How to fish with a bobber

Updated: Oct 2, 2018


Fishing is not complicated or hard to do at all. Now I understand there is more complicated forms of fishing that involve a bit more technique or knowledge like fly fishing or deep sea fishing, but what I’m talking about here is simple fishing at a small lake or pond since that is what I’m most familiar with. This article is pretty similar to our fishing with a lure article, but there are differences so don’t skip over anything if you have already read that one.



Why fish with a bobber?

Fishing with a bobber can be more relaxing since you aren’t constantly casting and reeling back in, so some people enjoy it more for this reason.

Setting up your rod

Put a hook on the end of your line with a fishing weight or two directly above it to keep the hook and bait in the water. Next attach your bobber (or some people call it a floater). Where you place the bobber on your line will determine how deep in the water the hook will hang. How deep you want your hook may change based on several factors like time of day and water temperature, how deep the water is, or maybe you are fishing for a specific type of fish and you know they hang out at the bottom.

Baiting your hook

Whether you are using a live worm or a rubber one the process is the same. There is two basic ways to do this:

The first method is to insert the hook into the worm about half an inch from its end and sleeve the worm over the hook until you reach the eye of the hook. At this point you want to poke the end of the hook back out of the worm so that the rest of its tail is hanging loose below the hook.

The second method is to simply push the hook into one side of the worm and out the other. Curl the worm around and then repeat this, making a second hole a bit lower than the first. Repeat this until you have about an inch of tail that you can leave to wiggle around in the water. If you did this right the worm will look like a ribbon on the hook.

Remember with both methods the end of the worm needs to be free to wiggle around in the water as this will help get the fish’s attention.

Casting you line

Now the exact technique you will use to cast will depend on whether you are using a closed face reel or and open faced reel. But for both, the way you swing the rod will be the same, so read on.

First, you want to make sure that you are clear of other people around you. Hold out the rod at arm’s length and make a circle to make sure that you are out of reach of anything that you could get your hook stuck in. On a similar note, if you are beside or underneath a tree, make sure that you aren’t going to put your line into the branches, because that can be difficult to undo.

Once you are sure you are clear, swing the rod flat on either side, or swing it vertically over your head, and release the line about two thirds of the way through the arc so that you get the maximum forward movement possible.

Hooking and reeling in the fish

Once the bobber is in the water, you need to just let it sit for some time and give the fish a chance to bite. Watch the bobber and if it begins to dance around and is pulled under water then that means a fish is on the hook. Pull back on the rod, pulling the fish towards you and as you put the rod back forward to get ready to pull again, quickly reel the line back in to take up the slack you just created before the fish has a chance to swim back away. Take care to not let the line snap and don’t pull to hard or to suddenly. If the fish is making it very difficult to pull in, just be patient. Take your time and the fish will gradually wear itself out making it much easier to pull in.

Taking the fish off the hook

Now that you’ve caught the fish, whether you plan on releasing it or keeping it to eat, you’ve got to get the hook out. If you have a pair of needle nose pliers it makes the process much easier so make use of them if you have some. Grasp the hook as close to the fish as you can and wiggle it until it comes loose. If it doesn’t come loose enough to get out, you may have to give it a stern tug.

As you’re trying to get the hook out remember to be as gentle and respectful to the fish as you can, especially if you are going to release it.

Experiment with different casts, fishing spots, and baits to find what works best for you. Happy fishing.


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