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ok I know this might me a question that I should know....what is the proper way to fish a bobber and jig,? I see pro crappie anglers do it, but, I have little success, I want to be able to succeed with this system, it looks like fun.

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David, I'm new to this method as well, but tried it a few time before ice over last fall and have been practicing at a nearby open spillway this winter. So I am very interested to see replies to your question as well.

How I do it, and how I've seen it done, tighten the knot quite tight, add your bead, slip the bobber on, then tie on your jig. The size of the jig will dictate the size of your bobber and you can adjust the knot (which adjusts your jig's depth) by simply pulling it up or down your line.

Very fun way to fish and hope to get better at it. I especially like to do this with the kids I take fishing too. Without the bobber they have a tendency to let their jig fall too far and either get snagged or drag on the bottom and not get any bites. With the bobber I know how deep they are and they can still get good experience working a jig.
The way Josh said is correct.
I've caught crappie using this method, I always fished the jig under a round bobber, or an oblong one, as long, as it had some weight to it {easier to cast for distance. The way I fished it is by casting it letting it settle and then popping it, reel it in slowly a few inches, sit, then pop it again. The fish would generally hit it on the sit. I've used this method in creeks mostly, but have used it in lakes also. I've never tried it without the bobber, but like I stated before, I need the weight for the long cast.
When I taught my boys how to fish this technique (a common presentation for us), I constantly reminded them to "bring it to life".
A hair jig under a float, be it a fixed float or a slip float, is my personal favorite.
This is nothing more then vertical jigging from a distance. Make a cast, allow time for the jig to fall through the water column. The length of time is dictated by the weight of the jig you are using. I like a slow fall = lightweight jig.
Normally, I will start by making one revolution of the reel handle and waiting again. It's my belief that when the float is moved toward you, the jig is rising in the water column. When you stop the float movement, the jig begins to drop through the water column again (think of it as a swing).
The fish will normally tell you what they want as you try different retrieves. Sometimes a steady retrieve will trigger takes, sometimes a twitch and wait is preferred. The presentation is entirely up to you.
Remember this: if you don't present your bait where the fish are willing to take it, all you are doing is practicing your cast. Adjust that float to suspend the jig higher or lower if you're not getting the attention you think you should.
Slip corkin and bobber fishing is a great way to fish for suspended fish, spring, and fall fish. Theres really not alot to it. The biggest part is remembering that you have got to adjust when the fish arent biting. Try moving your cork no more than 6 inches at a time. We start on the bottom most of them time in 12 ft of water or less and work our way up.

Tight lines
Mayo
For those that want to fish the jig under the float the major rule to watch is that the jig will sink most of the float. I would recommend if you must use a jig under a float that you use a smaller jig and then add split shot a foot or so up from that jig. With both the shot and the jig's weight sinking your float 95% under water.

I would also say that even a 1/64th ounce jig is several times less sensitive than a hook under your slip float because the jig weight must be pulled in by the fish. In warm water not as a big deal. In cold weather - the fish won't pull the jig's weight as easily which will result in lost fish, missed takes.

When selecting your float taller is better than round - sink that float and you will see many more takes. With a lot of float above the water, it is much more difficult for the fish to take your bait. Any questions or extra help please contact me and I will be glad to send drawings, setups or help out.

John
"When the going gets really tough and fish takes are super light, I will create a pop-up float setup. 90% of my takes are the fish picking the bait which lifts the lower set of shot - popping the float tip."
John, how do you rig your pop up float? Do you tie the hook inline, or do you use a crappie rig of sorts? Every time I've tried to use a sinker below the bait it seems the fish aren't as willing to mess with it.
AWESOME question! Pop-up is the main bite early and I call that a "lift".
If you have proper gear- your float will (( lift )) slightly up in the water.

The reason I talk about sensitivity in a setup is that fish eject their food all day long. Sometimes they sort it so they will hit it and spit it out faster than you can react.

My shot is never below the hook. To create a pop-up rig, the shot is lower on the line but probably 6" from the hook - just off the leader. There is nearly no shot up the line towards the float. This makes the float very buoyant and able to pop upward. So- if your going gets tough- you can make two stacks of shot.

An essential part of your rig for float fishing is good shot. I only use Anchor split shot and there is a French shot called Super Deux for the super finesse rigs. Super Deux will ONLY go on 2 lb. and 1 lb. line. These shots come in a selector pack with 6 or 8 sizes. Their most important aspect is that they are "double cut" and they are soft. Soft shot keeps them on the line without damaging the line. They stay in place and don't move around on their own. But- this is quality shot so you can adjust it. Another essential component of your rig- adjustable small shot. When the going is tough -you need to adjust and change.

