Slip Bobber Fishing for Crappie
The Basics of “Slip-Bobbering”
Most of us that have been crappie fishing since we were kids, started out slip bobber fishing. Slip bobber fishing is one of the best ways to catch crappie. It is a time tested tactic for putting a lot of crappie in the boat. If you’re new to crappie fishing let me explain.
Slip bobber fishing is a simple approach to catching crappie. Number one, a plain hook or jig at the bottom or end of the line. Number 2, a split shot sinker 6 to 18 inches above the hook, depending on the water clarity. Number 3, a small slip bobber float at the top that allows your line to “slip” through the center of the bobber. And last but not least is a slip bobber stop or knot.
Some things to remember when choosing your tackle are size, weight and efficiency. Let me explain.
Slip Bobbers – Slip Bobbers come in all shapes and sizes. Long, short, round, skinny, small and even very large. The key to catching crappie with slip bobbers is to use the smallest slip bobber that you can get away with. Other words a bobber that will not sink, but is not too big or buoyant that a crappie will spit out the hook when it feels the pull of the bobber.
Slip Bobber Efficiency – As mentioned, slip bobbers come in all shapes and sizes. Like many things that are manufactured some work well and other not so well. The same goes for slip bobbers. Purchase slip bobbers that allow your fishing line to pass smoothly through the center and that does not stop the line from flowing smoothly. This is very important when fishing deep water and having to get the jig/bait down to the fish. It becomes very frustrating when the line continuously gets hung up in the bobber. Trust me…
Split Shot Sinkers – The name says it all. Split shot sinkers can be an applied to your fishing line to help the jig/bait get down to the depth you are fishing. It is also very important to use enough split shot sinkers to stand your slip bobber up but not too many to make it sink. Where you set the split shot sinker is important too. In clear water you must position the split shot sinker further away from your jig/hook say 18 inches, give or take some. In dingy or dirty water 6 to 12 inches will work.
Hooks/Jigs – Most Crappie Anglers use jigs from ¼ ounce to 1/80th ounce when fishing for crappie. On average a 1/16 ounce to 1/32 ounce is used. Hook sizes can vary depending on the average size crappie in the waters you are fishing. A #2 or #4 hook size for most Crappie Anglers work just fine.
Now when putting this altogether it should flow like a well lubed racing machine. It should cast well. Once it hits the water the line should immediately be passing through the bobber. Then within a few seconds it should reach the bobber stop you placed above your bobber. And if weighted correctly the slip bobber will stand up in attention waiting to be pulled under.
Now that our line is ready and in the water what to do next? Well most anglers let the bobber just “float” which is fine but if you do not get a bite within a few minutes move the location of your slip bobber. One example is you can reel it in slowly. Or cast to another location better known as fan cast around your boat. It is also extremely important to experiment with different depths. Move your slip knot often up or down the fishing line. This will allow you to cover “the water column”.
Some days you will catch more crappie than others by Slip Bobber Fishing. Whether you’re fishing with jigs or live bait, if you follow these simple steps and tips I am sure you will catch Crappie.