Walleye are hard to judge sometimes. Some days they are as hungry as person coming off of a three day fast. Other days, they are so slow to react that it is tempting to think they have dozed off down there. When the walleye fishing is slow, bobbers are a great tool to dust off and drop in.
There are two main types off bobbers available. The first is a fixed bobber. This bobber is designed to minimize any resistance that the walleye may feel. This is a key characteristic when walleye are biting slowly. The will spit out anything that feels suspicious.
It is important to match your bobber and your jig correctly. The weight of the bait plus the jig should pull the bobber down so that it is just barely afloat. Fixed bobbers are ideal for shallow water fishing. The depths that they can reach cannot exceed the length of the rod you are using.
The other type of bobber you will see a lot of is the slip bobber. This type can reach much deeper depths than fixed bobbers. With slip bobbers you can adjust the depth by using a bobber stop and bead.
Bobber rigs shine during early season fishing when paired with live bait. They allow the bait to sit while the walleye decide just how hungry they really are. Early spring success depends on slowing down the presentation.
Bobber rigs let you stop the presentation completely. This also makes bobbers a powerful presence during ice fishing. Bobbers work really well in cold waters because they give slow moving fish time to react.
When using a bobber, make sure you keep your eye on it. When the walleye take the bait they will move away before swallowing it. This movement will make the bobber disappear. Always go with the lightest line, weight and bobber that you can get away with. Reducing resistance is a key to making this presentation work.
If you are using jigging with your bobber, you need to drop the jig and let it sink to the bottom. Once it has made contact, give the line a quick jerk with the wrist. This will bring the lure upward. Let the lure flutter back down on its own.
Always be aware of what is happening to your lure. Strikes often happen as the lure descends. The strikes will usually be softer than you are used to. If the bobber is balanced correctly, it will clue you in on what is happening below.
There are dozens of choices when it comes to bobbers. There are even glowing varieties that make night fishing much easier for you. Bobbers can be matched up with plain hooks or lead-headed jigs tipped with live bait.
If you are pairing your bobber with live bait, take the water temperature into consideration. Leeches and night crawlers don’t perform their best when the water is too cold. Minnows, an eyeball or a bit of belly meat may work better when the temperature is sitting low.
When walleye aren’t striking aggressively, it can make strike detection a big challenge. Bobbers can make this task a little easier. Bobbers can let the walleye take its sweet time in striking but still give a chance to set the hook when need. When the fish just are biting hard, it may be time to break out the bobbers.