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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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Thanks. I use them in winter time even more so with the smaller jigs and tough bites. Some time people with bobbers see what they call "nibbles" when they are takes, and of course miss a fish.  I hope you will, as well as others give them a try.  I get mine from a guy in Canada or the UK, but they can be purchased here as well.

Craig

Could not agree more. Floats provide a better indication of takes over most bobbers. Bentley Fishing USA makes a Micro Pan Fish Float. The Float weights 1.5 grams or .05 oz. 

Great for cold water when the bites are much more subtle. Also pretty cool if you fish float and fly method

I have checked out Bentleys site a few times, great info. Do you use there floats?

Yes, big fan of Bentley's Micro Panfish Float. If I'm just going for bite indication I use a Trout Magnet EZ Float.

I do most of my fishing fixed line with either a crappie pole or Diawa telescopic Soyokaze pole

Just wanted to add some thoughts on the baits you or others might want to try if you haven't already.  I fly fish so I sometimes use baits from one style on others. One "fly" I use on 'gills is a San Juan Worm.  These can be deadly on all pan fish.  If you want to do it on the cheap, rather than buy a bunch of flies, is to use a size 10/12 light wire hook and a piece of rubber band tied to the hook.  It's an easy tie and you can make them in as many colors as you have rubber bands to chose from.  I add a little flavoring to the baits to get rid of any smell from the rubber.  Hope this might help someone before the season starts.

 

Hey Craig great idea with the rubber bands and should be super durable too!!!! Doesn't get much simpler either...

It doesn't get easier than that. And you can sit down and tie 20 or 30 in no time.  I also will put them on jig heads as well.

I've seen ice anglers use pieces of rubber bands as floats also. Break the rubber band and tie it to the line at the depth you wish to fish, then trim the ends until the surface tension of the water will just hold it, and your bait, up.... the tiniest movement of the jig will twitch the rubber band. Works best in very calm weather, or inside a shelter.

Craig-what flavorings have you worked with ?  I have used Almond and Vanilla and they have caught some decent Trout and Panfish for me . I have some orange extract i was thinking of trying also. 

What attributes differentiate a float from a bobber? If a float is held in higher regard, then what is it that nudges a bobber into float status?

I refer to mine as floats, the same way I call maggots, spikes.....but they're the same critter after all....

Floats are shaped differently and more sensitive than  bobbers. Takes a bit of force on a take to move a typical round bobber. The floats I use are rated at .05 oz and you need micro shot to balance. You pretty much can see a fish sneeze.

Ah....so your interpretation revolves around the shape?

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