There are lots of ways to catch fish throughout a fishing season. Every year, an angler should try to learn a new technique. By doing so, that angler will be able to more successful more often. For instance, jigs will catch fish much of the time, but they’re not always the best choice. Maybe a live bait rig would be better in some situations, or maybe crankbaits would be more productive when the fish are spread out. The angler that is proficient in several techniques will catch fish more frequently.
One technique that works great in some situations employs a slip-bobber. When the fish are finicky, a slip-bobber will often coax them into biting.
When the fish are tightly schooled, slip-bobbers will keep the bait right in front of the fish for an extended period of time.
When the fish are suspended at a certain level, a slip-bobber enables an angler to suspend a bait right at that level. No doubt, at times slip-bobbers will put fish in the boat better than anything else.
A slip-bobber is different than the round red and white bobbers that clip onto your line.
Slip-bobbers have a hollow stem that goes through the bobber. You slide your line through that stem, which allows the bobber to slide on your line.
The thing that makes the slip-bobber work is the bobber-stop. It is often a small knot that will slide through the guides on your rod. The bobber-stop is placed on your line, then the bobber is slid onto the line. Your hook is then tied on. If you set the bobber-stop five feet above the hook, your bait will automatically be suspended five feet below the bobber. This allows you to present the bait right above the bottom, or at whatever level the fish are. Usually a little trial and error will be necessary to determine the proper depth. Set the bobber-stop so the bait will be suspended a little above the fish.
Most anglers work from an anchored position when employing slip-bobbers. If there is some wind, allow it to blow your slip-bobber rig right through the suspected fish-holding area. Let the rig work through the spot, then reel it in and cast a little upwind and so the rig will go through an area different than the one it just went through.
Some anglers like plain hooks tipped with live bait below the bobber, others go for a small jig. A sixteenth ounce Fire-Ball jig with a leech or minnow is a killer below a bobber. Go with smaller jigs, and if you need more weight, crimp a couple of split-shot onto the line a foot or so above the jig. Light jigs will allow the live bait to have more action.
If you haven’t discovered how effective slip-bobbers can be, make this they year you do so.