Gone Outdoors

How to Use a Fishing Float

by John Lindell

A fishing float is also commonly referred to as a bobber. It is employed by fishermen for the purpose of suspending bait in the water above the bottom to avoid snags and to allow the angler to detect when a fish is biting the bait. Fishing floats are an excellent piece of tackle for young children just learning how to fish as it gives them a visual clue to when the fish are nibbling, letting them know when to try to set the hook and catch a fish.

How to Use a Fishing Float

Choose a fishing float that best suits your needs. There are three major types. The round red and white ball-shaped bobber is the one most often used as it is the easiest to attach and cast. Pencil bobbers and slip bobbers are also types of fishing floats but are for more advanced fishermen.

Attach the bobber to the fishing line so the bait will be suspended at the desired depth. In shallow ponds you will want to have the bobber closer to the hook but in deeper lakes you can attach it further up the line so the bait will sit deeper in the water. A ball bobber possesses a spring loaded button on the top that when pushed exposes recessed hooks on the top and the bottom which the fishing line is run through to attach the float.

Use live bait with your fishing float. Night crawlers, earthworms, grubs, meal worms, and minnows and shiners are the best baits to present to fish beneath a bobber. Employ a number four snelled hook attached to a leader tied to your fishing line. This size hook is a good option to catch a large array of fish species.

Cast your line out and reel in any slack that may exist once the bobber and the hook hit the water. This is important because when a fish bites the less slack there is between you and the bobber the better the chances of setting the hook.

Observe the float as it sits on the surface of the water. When a fish begins to bite the bobber will begin to move, sending out small ripples. Wait until the fishing float is being pulled under all the way or strongly in one direction and yank back hard on the rod tip to try to set the hook. If you are successful at hooking it then reel in the fish. If you do not hook the fish reel in, check your bait, and cast out once more.

Items you will need
  • Fishing rod and reel, number four snelled hooks, leader, fishing floats, live baits

About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.