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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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These are my favorite leadheads for warmer waters as the bite becomes more aggressive......I always tip my jigs with live bait and these long shank hooks are perfect for that.........These are from the MIZMO bait company and feature a # 2 hook on a 1/32 ounce leadhead.........Most folks will consider this hook size too large but not in the waters I fish....very productive and high hook set ratio........

I see chartreuse and white in there... That's one that has produced for me on central SC waters.

It's hard to argue against Chartreuse/white when fishing panfish....productive in many different applications.

Has anyone used these long shanked Mizmos before? Any feedback on what you thought about them? Thanks in advance.

Looking forward to another day of jig fishing under a float......I'm prepared to size up to 1/32 ounce  as soon as the water warms up........I'll fish mainly with 1/64 ounce with the colder water temperatures but expect to be able to size up during the day at some point......water warmed to 54 degrees in many locations today........Ready to splash some jigs.......

Tipped jigs were hot today in the low water and chilly conditions.....I started with a chartreuse gulp 1" minnow tipped with a live shiner and caught some nice Crappie and medium gills.......shifted to pink/white and the Crappie bite picked up to the tune of 24 Crappie and 10 medium gills.....Gills are sluggish as the water remains in the high 40s to low 50s.........Female Crappie are staged and ready with males already shallow......Still had fun as our river was dominated by tournament bass anglers today that for the most part were struggling........

This weekend's winner was a 1/64 ounce Eagle Claw jig head with a Gulp 1"minnow in Chartreuse Shad threaded on and tipped with a live cricket....Fished shallow this weekend, two feet deep most of the time.......Crappie, Gills, Largemouth and Yellow Perch all crush this offering.....

I do well with the Gulp! minnows myself......very versatile bait.

What size Gulp minnow do you use?

I exclusively use 1" Gulp minnows Billy for my brackish water applications and they are with me every trip......I fish tanic water and would rank my top three as follows.......

1. Chartreuse Shad

2. Emerald Shiner

3. Pumpkinseed

I have several jars of both on my boat right now, but for me I always tip with a live minnow, cricket or grass shrimp to make an irresistible meal for a panfish and big gills love them......

This is a multi species sunfish bait....They will all take it rigged in this manner in brackish water...Here's a few species....

RED SPOTTED SUNFISH

BLUEGILL

REDEAR SUNFISH

REDBREAST SUNFISH

I will post more including Fliers, Warmouth and Green Sunfish......very versatile bait.....

All of these fish were caught on a similar rig that has been working great in recent weeks....I just ordered six more jars of the 1 ' Chartreuse Shad gulp minnows....This plastic combined with crickets or live grass shrimp has been deadly on many species in the Albemarle region of coastal North Carolina.......

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