Float fishing is a widely and commonly used method of fishing for a wide variety of fish species. A favorite among shore and bank fishermen, float fishing involves a float which is attached to a fishing line some distance from the hook and bait. The float suspends the hook and bait allowing a presentation at different depths. The float also acts as a signal to indicate when a fish has taken the bait and is turning to move off with the hook. Float fishing requires the use of floats or bobbers which are manufactured by a wide range of companies in many different shapes, sizes and colors.
There are several different types of floats or bobbers available for use when float fishing. One of the most common types of floats is the spring bobber or float which uses a spring inside the float and a small metal hook used for connecting to the line. Other types of floats include cigar floats which are typically hollow. The fishing line is passed through the float and then pegged into place to prevent the float from moving along the length of the line.
Terminal tackle refers to such things as hooks and weights which are used at the end of the line. Weights are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. For most float fishing applications, a small weight made of lead or other material is attached to the line a few feet above the hook. Only enough weight to keep the hook stationery should be used. The size hook used will depend on the type or species of fish. For example, when fishing for pan fish such as bluegill, a small pan fish hook in the #12 to 14 range should be used. When fishing for larger game fish such as bass, a hook in the 2/0 or 3/0 range is appropriate.
The bait chosen for float fishing will also depend on the species of fish. There are many options ranging from night crawlers to live minnows to corn. One of the main considerations is to make sure the bait sufficiently covers the hook. In all but a few cases, an exposed hook will often times spook or deter a fish from taking the bait. When selecting bait, also take into consideration the size of the typical fish being sought. If fishing for smaller pan fish, match the size of the bait to the fish. A large earth worm cannot be taken by a small fish and as a result is not effective.