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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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Thank you for this. Great info. Do trout magnet jigs work well for gills? I picked up a pack recently and have been wanting to try them for a long time but have not yet been able to. I just got the natural worm colored ones. Also I wanted to ask if you can tell me what the jigs in the second row from the top, in the very right compartment left of the slashed divider is. I have used them before but I traded a friend some flies for them and he did not know the name, nor do I but I have had good success on them.

 

Thank you!

Oh I should have just said the ones in the plastic tubes. Those are the ones I am talking about, sorry. Do you happen to know where to get them for cheap? I really like them but I have never seen them in a store.

The ones in the tube are Cubby Mini-Mites

These are Cubby Mini-Mites as Badgerloader correctly identified......I got my first ones from a local bait store but I have ordered in bulk since then from Panfishpro.com.........I have caught quality fish and good numbers of sunfish on these baits......

Thank you guys, gotta order me some of them. Panfish fishing is not great where I live but these seems to do pretty well, and I enjoy jigging to bluegill instead of the old bobber and worm setup which is what I use 90% if i'm not fly fishing.  Thank you!

You're welcome and share some pics when you get some nice gills jigging!

Had another magical day today on jigs under a float and what a good time....Only fishing it twelve to eighteen inches down in relatively shallow cover and the panfish couldn't resist......

Many of today's fish came on just a plain 1/80 ounce ledhed jig tipped with a live cricket...

Chunky fish are arriving shallow in preparations for continuing their blood line....

Big gill of the day @ 10.75 inches and is cousin below a 14" Slab Crappie..

Remember if you need a technique to cover water quickly this is a good approach......it doesn't have to sit long in water above 65 degrees....when placed shallow the jig will often get slammed on entry as a reactionary strike but that's all we need often to set the hook.......

Nice mess of fish Jeffrey I'm glad for you, great job.

Jeffrey great bunch of fish.

Jeffrey great bunch of fish.

Appreciate it Dick......this is truly a rewarding technique that is relatively easy to fish and on average it attracts the larger gills of a particular population....

Jig fishing under a float continues to be a top producer in the brackish waters of coastal N.C. Hot colors right now are chartreuse, pink, firetiger and olive.....I have shifted to a 1/32 ounce jig and the fish size responded as I have suggested in previous posts.....35 of 47 sunfish Sunday afternoon were over 9" including 5 Coppernose and 2 redears over 10"......We continue to do well on the Berkley Gulp Alive 1" minnows as a soft plastic substitute in Pumpkinseed and Chartreuse Shad colors.....Many don't tip for their own reasons but I encourage the brackish/tidal water anglers to consider tipping as this can increase your production in a healthy ecosystem in which plenty of prey items are available........The combination rules specifically during these challenging back and forth weather patterns...regional fly fishing anglers have seen below average catches but the fish are just not making contact with the surface yet....chilly/cold weather reduces insect activity which are a big food source for gills, but if the new grass shrimp are there and the insects aren't, the fish will adjust so the anglers have to as well.. In a separate note I saw a decline in hook setting ability of a battered jig head this past weekend so I encourage you to consider changing your jig more frequently to increase your hook setting power....just as a knife gets dull from cleaning the gills you catch, the hook gets banged up after passing through the cartlidge of lots of fish....Good luck fishing your jigs and please feel free to share your results with us...we would love to hear how it's going on other waters..... 

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