Bait fishing tips
for Ponds, Lakes and Slow Moving Streams
- Thin wire aberdeen style hooks in size 6 are usually a good choice for the casual fisherman.
- You will generally be more successful if you can get your bait within a foot of the bottom.
- When bait fishing don't start reeling in until the fish takes the bobber under and starts running with it. Many people make the mistake of trying to set the hook too soon resulting in the bait being taken from the fish's mouth.
Basic Freshwater Rig
One of the simplest rigs used for freshwater fishing in shallow water (5 feet or less) is a snap on float with a hook tied at the end of the line. A little tip is to clip enough split shot below the bobber to expose less than an inch of bobber above the surface. This will allow wary fish to take the bait under without undue resistance.
Often you will see people using big hollow plastic red and white bobbers which is generally a mistake. These cheaply made plastic floats have a great deal of air resistance, resulting in reduced casting distances. Their buoyancy in the water is off putting for wary fish. A more streamlined float will likely be a better choice unless you are using particulary large baits such as large live minnows.
A popular method for fishing deeper water and suspended fish is the slip float rig which allows the fisherman to adjust the depth at which the bait is suspended from 18 inches to 30 feet. A slip float bobber is hollow in the center allowing it to freely slide up an down the line until it contacts the bobber stop. The fishing depth is controlled by a stopper knot which can be moved up or down on the line.
These stop knots can be purchased or hand tied. If you wish to tie them by hand, use a 20 - 30 lb braided dacron line. To save time when I am fishing, I will have several of these knots already tied onto a hollow plastic coffee stirrer. Then it is only necessary to slip the fishing line through the tube and slide off a knot onto the line. Carefully tighten the knot and cut off most of the tag ends.