottom, and the float holds the line out of tangles.
It's mostly a catfish technique, at least when I've seen it. It also has a fairly substantial float in that application.
This way, with just the right amount of weight, I can see it working. The balance of the weight is the key, as I see it. At least you know you have the depth set near the bottom!

My preferred slip floats are through stem designs. When I rig these, I always use two stop knots, one above the float like normal, and one below the float. This way I can slide the lower stop up against the float and 'capture' it, turning it into a fixed float. If I need to slip float, I slide the lower knot down the line out of the way against my weight, and it functions as a slip once again.

excellent Tony... i really like that idea..

Gonna have to try that ,sounds like a great idea! Thanks Tony

This is excellent stuff, with colder weather coming.

snow this morning here... my open water season is done

When I was fishing colder water and we had to go out deep there was a method where we put two no. 5 shot (.28 gram) on the bottom and then one no. 5 up the line under the float. We also had one no. 5 ABOVE the float to sink the back line. ** Note I have seen people improperly call a BB shot something the size of a bb pellet- this is not accurate. So if by BB you mean .4 gram shot - that is .8 gram shot on the bottom. So we are on the same page - a BB shot is really a medium-sized split shot. no. 5 shot are .14 grams or it would take 3 of these smaller shot to ONE BB.

I should draw this rig up and also get out and practice it - it has been a while. This is a casting rig but not technically a slip-float rig. I get what Tony is saying.

The float had a loop thrown under the eye so it would not slip back. Depth was checked exactly so this was precise. Line was marked with a sharpie marker.

Bluegills would pick the bait up off the bottom (basically- their torsos are resting on bottom for warmth).

This is called a pop-up rig because the float would jump up with the bite ever time.

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