Bobber Fishing: The Slip Bobber Rig

slip bobber rig

What Is The Slip Bobber

Bobber fishing is the most fun you can have. At least in an angler’s mind. I remember one type of bobber as a kid and that was the spring with the slit in the top that held your line. I still use these for the ease of removal when fishing different depths and techniques. The bobber is not just for bluegill and other panfish. I remember when I was introduced to the slip bobber. It opened up so many more options when fishing with a bobber. 

A slip bobber rig is a bobber that can be fished at any depth you desire. The shaft has a hole through it and the main line is fed through the shaft. There is a bobber stop and a bead placed on the main line. In that order so that the bead slides down the line with the slip bobber. This bobber rig is the best way to keep your bait or lure at a certain depth. With a bobber stop that will reel through the rod guides you can place the stop at any depth. Locate the school of fish at 30 feet and you can place your bobber stop at 30 feet deep and fish at just the right depth. I have personally fished for walleye in deep water suspending the bait just above the bottom.

Slip Bobber Techniques

I have found several techniques that are made possible with the slip bobber rig. I use the slip bobber to catch crappie in thick cover. With a minnow or jig the slip bobber allows you to lower your presentation into small holes in thick brush where crappie live. Crappie will oftentimes bury themselves deep inside thick cover, usually during a cold front. When this happens your bait needs to be presented right in front of their nose. The slip bobber lets you do this with precision. It allows you to quickly and easily change the depth of your presentation as you go.

When the water is 3 foot deep you might not need a slip bobber rig for crappie but with the bobber near the hook it makes it easier to place your bait in a tight spot and let the bait sink straight down under the bobber. Then when you get to a brush pile in 12 foot of water you can slide the stop up the line. This is a great way to cover water to either locate the depth the crappie are in or when the crappie are at different depths and allows you to fish efficiently and put more crappie in the livewell.

Another technique is when fishing structure or cover in deep water but need the bait to be up in the water column. An example of this is rock piles or brush piles that have fish suspended around it. You don’t want your hook in the cover or structure because it will get hung. With a slip bobber you can set your bait at just the right depth. This allows you to fish just above the fish and stay clear of hang ups. This works for any species of fish. I have used it for crappie, bluegills, walleye and bass. The slip bobber worked great on Lake Michigan. I used the slip bobber to drift wacky rigged worms over huge rock piles to catch some nice smallmouth bass.

Float And Fly Technique With Slip Bobber

The float and fly technique is a well known technique to fish bluffs in the winter for smallmouth bass. A slip bobber, rigged on light line, presents a small jig also referred to as a fly to subtly entice a big smallmouth from the depths to engulf the bait. The reason that the slip bobber is so effective in the float and fly technique is that it gets the bait at the proper depth where the baitfish are hanging and keeps the bait suspended at that depth. The subtle twitch or often just the movement of the ripples on the water’s surface, working the bobber. 

Video explaining the slip bobber rig

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