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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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I posted this discussion a couple years back thinking it might help a few folks catch a few gills.....Well more than 10,000 views later I hope it did......pretty crazy!

im sure it did... ive opened that discussion up in the tackle shop... thanks again Jeff!

I have a tendency to not fish untipped  plastic trailors when the waters below 50 degrees but it can still work on active Perch at times .Not well at all in my experience for Gills when the waters 50 degrees or less. There are exceptions but its a general thing with me to bait a squirrel tail ,bucktail or some fur Jig during a cold water bite ,or if its catching, skip the bait tipping .Untipped works for me with Crappie and especially Perch this time of year but not so much for Gills  .

Real good thought out post Jeffrey .Thank you ! 

 Taking a page from small stream Trout fishing , a subtle approach to fish is key. Especially  to wary or disturbed fish like you covered in your 2nd point. It is something I need to think more about while doing any type of angling . I'm curious about the wary nature of each species or individual  fish I'm pursuing and how long it takes for them to let there guard down after disturbed . I recall catching Crappie one after the other for an hour or so and then leaving them hitting at the spot to explore other areas .I came back after an hour ,lets say ,and they still were on that fallen tree hitting jigs with reckless abandon .Around this time of year I believe also.

   I don't know if that recklessness is  as quite that apparent in other species or not . Schooling nature /time of year , lack of preferred bait  and limited preferred cover have to be considered .Perhaps Crappie would act quite differently in another lake and situation . I am curious about specific species Nature here on this point  .

  As To Water Clarity , I fish mostly clear to stained waters  and in the case of the Crappie experience mentioned, pretty clear, not real stained . 

 Bluegills seem sometimes to be just as reckless but in warmer water periods.

Recently added some awesome ball jigs to my collection from Allen Morgan........He tied up some Electric Chickens in 1/64th and 1/32nd and they look awesome.....I'll add a few pics here for a reference.......they are already in my photos.

Might be some information for you here Dwayne Braden.........

And similar to the other,  I couldn't imagine over 12,500 views for this topic when I first presented it back in January 2013....

Check out this discussion if you like tipping jigs Damon........

Over 15,000 views for this discussion is way above my expectations when I posted it......I promised a few individual members that I would post some information that would hopefully give them a starting point in their neck of the woods.........Hopefully the information helped a few of you and I would like to hear back from some of you that now consider jig fishing under a float an option for them........It's still my preferred approach over 40 years after my introduction and I can't ever see me changing.........Just yesterday a friend and I caught Striped Bass to 16", Largemouth up to 19", White Perch in the pound class, some nice Yellow Perch and some slab Crappie..........this approach will take all species that thrive in my region and makes hook set a little more exciting........Let us know how you're doing!

I agree with you 100 percent Jeffery;; some of the countrys very finest jig; fly float makers are here on bbg..  and I have yet to ask any type of question; I did not get a answer to !  and thanks to you Jeff;; for sharing your knowledge to everybody !

If it helped one person I was happy Carl.......

From what I've been reading, jigs under a float, tipped with either minnows or worms, will probably become my major tactic here.  Even top-water flies are going to to a little harder, as the water is so clear that the fish hold in deeper water.

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