If you’re like most other people, when you think about bobber fishing, you conjure up images of a worm suspended underneath a red and white bobber on a pond somewhere. The fishing line might lead back to a cane pole and a child sitting on the bank, asleep.
Fact is, this depiction of bobber fishing couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Yes, bobber fishing can be a very passive style of fishing, but it can also be a very active style of fishing. And they’re not just for freshwater fishing either. Bobbers can also be used to catch saltwater fish.
What The Fishing Bobber Does
A bobber provides two different functions: it suspends live worms, minnows, shiners, and other baits in the water for fish to see and bite on. When the fish swims away with the bait, the bobber starts to move and dips below the surface, indicating to the angler that it’s time to set the hook and start reeling.
Other advantages of bobber fishing:
- The ability to suspend bait at a specific depth, so you have a better chance of catching fish that hang out close to the surface
- That suspension keeps your hook and bait off the bottom of the lake or stream where it can easily get snagged on debris in the water like branches, vegetation, and trash.
- Floats are also great for added visibility of the bait, and so you can more easily detect fish strikes. Not to mention it gives you something to keep your eye on when you are fishing.
What Kind of Fish Can You Catch With a Bobber?
Because bobbers are so adaptable, you can use them to catch almost any freshwater fish and many species of saltwater fish. That being said, bobbers are more effective for catching some types of fish and less effective for others. This main differentiator is the depth which the fish feeds.
As a general rule, the best fish to catch with a bobber are those that do the majority of their feeding in water less than 20 – 30 feet deep or so. If you try to target fish that are much deeper than that range, it becomes very difficult to find the correct depth with a bobber.
Fish You Can Catch With a Bobber
Below is a list of some of the more popular species of fish you can catch with a bobber:
Bobber Fishing Tips
When fishing with bobbers for any species of fish, a typical mistake is to use a float that is too big compared to the size of the fish you’re after. If the fish strikes the bobber and feels too much resistance, it will almost certainly release the bait.
A good rule of thumb is to use the smallest bobber you can to maintain as much sensitivity as possible. The tiniest tug from below will be detected in your line in this manner.
For a more detailed look at the different types of bobbers there are and how to use each one of them, including how and where to attach them to your line, check out my Ulitmate Guide To Bobber Fishing.