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Beyond spring bobbers for tough-bite bluegills and other panfish

Posted on March 9, 2013

Terry TumaHere’s a technique for those super-soft-biting bluegills that I call tight-lining!

What it means is holding your rod in one hand and holding your line just beyond the rod tip with your thumb and forefinger. By doing so, you will detect the most finicky of bites that not even a spring bobber sometimes will detect. Our sense of touch is more sensitive than any fishing equipment.

And it’s amazing how light some panfish will bite. Sometimes, I’ll even use a bobber-stop knot as a strike indicator and depth setter. (You want no drag resistance whatsoever.)

How do I even see it, you ask? Well, it’s small, but you’ve got to watch it. A bright bobber stop, or a threaded one will be more high profile.

As for spring bobbers, I use them a lot for bluegills and sunfish. But if you’re jigging, watch that spring bobber and see how much it’s moving. It sometimes can impart more action on your bait than a rod tip, because of spring action. Here’s how I dial it back.

Hold the rod horizontal to your body, then take your opposing hand and tick the spring bobber with a finger. You just move it a little, tiny bit for some super-subtle action. Might not seem like much, but that lure is moving!

Finally, remember that spring bobber will bend a bit when you set a hook, so always set the hook a little harder and firmer when using a spring bobber.

These are great tools, and by honing your technique with them, you’ll catch even more March panfish.