Slip Bobbers for Weed Walleye

Many of us fell in love with fishing by watching a bobber float on the surface then disappear as a fish pulled it under.

As an adult, that thrill is still alive and slip bobbers are a definite upgrade for the fixed depth Carlisle bobbers of our youth. When walleye use the weeds a leech below a slip bobber can be the best way to get them out of the weeds and into your boat.

Captain Lance shares his years of experience fishing for walleye in the weeds, and passes on tips and secrets to help you become a proficient slip bobber fisherman.

Slip Bobbers for Walleye

By: Captain Lance Valentine

Many of us fell in love with fishing by watching a bobber float on the surface then disappear as a fish pulled it under. As an adult, that thrill is still alive and slip bobbers are a definite upgrade for the fixed depth Carlisle bobbers of our youth. When walleye use the weeds a leech below a slip bobber can be the best way to get them out of the weeds and into your boat.

What exactly is a “slip” bobber? Traditional bobbers were fixed on the line at a specific point and because of that they could only be fished as deep as a rod was long. A Slip Bobber slides on the line and can be fished at any depth. A bobber stop made of nylon line or rubber can be slid up the line to the target depth and the bobber will slide up to the stop and stay at the chosen depth. The stop can be reeled through the guides of a rod and onto a reel as the bobber slides down to a swivel leaving only a few feet of line out to cast.

Slip bobbers come in different shapes, and each one has a purpose. Long, fat “cigar” style bobbers are a favorite for longer casting and help the bobber stay in place in wind or current. Traditional “bulb” shaped bobbers work well in calm conditions and allow bobbers to be drifted into a fish holding area by the wind or current.

Slip bobber fishing works best with the right rod, reel and line setup. Spinning rods for slip bobber fishing should be long (7-8’) and have a medium action with a moderate flex. Longer rods help to cast further, drop bobbers into holes in the weeds, keep more line off the water and perform the “sweep” hookset preferred when bobber fishing. For main line 8-10lb monofilament line works best. A small swivel should be tied to the main line, and a leader of 4-8lb thin diameter fluorocarbon completes the rigging.

There are many options for what is tied to the end of the leader. Plain Octopus hooks or jig heads are the preferred method of presenting live bait (leeches are my favorite)! Colorful jig heads in weights from 1/16 to ¼ ounce are a favorite of most anglers fishing slip bobbers in the weeds. The color of the jig helps fish find the bait and the weight of the jig gets the bait to the desired depth quickly.

There are three basic ways to fish slip bobbers in the weeds. First is a slow, deliberate method of simply dropping a bait below a slip bobber into a spot walleye should be and WAIT, letting the live bait attract fish to it. Second, and my favorite, is “active” bobber fishing. Move with a bow mount electric through a weed bed and drop a slip bobber into any holes you see. Let it sit in the hole for 10-15 seconds, reel it in, and move on to the next hole, looking for active fish. Third, is to anchor a boat upwind of a distinct deep weed edge, a let the wind drift the bobber and bait combo into the weed edge. This is a great technique when fishing is tough or when the wind is too high for good boat control.

Bobber fishing is often considered a technique for beginners, but smart walleye anglers know that a slip bobber/bait combo can be the most effective way to extract hungry walleye from weeds all season long.


    CHAPTERS

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. What is a Slip Bobber
  • 3. Slip Bobber Options
  • 4. Rigging a Slip Bobber
  • 5. Main line and Leader
  • 6. Special Tips
  • 7. Rod and Reel
  • 8. Bait for Slip Bobbers
  • 9. Fishing a Slip Bobber
  • 10. Final Thoughts