How to Fish With Bobbers

by Jane Ellis
Bobbers give a fisherman a visual cue that a fish is nibbling at his bait.

Bobbers give a fisherman a visual cue that a fish is nibbling at his bait.

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Bobbers are an excellent aid for beginning fishermen, especially children. These little plastic floats are attached to a fisherman's line and often sit on top of the water. If a fish nibbles or bites the fisherman's baited hook, the float will "bob" up and down, giving him a visual cue that he has a customer interested in what he is bait. Bobbers are best used on calm waters as waves can cause a bobbing action that can be confused with the motion of a fish nibbling on the bait.

Items you will need

  • Fishing rig
  • Round bobber
  • Bait
Step 1

Decide which type of fish you want to catch. Many beginners start by fishing for bluegill, which are aggressive feeders and, thus, typically easier to catch than other fish.

Step 2

Set up your fishing rig by releasing line from your reel. Depending on the reel you have, you can accomplish this by either pressing a button on the top or flipping the reel's bail. Thread the line through the rod guides.

Step 3

Tie a hook securely onto the line. Most fishermen prefer to use a clinch knot for this purpose. If you are fishing for bluegill, choose a number six or eight hook. If fishing for other species, choose an appropriate size hook.

Step 4

Attach one or two split shot weights to your line with pliers, about four inches from the hook, if you think a split shot will be necessary. If you don't use split shot weights and the bait floats to the surface or you have trouble casting, then you will need to add the weights.

Step 5

Attach the round bobber. Push the bottom of the bobber and the top hook will open slightly. Thread the line through the opening. Next, push down on the top hook and the bottom hook will open slightly. Thread the line through this opening. Wooden bobbers may have a simple stationary hook to thread the line though.

Step 6

Slide the bobber up to a point on the line where it will allow the baited hook to reach a good depth to catch fish. If you are fishing close to you and you can see the bottom, try to adjust your bobber so that the bait is hovering just above any fish or hiding places for fish.

Step 7

Watch your bobber carefully for any signs of movement. Some wary fish who have been caught a lot will test bait by tugging at it. If so, you will see a light bobbing action. If a fish grabs your bait, the bobber will go completely underwater.

Step 8

Jerk the line firmly, but not too hard, to set the hook. There are times when a fish will grab the bait but not swallow or clamp down on it. By giving the line a jerk, you can cause the hook to catch in the fish's mouth.

Step 9

Reel in your catch. Be aware of the fish's motion so you can adjust your reeling speed accordingly.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are not getting bites, adjust your bobber. It may be set too low on the line, which would cause the bait to float too high in the water, or it could be set too high on the line, causing the bait to lay lifelessly on the bottom.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images