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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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Jig fishing under a float is my favorite way to take big bluegill and I'm excited as the waters begin to warm later this month and things kick off as the monsters begin to stage for another great spawning season.......

Gills like this get your blood flowing and are fun to catch....

I had a collection of favorites from the years past and I was introduced to a fantastic line of jigs......Gronaw Grass Shrimp from Bigbluegill.com featured member Jim Gronaw...

Big fish and great numbers await the jig angler in the black tidal waters of the mid-Atlantic...

These great gills were all taken in 2012 on jigs under a float..

I can't wait for the next chapter of fishing jigs under a float.....it's going to be a whole lotta' fun............

If anyone has any ideas or things that work well for them when it comes to jigs....we would really like to hear from you....Thanks in advance. I will post pictures here throughout the season of the jigs and variations used successfully along with the conditions log.....

I'm really liking the baby shad under a float Jeffrey....I've been using it on a plain lead head jig....as you've read, sometimes tipped with some nibbles....

With the water temperatures rising above 50 degrees in my region, the jig fishing under a float has really taken off.....Here's a couple that have been productive for Crappie, Bass and a few early staging gills..

This is the modified 2" "joker" soft plastic from Strike King....I really like the action of the three legs and I cut the body down so I can tip with live bait and the fish like them....

Here's the Berkley Gulp 1" minnow version in chartreuse shad threaded on a 1/32 ounce jig head...

Here's the tipped version that has produced all the fish in the recent days......

My go-to rig is a Thill Mini-Stealth fixed bobber w/ 1/64 oz. marabou jig or non-lead jig head w/ Berkley Gulp micro minnow. Killer bait for working bedding gills...

Bet it is..thanks for sharing Townie....

Thx. Jeffrey-- Nice Bull caught w/ float & horizontal jig rig...

Great info

My suggestion is to make certain your jig is presented horizontially when deadsticked or below a bobber.  If you are drifting, the boat motion tends to swing a jig to a horizontal position.  After you catch a fish, the knot slides to the front of the hook eye.  Make certain you move the knot to the middle or rear of the eye.

Good advice Badgerloader....

I always attach mine with a loop knot, should I change to a non slip knot?

If you're comfortable with a loop knot Steve then you may want to stick with it.........I just demonstrate and talk about methods that I like......I reset my knot after each bite/fish as Badgerloader recommended.........My personal belief is this is more important when retrieving/trolling jigs......but I too fish them horizontally more often than not.... 

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