There’s rarely ever a “bad day” when it comes to fishing. As anglers, you know to have fun and make the best out of the situation even when things don’t go your way. Every time you need a fix, you head on over to the local lake to fish off the bank or a dock. This type of fishing warrants the use of fishing bobbers.

Using fishing bobbers, or float fishing, as what many anglers call it, is something you do when you want to experience nature’s sights and sounds. With every location, you’re offered a unique fishing experience to enjoy to the fullest. You get a chance to catch bass, catfish, pickerel, muskies, pike, trout, and panfish on a float trip.

Regardless of where you go float fishing, however, there are certain pitfalls that make for bad quality fishing. These situations can cause logistical mishaps and even put you in danger. Here’s a look at the things you should avoid doing when using fishing bobbers.
Common Float Fishing Mistakes

1. Choosing the Wrong Spot

There’s usually a lot that goes into picking a spot. Each location has its advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to do some research.

Be aware of the types of fish in the water, the places they tend to hide, what baits they fall prey to, and how all of these changes with the temperature, light, and season.

The right spot can be tough to find. Most of the time, you engage in a bit of trial and error and continue to change lures, baits, and spots to see which works best. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can get good results when choosing sections that have plenty of riffles and perhaps some minor rapids to cut the flow and provide food, cover, and oxygen for gamefish.

2. Picking the Wrong Float

Anglers must always focus on choosing the right float. Everything rests on your ability to select floats that are just right for the areas you plan to fish and the fish you plan to catch.

The purpose of a float is to suspend the bait at a predetermined depth so that you’ll have a visual indication of bites. For instance, you’ll want to use a waggler float for still waters and a stick float for flowing rivers.

There are other factors to consider apart from the float type. For example, if you’re on the fence about whether to choose a slip or fixed float, it’s important to consider the buoyancy, weight, and size.

3. Failing to Pack Emergency Gear

Pack stuff like you expect something to go wrong, but hope that you never have to use any of it. It’s always a good idea to bring emergency gear during float trips. You might end up needing to stay the night, so it’s always best to be ready.

Pack a full change of clothes, some matches, extra water, a flashlight, some food, and your cellphone in a waterproof bag. Don’t forget to bring a space blanket, a first aid kit, a board repair kit, as well as an extra paddle.

4. Choosing the Wrong Boat

There are different types of vessels to use for float fishing. You have rubber crafts, canoes, dories, and Jon boats. Dories and rafts are excellent choices, but it’s usually outfitters that use them.

Jon boats provide comfort, stability, and mobility. They’re also able to hold a ton of gear, making them perfect for outings with families and friends.

As far as maneuverability is concerned, canoes are the best choice. These vessels help you paddle faster on a slow stretch and are great for negotiating rapids. 

5. Not Prioritizing Boat Handling

This is a mistake that so many anglers tend to make. When you’re so focused on the prime piece of water in front of you crying out for a cast, you often forget that it’s your turn to steer the boat. Your vessel then ends up hitting a rock or a riffle, causing anything from a small dent to something more severe or dangerous.

Make sure someone is manning the boat at all times. If this person turns out to be you, yet you see a great opportunity to toss your cast onto the water, ask a fellow angler to do the paddling and have him steer the boat clear of rocks in slow stretches. You can even invite another person to paddle if you’re dealing with really serious rapids.

6. Not Stopping

Novices tend to commit this mistake a lot. Since you’re “float fishing,” then you should probably just let those fishing bobbers sit there until they successfully lure in some fish. Stopping from time to time and probing some prime areas in the water lets you fool even some of the heftiest fish.

Final Thoughts

Using fishing bobbers is definitely a fun way to fish. It offers you a one-of-a-kind sensory experience and a special appeal often lacking in other angling methods. Plus, we can all agree that after making sure all common mistakes are avoided, it can be an incredibly productive venture, as well.