Fishing with a bobber is a tried and true method by pan fisherman for catching panfish. It is also a great way to get youth into fishing due to it's simplicity. Brad takes you through small things that you can do to increase the effectiveness of this already effective technique.
How to Set the Right Bobber Depth
The general rule of thumb that Brad adheres to is that the bait should be presented about 6 inches to a foot from the bottom of the body of water you're fishing. The simplest way to find the depth is to do a quick search of how deep the water you're going to be fishing. If you're in an area without internet or want a more accurate depth reading of the area you're in, it can be effective to attach a heavy sinker to the bait and let the bail loose. The weight will pull the bobber under the surface until it hits bottom and you can adjust the bobber stop accordingly.
How to Trigger Bites From Shy Fish
A lot of times you will notice panfish around your bobber, but they won't bite it. The large majority of panfish will be triggered to bite by small amounts of movement in the bobber. Every ten to fifteen seconds you should either twitch the bait or reel in the bait a small amount to pick up those finicky fish. If you haven't had a bite from a fish in a while it can also be a good idea to check the hook for your bait. Panfish are excellent at picking the bait right off your hook.
Finding Schools is Key
Panfish tend to be much more timid when by themselves. One of the best ways to improve your success while fishing with a bobber is to visually find panfish schools. To start searching, look for submerged structure surrounded by vegetation as this is the primary habitat of most panfish. This includes docks, sunken trees and weed lines for example. If you have access to electronics on a boat you can take a more modern approach as well. Looking at your electronics, schools of panfish will show up in balls near the bottom of where you're scanning.