Derrick - that is awesome input and YES 90% of my cold water fishing consists of a subtle near-zero float movement or a pop-up where the float will rise 1/4" upward.

My hooks are tied inline and the shot is always above the leader. In Spring the leaders can be a little longer, in Summer or warmer water the leaders get very short. The action between the shot and the hook is slower the further from the hook the shot is set. Long leader= slow bait drop. Short leader = bait quickly to depth and near no bait drop.
You've gotten some good advice, I just wanted to add my two cents on the subject of slip floats. I've used many kinds over the years, and have settled on the "Thill Pro Series" brand of slip floats, as being the best I have ever used. A lot of floats have a plastic bead that the line slides through, and after awhile the line will actually cut a groove in the bead and cause your line to hang up before the stop reaches the float. the thill pro series uses a metal grommet instead of the plastic bead, and work flawlessly. They come in different sizes, and your choice of weighted or unweighted. I use weighted floats, because as John said, the trick is to add weight to keep the float nearly underwater when it's vertical. That way, if a fish swims up when he takes the bait/lure, the float will rise to signal a strike. A weighted float means less weight I have to add on the business end.
The Thill Pro Series is a good mid-range float, but the Lindy company doesn't really focus in floats like they used to. I was taught by Thill himself.

He meant to launch a much more sensitive line of floats but the newer owners were happy with what they had. They weren't the ones fishing these anywhere other than in lakes with big fish and as these floats go for smaller species, they lose their luster. Thill rarely fished any of those brown floats and never would fish them in competitions- he had better floats and you can too.
For smaller fish and colder water, these become clunky.
Now, another thing that these floats lack is proper instructions. As I said, the Lindy company fishes them clunky with bigger baits like minnows and leeches for big fish. There isn't as much a need to be ultra-sensitive to pick up subtle bites if you have bigger fish with big baits.
In cold water the weighted floats become your enemy. If the float is weighted, it won't rise up in the water as nicely as an unweighted float will.
With the bulk stack just up from the hook section and the float unweighted, it will rise in the water and often is the ultimate Spring/cold water indicator.
When the going gets really tough and fish takes are super light, I will create a pop-up float setup. 90% of my takes are the fish picking the bait which lifts the lower set of shot - popping the float tip.
Wow John, you sound like the go-to man for slip float fishing! I just got back tonight from the pond, the boys and I caught and released about a dozen nice gills' using the pro series thills I described earlier, it was a blast! However, I'm always ready to learn from someone who has better equipment, so would you mind sharing what kind of slip floats you are using? I fish exclusively for Bluegill, need a 1.5" tall float heavy enough to cast 40'-50' yet still fish depths of 10'-12' , have a metal or non-plastic grommet for the line to slide through, and come in high visibility colors for my not-so-good dusk eyesight. So far, the only float I've been able to find that meets all these requirements is the Thill Pro Series at Bass Pro Shops. The package says it was designed by "Mr. Slip Bobber", Greg Bohn. I almost ordered some of his floats until I saw these. Thanks!!
Tony-
I will gladly set you up for success. Yes, there are more sensitive setups which will aid you in catching gills. A dozen in the colder water is still quite nice- this means you are doing so much right.
I DON'T want to come off as a know-it all ever. I know there is knowledge you have that I don't and you probably have skills which I don't possess.
I do love helping and teaching what I know. Since Mr. Thill has gone back to London this leaves some of his students here so we are spreading the good word.
Let's break down your water and I will have you answer a couple of questions here for everyone. I can then suggest components if not put together the whole package for you and take this off line to discuss.
We can then share the results with the crowd.
I will give you a couple of solutions for your pond that will score you 24 - 48 fish for the same time period.
Pond Questions:
Do you fish from shore ( I would guess)?
What is the length of rod you are using?
What baits are you throwing on your hook?
What hook size are you using?
What is the line you are using for your main line?
Are you using a leader or tied straight to the same main line?
Do you know the pond contour for depths?
If so, what are your depths 5 feet away, 10, 15, 20 feet away?
When does the lake flatten out?
Is there a shore weed structure in the Summer you are casting over (or in place now)?
If you are anywhere near Indianapolis - there will be a bank fishing championship there this Summer if you want to plan to see me in tournament action. The dates are yet to be determined for this event.
This will be on a river and bluegill will not be the featured fish so the gear will be slightly different.
Well, that is a lot to chew on, let's discuss, take this off line and get you setup...

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